I can write blogs all day about SEO, what to look for in an SEO, how you can go about doing certain aspects of SEO, and more. But sometimes, one has to truly stand back to understand WHY you are doing different aspects of SEO. This way, not only can you appreciate results when they happen, but you can also appreciate what goes into hiring a company to do it for you.
The main facets of Search Engine Optimization from my standpoint are content, link building, and on-site optimization. If you want to get more technical, which I enjoy doing, you could say server optimization could be a category to observe, which would include file compression, browser caching, finding a host closer to your operations (West Coast vs East Coast), and even use of a Content Delivery Network. But that is another conversation.
When you’re a business owner venturing into the world of digital marketing, you know you want SEO…but why? What can we expect to gain from these efforts? To put it in its simplest terms, we will be utilizing our website to gain more online visibility. I would also suggest that if a digital marketing company built citations, added you to directories, created press releases, and syndicated articles that inevitably generated leads, then that is a byproduct of the overall efforts.
But going back to your website, the point of SEO is to make your website visible on search engines to people that would have never otherwise have found you (besides searching directly for your brand name). This means that if your company is called “Bro Toe’s Auto Shop” and you’re located in Cleveland, OH, you don’t want to be found only by searching for “Bro Toe’s Auto”, “Bro Toe car” and other variations of your BRAND. You want to be found by means NOT connected with what existing people know. You want Cleveland auto shop, Cleveland car repair, Cleveland oil change, Best mechanics in Cleveland. Ranking for these keywords is what Search Engine Optimization truly accomplishes.
This blog isn’t going to be about how this is accomplished – we are simply going to go over what the means are should you find yourself wanting to further explore how to do it on your own or hire a professional or agency to assist with it. To reiterate, fundamentally understanding why the components of SEO are done makes the rest of the exploration into the topic clearer and more meaningful.
The core foundation of all efforts start and end with content. Content is what gets indexed and noticed the most by search engines. It is what builds the framework of the intentions of your website online and how it fits into the grand scheme of results. Content takes the form of all the pages on your site, your blog, your articles, and even your testimonials/reviews. Without getting too far into a content strategy, or the timeless somewhat immortalized SEO mantra that “Google just freaking loves when you add content to your website,” think about the fact that every page on a website gives you a chance to talk about you, your company, and what you do. That’s why we have an About Us, Our Services/Product pages, our Blog, and so on. Each one is not only an opportunity to get more specific and helpful about a topic, but also another chance to be found. I like to look at a page on a website almost like a small fishing net being cast from your website (the boat). Each time you talk specifically about one of your products or services, you’re forging another means of driving traffic to your site.
Link building is one of the most important ways to gain authority to your website. This, in turn, is one of the biggest contributors to your site ranking for desired keywords. Essentially, if another website links to yours, it is considered a signal of reliability and authority. Information about link building could fill a book, but when someone discusses building links to your site, they are talking about the numerous ways they can get other websites to link to yours. If you want to know the potentially hundreds of ways this can be done, I love to refer someone to these methods of link building. This page also comes up on Google when you search “Methods of link building” which ultimately (an almost conclusively) proves the entire point and nature of link building.
Basically, these are the means of setting up your website to be “SEO-friendly”. Nowadays, we can’t be sneaky with keyword stuffing and cloaking (though I’ve seen this make no difference in some situations anyway), but we also have to make sure we don’t duplicate content, have pages with meta information completely the same, have thin content etc. etc. Some guidelines can be seen here, but that’s really only the tip of the iceberg. On-site optimization is essentially your way of setting up the website and content “the way Google wants”. Documentation supplied more or less by Google corroborates this.
If you have any more questions about these topics, feel free to shoot me an email or they can be covered during a free consultation!