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  • The hidden benefits of membership: SEO

  • The hidden benefits of membership: SEO

    The hidden benefits of membership: SEO

    By Sue Skavlem | Skavlem Designs | designsthatdo.com

    By being listed in The Chamber’s online membership directory, and linking back to my website, my local SEO has gone up without me paying for Google AdWords. Being a member helps my brand and my visibility to new clients! Thanks to The Chamber, my last two clients searched for graphic design in Fargo, and chose me.
    Are you a business in the FMWF area? Are you a chamber member? You may not know it, but you've got the tools at hand to help you drive up your SEO.

    What is SEO?
    SEO Stands for Search Engine Optimization.

    Great. Great. But what does SEO mean?

    You know when you Google something? In the results that show up, SEO means getting your listing up as high as possible – so that it’s on the first page of results – and maybe the first listing!

    Why does that matter?
    If your business shows up on the second or third page of Google search results, most likely, you won’t be found by the average user. You’ll be invisible. Although invisibility is one of the best superpowers, it’s not so great when it comes to your business being found online.
    Protip: You want your business to show up when people search for your industry, product, or service – especially to your local customers.

    Your next customers are online.
    Business basics don’t change.

    In 1999, I started at an internship that (accidentally) launched me into the world of digital design and marketing.

    Since then, how people interact in the business and marketing world has changed. But people haven't. I still see people wanting to make a difference. To leave a legacy. To amuse their friends. To connect with others. To love what they do, and to make tomorrow better. And to do business.

    The how & where we do business has shifted to include the online world.

    Protip: Even if you have a brick-and-mortar only shop, or a legacy of 100 years of business – you may be missing out on clients new to the area, customers in a different age group, and revenue from people who don’t just walk by your store.

    What are your customers searching for?

    With the advent of internet communities, your next customer is right now researching the product they want to buy – Checking out photos, reviews, and comparing prices. They look before they buy. But where they are looking has changed.

    If you want to grow your business, you need to be online.

    But what if you’re online, and your customers can’t find you? How do you go from invisibility to the first thing they see?

    Protip: Your next customer is researching first, buying second. You want to be visible online.

    SEO makes you visible online.

    According to the Google dev experts, an SEO expert’s job is to “improve your visibility on search engines.” Well that’s great. I would love an SEO expert working for me. Do you have an SEO expert on your team? Me neither.

    But if you’re a Chamber member, you can make SEO work for you with some really simple steps. I’ve had to do some research, and my ears perk up when someone in business gives their protips for making themselves more visible online.

    Protip: Find people who know about SEO – you’ll want them on your team.

    Video story time!
    What do I need to unlock my hidden benefit?

    Two things you'll need to drive up SEO without paying Google?
    1. You'll need a business website.
    2. Then you'll need to link back to your website from a high-traffic site (like this one!)
    Two pages you'll need to fill out on the online FMWF Chamber membership directory?
    1. Organization Information (*put in your website)
    2. Website Information & Highlights (*link back to content-specific pages on your website)
    Want to know even more?
    Not in the Fargo area, but still want to find ways to drive up your SEO? Let's talk: designsthatdo.com. Sign up for my bi-weekly emails, too: designsthatdo.com

    Remember, under all the fast-paced words and responses, remain the realities of the human heart. Look for it in your next email, your next zoom meeting, your next sales pitch. That's where the magic is.

    About the author

    Sue from Skavlem Designs

    When I make a design, I think – What can this do?
    These designs don’t just exist. These designs DO. They work hard alongside you and your business. These designs are levers. They are sales. They are engaged customers. They are brand recognition that gets you that meeting.


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