SEO, aka search engine optimization, is a huge and complex subject. SEO is a set of rules set forth by the search engines that must be applied to your website and web copy. If however, these rules and practices are not applied correctly, your site may never reach to first page of search or achieve top listing of search.
A higher search rank for your website means that your site will appear closer to the top of the list for search results. This will place you in front of more customers searching for your products or services. That's the overall concept around SEO. Now, let's move onto the complexities of SEO and top considerations.
The technical aspects of SEO and why it's important
- The performance of your website will affect your overall standing in relation to competitors - Try running a G-Metrix test to analyze your site performance. If your site falls below an 'A', for instances, this will impact your SEO, or, search and find.
- Site load - The faster a site loads, and with all the images rendering quickly on a page, and no other significant technical problems, the better your site will perform. If however, you have bloated images, and it takes 2 or more seconds for your site images to load, and you have a slower site. Therefore, your site will get a lower score.
- The security of your site - if you don't have SSL, or, secure socket layers - you know, the padlock on the top of the URL with https, your site is automatically deemed unsafe and will be demoted. Good luck being found if you don't have SSL on your site.
- How content is used - The frequency and combination of keywords chosen for your web pages will impact the site overall authority and relevance.
- Search intent - If people click on an ad based on the title, but the content isn't aligned with the web copy, that is bad for SEO, and you can receive ad penalties.
- If search intent (what a person is looking for in their search query, and hits the back arrow on the browser bar, this can cause a demotion of the website in SEO.
While anyone can learn and follow the rules of SEO, to be truly competitive with SEO and rise to the top of search, consistent content and search ads will help you accomplish your goals.
Are your best efforts good enough?
Search is a moving target because it based on the billions of searches happening in real time, 24-7. We can't say for certain that every week your site will maintain authority and relevance for a specific key word or phrase. Search queries dictate what is being searched. If there's a new trend for a search word of phrase, your page could drop in ranking. What if a competitor is working just as hard as you, and serves up a bunch of new copy on similar topics, and they load the page with the correct key words and phrases? Your site may lose rank.
To accomplish effective SEO, think massaging data, adding new content, interjecting more keywords, pushing it out to social, running ads on this subject with an associated landing page - this is good SEO. It's very time-intensive but necessary to be competitive. That said, the good news regarding organic search efforts - once you apply organic content to your website, it's always there, unlike ads, which you pay for and then they are gone. SEO is a commitment that eventually pays you dividends, year after year.
How do the large organizations use SEO methods to succeed?
Large corporations, like insurance companies with agents throughout the US must consistently monitor, report, analyze and manage new content on a regular basis, which requires a consistent budget and dedicated team or SEO marketer. Plus, there's a lot of off-site efforts too, like back linking, and directories, so they dominate organic and paid search.
How can small businesses use SEO methods to succeed?
Small businesses are best served by:
- Developing a communication strategy, or work with a content agency or SEO expert so you can build on your copy every month or quarter.
- Focus on implementing the right copy to your website, and apply all of the standard practices at the back end of the site, and on the web pages.
- Utilize in-bound methods like directories and social media (large databases and search engines) to drive traffic to your top pages, including having calls to action and conversion strategies. These support and bolster SEO.
- Invest in SEO implementation to ensure you are meeting all the search criteria. Then consider buying ads after this is fulfilled.
- Evaluate results on a regular basis, determine if you are getting traction, and if so, how much. How can you improve upon the past?
Experts in SEO and content agencies know how to address all of these issues. With the ever-changing rules set for by the search engines, as well as advanced concepts that will impact your website and long-standing SEO, we advise getting support for your SEO efforts.
Other SEO and Search considerations, if you really want to geek out
So how does search engine optimization work? The most advanced parts of SEO are very technical and frequently change
Clean code and clear, correct “mark-up”
It’s true. Google is trying to promote a robust, disability-friendly and future-device-friendly web. That translates to pristine code, and the need to “tag” every element on the page in a way that makes its significance obvious to blind robots. No matter how beautiful your site’s design or how clever your copy, if your site is running on subpar code you are likely being held back because of it. A remodel with correct semantic markup can cause a site to jump several rungs in the rankings.
Create a targeted content strategy
One of the most challenging part is often deciding on the top subjects and it's associated keywords you want to compete for. There’s an entire industry of experts whose job it is to identify the most profitable search terms based on your sales goals, customer acquisition or customer engagement If you’d like help with keyword selection or its placement in your copy, ask us about setting up a keyword consultation. It wouldn't be frugal to try and index every page of your website, if you have 200 pages, unless your site must be lead-generating machine.
But, you must have a content strategy based on your top subjects, products and services. A content strategy can include subjects related to your company or industry. For instance, if you are a realtor, it could be on prepping a house for sale. You need to think of the subjects that have the highest value to the readers. We are dedicated to this practice as an agency, and it drives decisions for how we add copy to the website, then promote it through social media, advertising, and communication.
Off-site link building
What other people have to say about you makes a huge impact on your ranking. Just as in a person to person referral, search engines prefer not to risk their reputations by placing an unknown business highly. You can help put them at ease if credible organizations validate you as someone that can be trusted. Ask partner organizations to give your new site a positive mention when it launches to get started building a positive “buzz.”