Search engine optimization can be a complex process. If done incorrectly it will have a huge negative impact on your search engine rankings. If you research search engine optimization, you're going to come across a staggering amount of information and it's easy to get sucked into a black hole.
These four techniques will help simplify some areas where you should focus your efforts.
- Technical SEO - how well the search engines are able to crawl your website and index your content
- Content Marketing Strategy - focus the content of your website around your keywords
- On-Site Search Engine Optimization - ensure that your website's pages, titles, content and structure are optimized for the keywords relevant to your business
- Off-Site SEO Factors - anything you do off your website to improve your rankings in the search engines is off-site SEO
1. Technical Search Engine Optimization
This brief list is part of a comprehensive 32 point checklist of the technical SEO issues which should be addressed in your search engine optimization strategy. Fixing the technical errors on your website should be the first place you start in order to see results in the next stages.
- site speed - how fast your website loads not only affects your user satisfaction, but it is also one of the many factors in Google's ranking algorithm
- duplicate content - having large sections of your website with the same content is a huge SEO problem. Sometimes you don't even know you're doing it because the website was poorly coded and is creating duplicate content for the print version of your website
- header tags and meta title - this information helps the search engines know what your pages are about and what they should be ranking for. If this info is missing, you're missing out on getting your website ranked
- internal and external links - all links on your site should lead to a live destination
- text to HTML ratio - how much code is used to create your website versus how much content is used in the website. A low text to HTML ratio can cause a website to load slowly
- broken images - not only do broken images make your website look unprofessional, it can also have an adverse effect on your SEO. When a visitor clicks on an image that goes nowhere, they immediately click back which increases your bounce rate.
- 301 redirects - if you have pages on your website that you no longer wish to use or if you had your website re-designed, you need to tell the search engines where to go instead of those pages.
- XML sitemaps - this is a sitemap primarily for search engines without one you're not helping your search engine optimization
2. Content Marketing Strategy
The content you produce should be relevant and useful to both your prospects and your customers. Without well-written great content, your marketing strategy is going to be impossible. Besides your website, you should be focused on creating content for these marketing channels as well:
- social media - before you create your social media strategy, you need to know you have excellent content to share
- search engine optimization - you will be using your content to boost your SEO by describing your services - what you do and how you do it, build credibility - showcase examples of your work and why a potential customer would work with you, and marketing copy - writing content that shows you're an expert in what you do
- email newsletters - the goal is to create an email newsletter which people open and want to act on. In order to get a decent ROI for your email newsletter campaign you have to deliver content people actually want to read
Content is the best way to get people to know, like and trust your brand.
3. On-Site Search Engine Optimization
Optimize elements on your website so it will rank higher in the search engines which will result in more relevant traffic to your website. When optimizing SEO on your site, you will need to optimize not only the content but also the code of your website.
In addition to ensuring the search engines rank your website and send traffic to it, a good on-site SEO strategy will also help your visitors quickly and clearly understand what a page is about and whether is answers their questions.
Your ultimate goal is to make it easy for both search engines and users to:
- understand what each page is talking about
- determine whether the page they're visiting is relevant to the search query they used
- decide the page is useful and should be ranked well in the search engines
4. Off-Site SEO Factors
Content, relationships, and links are the heart of off-site search engine optimization. These efforts create the best experience for the search engines and users to find your website.
If you don't bother with off-site SEO, it's like purchasing a building for your business but doing nothing to protect it and keep up its appearance. No one will want to visit your business if it's covered in graffiti and has become a refuge for rats. Not managing your off-site SEO is the same thing. You need to continuously monitor and enhance your online reputation so visitors will want to visit your website and learn more about what you do. Off-site SEO ensures everything you do on your website is effective.
Where you can build your off-site SEO:
- link building - create quality backlinks to your website
- social media marketing - strategically position on your brand on the social media sites where your users are visiting
- customer reviews - claim your listings on Yelp, Google, Manta and other third-party sites and encourage your customers to leave their reviews on these sites.
We Can Help!
While search engine optimization can be a complex process, there are steps you can take to optimize your site and get it ranked in the search engines.
If you need help updating your website with search engine optimization and getting it ranked, we can help get your website on the right track!