SEO is a lot of work and can be overwhelming. There is an extreme amount of information out there about how best to drive organic traffic to your site, but there are so many different opinions on the best way to implement SEO. Our approach is organic in nature, tying traditional marketing with the new technologies that will drive traffic to your website.Does Your Website Measure Up?
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SEO is short for search engine optimization, which most everyone knows. It is the practice of optimizing your website to rank better in the search engines, thus making it easier for people to find your site. This in turn gets you more visits to your website and leads to more engagements and sales. But how is this done?
There are two main factors: your on-page content (what is on your website) and your off-page content (what other websites say about your website).
It used to be pretty easy to get a website on page one of the search engine results. You could optimize by stuffing your keywords in a page a ton of times even if it didn’t make sense and the search engine robots would see that and understand you were talking about a particular topic. We have all seen these websites that seem off, because some people are still practicing these tactics.
Google and other search engines have enhanced their ranking algorithms over the years as they have developed their understanding of language. They are placing more value on the end user and want content that is helpful to them. Content that is clear, concise, well-written, easy to read and answers the users intent. You know your business better than anyone, just write like you would naturally speak to teach it to someone else.
Delve deeper into On-page SEO below.
From their original algorithm to today, Google has always placed backlinks as an important ranking factor. Backlinks tell the web crawlers (spiders) that someone else is, essentially, recommending your website. The better the quality and quantity of these backlinks tells search engines that your website has more value and authority as well.
It is kind of like being in the news or recommended by an expert. You gain more authority as more noteworthy people talk about you. Backlinks are the internet’s way of expressing those mentions. The more you have and the better they, the more value search engines assign to your website.
Find out more about Off-page SEO.
This is one of the first things we do for our SEO campaigns. Proper keyword research will give you a better understanding of the volume and intent behind various keyword searches. This will give you a sense of what your customers are looking for and what content you need to address. There are several tools out there that can help you find keywords. A notable free keyword tool is Google's Keyword Planner in Google Ads.
Keep in mind that the largest volume searches may not be your best target keywords. You have to take into account how difficult it may be to rank for a certain keyword. Some are just more difficult do to how competitive they are. You also need to understand the user intent behind keywords, are they educational-based, purchase-based, local-based, and more. Then you want to make sure your content strategy falls in line.
Competitive analysis is a great way to help you discover what your competition is doing, keywords they are ranking for, what their strategy is and then form your content strategy in a way to outrank them!
Your web navigation and overall website design is key to successful on-page SEO. Consider the route your users are going to take to get to the pages you want them to get to. Always keep ease of use in the forefront of your mind. A frustrating menu structure will lead your customers away from your site and on to the next. It should always be easy to find pages on your website.
Headers are usually one of the first things people see on your website and are a great place to document the core services or products as well as about us and contact pages. The rest of the navigation should be in sub menus grouped under these core menu items for ease of access. Focus should be placed on making the navigation make sense for your users.
So, we now have a solid idea of what keywords we are targeting and what are menu structure is. Time to formulate the content. What message are you wanting to give your customers? What would you expect to see when searching for information on your line of business? When customers call you, what questions are they asking?
These are all things to address first and foremost in your content. Over time you can create supplementary information to support your topic and make it stronger or you may need to create a new page to explore a particular portion of that topic in further detail. Look for places in your content where you can link to other relevant content on your website. These are good for making your lower visibility pages rank higher.
Proper use of headings is another key part of your content strategy and structure. Use of heading are strong indicators to search engines what your page is about. Page titles and meta descriptions will also need to be created keeping your keywords and latent semantic keywords in mind.
Content is not just about the text on the page. It also involves all the images and other files that go into your website. Using the keyword strategy and optimizing files and images is not to be overlooked.
The traditional thought about your website's content is that the more, the merrier. The idea was that the more content you have about a subject, the more likely Google is to identify your website with that topic. That's simply not true any more. Google and other search engines have come a long way in understanding content, specifically with regard to intent. After all, their overall goal is to be able to read your website the same way a human would.
How many times have you abandoned a website because it took to long to load? You aren’t the only one. Your website is only good if your users can read it, which means load it, before they loose interest. This is even more important for mobile devices, where bandwidth is more limited than on a desktop. As more and more people use their smartphone for surfing, Google determined that mobile page speed should be a ranking factor.
We have found developers often neglect are things like image size, loading of external scripts, and a lack of caching. Leveraging all of these resources to take up the least amount of space makes for a better, quicker experience. You can test your website here, and get an idea of how your website performs. Don’t worry about getting a perfect score but you should try to be inside the "yellow" score range.
The internet is built on links. Without a link, how is your website going to be accessed, and without a search engine linking to you, how are you going to be found by new customers? Search engines (yes, especially Google) rank this as one of the most important factors in determining how your website is going to rank in search engines and it is mostly out of your direct control. Even if you have the best website and products in the whole world, if it isn’t promoted, it is hard to show up in search results.
Authoritative links come from a site that already has a high trust quality from its audience, these links will pass on some of their link juice to you increasing your authority and trust.
We receive tons of emails every day with offers from different SEO companies selling high-quality domain backlinks. But don’t believe it. These are frequently low-quality links that may cause Google to penalize your website and tank your rankings.
Anyone can create a listing for your business on certain directories. Take the not so popular Yelp directory. You may not have ever submitted your information to Yelp, but a customer can enter your information on Yelp's website and leave a review (hopefully positive). They don’t even have to get your information correct.
Google My Business is the #1 must have for your directory listings. Then build out your directories based on the information on there. This is another trust ranking factor for search engines – having the same Name, Address and Phone Number and making sure it is consistent throughout the web. With reputation management you can make sure that the major directories show all this information in the same format, plus build links back to your website from highly authoritative directories, thus passing on some of their link juice to you. If you haven't claimed your GMB, do this now or call us and we can manage it for you.
Directory listings are a quick, and arguably essential, way to build some authority with the search engines.
When something new and exciting happens within your company, you should take the effort to promote it. Maybe you are having a major event, won an award, released a new product or service. In the past, you could have gotten an article in the newspaper or industry magazines. It is just as easy online.
Write a press release and get it distributed to major news sites, local and regional media and industry specific websites. Once your press release starts to appear, your link juice will start to go up.
Social media marketing is a great way to increase your web presence. Create business pages on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram. If you have videos, create a YouTube page (Google loves Google products). Anywhere it makes sense for your company to better connect with your audience.
Are you an expert in your field? Become a source for others by writing content that is informative and helpful. Dig into your topic that people care about or tell them how to solve a problem. Post your articles on your website and then share that across social media and industry related forums. Over time other people will start linking to you as an authority on this topic.
These links are earned the hard way, by spending a lot of time developing good, informative content. However, these are really strong links as the more they are shared and the more people link to your content, the more likely other people are to see it and link to it and increasing the value of that web page and getting it ranked higher in the search engines.
When you create these excellent pieces of content, share them to your social media networks to get even more website traffic.