What is SEO?
SEO is the process of optimizing both the website and webpages to get free, organic traffic from search engines like Google.
The Basics of Search Engines
Think of Google as a giant filing system with billions of books, on billions of different shelves. Google is like the librarian who helps you find the books on the shelves that are specific to the topic you are looking at. However, Google is bias. They are not random books, they are the most relevant books to the librarian’s knowledge (Google) first.
This is done through some complex algorithms, based on the rank of the book (webpage). No one can really pinpoint the exact method of having perfect content, but we do know about the “Google ranking factors” so we can make some optimizations to our content.
Why is SEO So Important?
While it may seem like your best option to obtain traffic to your site is through paid advertising, social media, or other online platforms, the majority of traffic will always come from search engines. Optimizing your webpage for “organic” searches will help you rank better and take up more digital real estate. Even paying to be at the top of the page through PPC, SEO have approximately 20X more traffic on both desktop and mobile!
In fact, when SEO is set up correctly, you will obtain something called the snowball effect, meaning the traffic will build over time, where paying for advertising will need to be continuously fed to keep traffic to your site.
What you need to do
Starting off, you have to make sure your content is easy for the search engines to understand what your page is about. If you can write your content in a way that truly describes your niche, product, or service. Next, show Google and the other search engines that your content is worthy of ranking. How? Through a few different methods.
Just a few changes to your site can make a huge difference with how Google ranks you. Optimizing your title tag and meta description that is used to display your page is an easy way to let the search engines like you more, and rank you higher. Next is place your Keyword phrase you are trying to rank for in the header. For example, if you’re an automotive mechanic, you would want to find out what people in your area are searching for, and use the phrase that most describes your site. You can use tools, such as Googles Adword tool, SEMRush, Ahrefs, or another trusted keyword finder.
This is the part that requires the most time and effort, as this requires contacting many other sites and companies to create a network of backlinks. Links to your page on other sites act like votes towards your page. The more votes you have, the better your page will rank! There is such a thing as quality over quantity with this as well. If you are able to get quality backlinks from high-value pages like forums, directories, and editorials, those votes matter more than others. Not to say the other links don’t count but they are just not worth as much in terms or ranking.
Another part to think about with this is making sure you are on the right pages, because your link must somehow benefit them as well. So, when contacting other companies about a backlink, first find people who are interested in what you do. Once you’ve done that, have a good reason to contact them. What is a good reason? Your product or service must be relevant to the clients for them as well. Then approach the other client with a pitch that will benefit them as well. Perhaps a backlink on your page, or a blog post that sponsors them in some way. Coming back to our mechanic, you can find an automotive forum to get your page linked somewhere on their site. That can check off interest and reason for contact. The benefit can be a backlink on your page pointing to the forum for automotive enthusiasts.
Lastly, start blogging on your page. Create practical content for your potential customers, and businesses that will visit your site to help them pertaining to your Line of work. This will be seen by Google as having an active page, and you will start to see your rank skyrocket!
Should I Hire an SEO Professional?
This is always dependent on you. Do you have bandwidth? Are you willing to learn a new skill to understand your website, and all things SEO? If you answered yes to both, that’s ok! You can learn this, and, with some patience, could start to see results from your labor.
But if you don’t have the bandwidth, and don’t have time to learn a new skill, then hire a professional digital marketing company to help! One that has taken training courses on all things SEO, as the wrong person can do more harm than good!
Google Webmaster Guidelines to live by
Here are the Basic Principles:
- Remember to keep it about users, not the search engines
- Tell the truth to your users, don’t deceive them
- Avoid the deceptive tricks intended to improve search engine rankings.
- Ask the question, “Does this help my users?” And, “Would I do this if search engines didn’t exist?”
- Remember to make your website unique, valuable, or engaging. Capitalize on those things
Things You Should Avoid:
- Automatically generated content
- Participating in link schemes – This will help for a moment, but in the long run, ruin your page
- Creating pages with little or no original content (i.e. copied from somewhere else)
- Cloaking — Showing search engine crawlers different content than visitors
- Hiding texts and links on your page
- Doorway pages — pages specifically created to rank well for particular searches for the sole purpose of funneling traffic to your website.
SEO achieves much more than good looking metrics to your client. When done properly, it helps real businesses reach real goals for their success!
We hope you enjoyed the read. Feel free to check out our other posts, or if you’re interested in learning more, call us for a free consultation of your website! We might just be able to help optimize your website for the traffic you’re after!