Good ol’ search engine optimization, or as it’s more commonly known name “SEO”. It’s a term that gets thrown around quite a bit in the digital marketing world, but what does it actually mean?
Well…it means A LOT. Not just in what positive effects it can have for your website traffic and conversion levels, but also all the work that goes into SEO to achieve optimum results. It’s easy to become overwhelmed by how many things one would need to change to drastically impact their SEO results. This is why I’ve created a quick summary on SEO and some things you can do to get started on optimizing today.
What is SEO, and what does it do for you?
Webopedia’s definition for SEO is “a methodology of strategies, techniques and tactics used to increase the amount of visitors to a website by obtaining a high-ranking placement in the search results page of a search engine (SERP) — including Google, Bing, Yahoo and other search engines.”
Basically, it’s how you make yourself appear more relevant to search engines, so they rank you higher than your competitors when people search for things you offer. Here’s a great video Google posted to explain the intricacies in layman’s terms.
As it stands, 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine, 68% of which use Google to do so*. With that said, it’s important to consider SEO in any future marketing plans. There are several strategies and tactics to help improve your ranking and visitors metrics, so how does one become more relevant to search engines?
Relevancy is determined by the following:
- Content: This is the biggest one. Are the text, titles and descriptions on your website relevant to the subject matter being searched?
- Performance: How fast does your site load? Do you receive any error pages when navigating through?
- Authority: Are you considered an expert from other authoritative sites? For example, are they providing links back to your website based on the facts or expertise you’ve already shared?
- User Experience: Is your site easy to navigate through? Does it look secure? Does it have a low bounce rate?
As you can see, there are a lot of things to factor in when improving your SEO. For now, we’ll just focus on content as it has the largest impact on how you rank.
SEO Analysis Overview: Content
How is your website currently performing?
To really evaluate success in your newfound SEO strategy, you need to understand how your current site is performing. Google Analytics is a great tool that allows you to see search behavior and traffic patterns of your users. If you don’t already have this set up to your website, we can help. In addition, Graydient Creative uses other tools when doing full-scale SEO audits to see where we can have the most immediate impact. Once you have a better understanding on where you’re doing well (and perhaps not so well), it’s time to take a look at what your competitors are up to.
What are your competitors doing differently or better?
Ever heard of “SWOT Analysis?” It stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats in comparison to your top competitors. It gives a good indication on where you stand, and how you can capitalize on your strengths/opportunities and minimize the weaknesses/threats that may exist. If you’ve ever noticed that your competitors seem to outrank you in searches where you should be more relevant, this exercise will bring those to light.
What are the best keywords you should use?
Keywords are the search words or phrases that people use to find the answers they’re looking for on the web. This is where you really want to tap into the minds of your ideal customers and understand how they might search for something. Are they using locations in their search, looking for specific amenities, great deals or cool packages that you may offer? If so, you can tie those keywords into your page titles, and your body copy strategically to tell Google you’ll be a relevant source for more information on those searches. You can also see what your top competitors are doing and mimic some of their strategies should it be working well for them.
You’ve done all this research and have a solid game plan, now it’s time to implement. When you’ve decided on your best performing keywords, there are a few places to focus within your website that will render some great results.
- Meta descriptions are the brief sentences that you see under a page result to describe more about what that page is about before clicking on it. Google uses this for not only for keywords, but also for semantic understanding of the search and seeing if you’re relevant.
- Site content is another big area to have some impact on SEO relevancy. Sprinkle in those keywords you’ve found to be effective in the text of the site itself: headers, titles, and body copy. Google takes all of these into consideration when indexing sites for the most relevant content.
- AdWords are also a great way to amplify your results, in addition to the organic search optimization you’ve done. You can purchase popular keywords, and only pay when people click on your link for those specific keywords. We recommend optimizing your organic search results first, as that is the more cost-effective route; follow with AdWords for potential volume increase.
Other Things to Consider for SEO
Keyword strategy is not only important to incorporate in your website. You should add it to other off-site platforms, like these social channels:
Now, keep in mind that your target audience may or may not be found on these channels. There are a ton of social channels to choose from, so do your research before you spend time on channels that may not provide much ROI. Once you’ve incorporated some SEO into your social strategy (your profile descriptions and posts), it will help expand your target audience reach, bring more people back to your website, and will help you appear more as a relevant and legitimate source for content by Google and its users.
If you’re still unsure about where to begin with your SEO, feel free to reach out to our experts at Graydient Creative. We’ll be sure to get you on the right track.
*Link to NetMarketShare.com is dynamic and updates percentages in real-time; results may vary.