The Need for Search Engine Optimization
“Building a website without SEO is like building a road without direction.”
Over the last decade Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has gone from a buzzword to an essential part of any company’s marketing strategy. Simply having a website is no longer enough for a business, regardless of your industry. Google registers billions of searches a day with people looking for information about virtually everything you can think of. If you aren’t actively trying to make your website show up for strategic keywords that relate to your product or service you are missing out in enormous potential sales and revenue. While the concept of getting search keywords in Google to display your website might seem simple, it’s actually quite complex. The massive value that holding a first page search engine ranking is no secret, so everyone is competing against each other for the top spots. For this reason it’s crucial to understand the question, what is SEO and how does it work?
How Does Google Decide What Websites to Rank?
“The best place to hide a dead body is page two of Google’s search results.”
Essentially what Google is looking to do is serve up the best possible results for a search inquiry. There are basically four primary areas that Google looks at when deciding whether a website is worthy of a top ranking or not. These can be classified as technical structure, content, on-page composition, and backlink profile.
1) Technical SEO
Regardless of how great your information might be, Google wants to serve up websites that provide the best user experience to their visitors. This mean that if a website is slow, poorly built, or confusing to navigate, Google would place preference over a superior website from a technical standpoint. Making sure your website is up to code with Google is often referred to as technical SEO and making sure your website is in good standing and functioning at top level is a crucial first step to and search engine optimization plan. While it’s definitely possible to improve the technical SEO of any websites, SEO friendly website design from the beginning always makes things easier!
2) Content Creation
The ‘meat’ of any SEO strategy is the content. Unlike most people these days (thanks Netflix!) Google reads every single little piece of information before making ranking decisions. The search engine is a content hungry beast and analyzes text in a huge number of ways to deem whether it’s useful or not. Everything from word-count to sentence length matters to Google, so the longer, more informational, and better composed the better. In addition to quality content, the frequency of content is extremely important. Google prefers websites that are actively producing content related to what they do so it’s important to always be coming up with new ideas. Last, but definitely not least when it comes to content SEO is the purpose of each and every article you create. Too many people create blogs for their business because they simply think that’s what their supposed to do. A good SEO strategy will have a keyword target and purpose for every single article that’s published by a business. Not only that, you should be actively evaluating the performance of every piece of content and making changes to better influence a keyword, or change the keyword target altogether!
“Content marketing is a long term relationship, not a one night stand.”
3) On-Page Optimization
Once you’ve written your content for SEO and it has been carefully crafted to be informational with a keyword target in mind, the next step is to form it so that it pleases the Google search engines. This entails a careful strategy of inserting keywords and synonyms into the text, writing meta data (meta titles and descriptions), organizing headers, internal/external links, and a plethora of other on-page SEO tactics used to influence Google. The important thing here is to make sure you never over optimize content so that it’s basically only written for Google. Always remember that if you’ve done everything right, visitors to your website should be reading this information so you want it easy to digest and understand which can be done through effective formatting. The longer users stay on your page and click to other pages, the better it’s viewed in the eyes of Google so it’s very important to always be analyzing user metrics on a website like the bounce rate or time on site.
4) Backlink Profile
The last and most elusive part of any search engine optimization strategy is building backlinks. This tactic is simple in theory, all one needs to do is find other websites that link to it so that it proves to Google your website has authority. That being said the type of backlinks are very important, they must be related to what you are doing and the more prestigious the website, the more ‘link juice’ you will get from it. Obtaining backlinks to your website is never an easy feat and entails a variety of techniques from paying for them, exchanging content, guest posting, and more.
The Brandsmen SEO Process
Over the years we’ve developed an SEO strategy that’s worked for every single one of our clients and we’ve produced positive organic search growth for all of them. Our company was founded with search engine optimization as our cornerstone service and we’d happily go toe to toe with any other SEO company on this planet to see who can produce better results. We’re a smaller shop so we aren’t just trying to get new clients every week, run them through a system, rinse and repeat. We like working with our clients for the long term, getting an intimate understanding of their product or service, and creating goals for them to achieve.