If you’ve looked into digital marketing for your flooring business, you’ve probably come across the term SEO. But what exactly is SEO? Why is it important in digital marketing? And how can you use it to drive traffic to your flooring store?
We’ll answer all those questions and more below. Then, we’ll teach you some SEO best practices to help you boost leads and increase sales.
Table of Contents
Let’s start with the basics. What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Basically, it’s the art and science of optimizing your internet content so that it ranks higher on search engines like Google.
SEO can be done in a multitude of ways, and the best strategy for you depends on the type of content you already have and the type of content you’re able to create.
You should make sure that all of your web properties—your website, your directory pages, your blog (if you have one)—are all SEO-optimized to the best of your ability. That way, they’ll be more likely to appear on Google for searches related to your business. We’ll talk more about that in a minute, though.
Why is SEO so important?
If you’re paying for Google Ads but you aren’t putting money into SEO, you need to diversify your outreach ASAP.
That’s because SEO can help you capture organic traffic. Organic traffic refers to the users who click on your page via organic Google search results—the search results that aren’t paid for.
Think of it this way: when you search any given keyword in Google, you’re given a list of search results. Often, the first two or three of these are paid results. In other words, they’re Google Ads.
The rest of the results are “organic” results. These are the results that Google’s algorithm has ranked as most relevant to the keyword search you’ve entered.
Capturing organic traffic is entirely free, save for the cost of creating your content in the first place. If you create excellent content that’s very well SEO-optimized, Google could rank it near the top of the search results forever (theoretically).
Let’s say you’re a flooring retailer in Sarasota, Florida. If your content ranks near the top of the Google search results for “flooring near Sarasota”, you have an evergreen source of leads that could remain in place indefinitely—at no cost to you.
How does Google rank organic content?
Now we’re getting into the important questions! If you want to optimize something to rank highly on Google, you need to know exactly how Google ranks pages in the first place.
Unfortunately, this is easier said than done. That’s because Google uses well over 200 metrics to determine a page’s location in the SERP (search engine results page).
And remember: the Google algorithm is constantly growing, changing, and evolving to more accurately rank search results and cut down on manipulation.
Luckily, there is one element of the Google algorithm that’s always constant—and always will be.
That element is: good content ranks higher.
Underwhelming, we know. But it’s true! Everything Google does, all the changes it makes, the tweaks to the algorithm, etc. etc.—they’re all aimed at one single goal. And that goal is to make good content rank higher. That means content that’s interesting, content that’s well-written, and content that’s more relevant to a specific user’s search.
When it comes to best practices, that hard and fast rule should always be your North Star. Invest in good content!
SEO best practices
There are endless best practices when it comes to SEO. Every type of content has its own list of best practices and practices to avoid. And when you get into the finer points of the field, every expert has a different opinion.
But if we’re talking about SEO strategy as a whole, there are some distinct elements to take into account: the core elements of SEO, if you will.
Leverage your metadata
Metadata refers to the elements of your website that tell Google exactly what’s included on every given page. Think of meta descriptions as summaries of the different pages of your website.
Most web creation tools give you the option to input metadata on the backend (developer) side of your pages. You should take advantage of this, and be as specific as possible with your meta descriptions. This way, when Google is indexing your website, it will have a better idea of exactly what’s on each and every one of your pages.
If Google knows exactly what’s on each of your pages, it increases the chance one or more of those pages will rank higher in the SERP for a related keyword search.
Get a blog. Immediately.
If you don’t have a blog, get one immediately. Creating content is the #1 way to increase your web presence.
There are many reasons for this. For one, Google loves new content—and the more content you write about a specific subject, the more Google sees you as an authority on that subject. The more authority you have, the higher your content will appear in Google SERPs for related keyword searches.
More importantly, though, having a blog allows you to expand your web presence. Let’s return to our example from before. You have a flooring store in Sarasota, Florida, and you want to rank on the first page of Google.
Unfortunately for you, there is a ton of competition for the keyword search “flooring store Sarasota Florida”. Your website probably won’t rank on the first page for this search. It probably won’t even rank on the third! There’s simply too much competition from box store websites, which have thousands of individual pages.
Hopefully, you’re rank on the first page when you search your specific store name and your location together, but there’s no guarantee of this (though having detailed metadata definitely helps).
So what do you do? Create content, of course! Write blog posts that focus on the needs of your specific consumer base. You might write a blog post that focuses on “waterproof hardwood flooring for bathrooms in Sarasota” or “the best laminate flooring in Sarasota”, or even something as specific as “the best vinyl plank flooring brands for houses in Sarasota”. There is probably very little competition when it comes to topics this specific—meaning these posts will climb to the top of the Google SERP more easily, depending on the search query. And best of all, they’re topics that are very relevant to your business, so anyone who clicks on them is likely to be a qualified lead!
And don’t forget to create video content!
Did you know that after Google, YouTube is the second-largest search engine in the world? Seriously.
Translation: video content can be just as powerful as blog content when it comes to SEO. You’re optimizing for a different search engine, but the best practices remain the same.
Oh, and Google owns YouTube—which means their search engines share data and feed into one another.
Create, create, create
We can’t overstate the importance of content creation. Again: the more content you create, the more of a web presence you have. The larger your web presence, the more prospective customers will find your business!
Plus, like we discussed earlier, the more content you create on a specific subject, the more Google will think of your website as an authority on that subject. And that’s great for your entire site when it comes to Google rankings.
Distribute your content
Don’t forget to distribute your content! If you write a blog post but Google doesn’t know it exists, it might as well not exist. Make sure Google knows it’s there! Use your Search Console tool to request that it be included in the Google index.
And don’t stop there—share it with your client base! Email it to your customer lists. Share it on social media. The more people that interact positively with a webpage (and by that we mean the longer they stay on the page, the more they click to keep reading, the more they share a link to it, etc.) the more value Google assigns to that page.
SEO is a complicated field, and one that’s shifting and changing every single day. Many companies employ entire teams of SEO experts to create and optimize their pages and content, and they aren’t always successful.
But if you stick with these best practices and create high-quality content that’s geared towards your specific consumer base, you will increase your web presence. And with that increased web presence, you will generate more leads for your flooring business. Just remember the SEO North Star: the most effective content is great content!