What is SEO, and how do you as a business owner make sure you’ve taken all the appropriate steps to optimize your SEO?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is all about how your website interacts with search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo, DuckDuckGo, and more. These search engines can drive the majority of your overall site traffic, so optimizing your website is key. The more you can optimize your site, the more likely you are to show up in search results.
What are the most important ways to optimize your website?
There are three main categories: technical SEO, on-page SEO, and off-page SEO. Each of these requires different tools, skills, and knowledge to navigate. Here are the five most important considerations for optimizing your website for search.
- Understanding the goal of search is Step 1 in SEO. To get your website to display in a Search Engine Results Page (SERP), it is critical to know how search programs function. A SERP is the list of results served up after a search. The websites that show up in the search all have one thing in common: The engine believes these pages best match what the searcher is looking for. While there is some nuance to each platform, the overall goal is to serve up the best content for the person searching, not for the website trying to rank by stuffing it with keywords.
- On-Page SEO focuses on the content of each individual page and how search engines understand these components. It’s critical that the information presented on your pages aligns with the goal of the page. This is where content reigns supreme. Focus less on trying to type what search engines want, and instead focus on helping website visitors understand your product or offering.
- Technical SEO deals with the components of your site that are critical to ranking well and ensuring search engines can understand your website. Items like your title tags, meta descriptions, H1s, and more all contribute to how search engines understand what is on an individual page. Leveraging an SEO tool will make identifying the components in need of repair a breeze. Tools like Google Analytics, Google Search Console, SEMRush, MOZ, or others will help you identify technical problem areas on your website. These items are part of the “computer language” that search algorithms use to understand your website.
- SEO tools can be incredibly helpful in locating issues and planning/documenting SEO efforts. There are a slew of tools out there for this; some are free and some have annual costs. There are three main components to look at when evaluating software: 1. Features – Lay out your goals and KPIs for your company and find a platform that has the tools needed to track your progress. 2. Cost – Make sure you are getting a platform that is the best value for you. Don’t look for the cheapest, look for the best value. 3. Versatility – As you work through SEO components you may discover more work that needs to be done. Make sure that your software won’t limit your work scope. We use SEMrush and the Google analytics suite of tools to help us locate and target the critical changes to be made.
- Take SEO to the next level with a marketing agency. While much of the SEO work can be done by you or your team, is that really what you are best at? Marketing agencies, such as ours, have dedicated staff on hand to help prioritize tasks for success. Set up a discussion with your agency and discuss how hands-on you would like to be. An agency will help you better understand the goal of the work, set realistic targets, and help prioritize the work by the most impactful for your business goals.
SEO can be complex, so understanding where to start is critical.
A structured approach can help you take your website from unknown to being on the first page of search results. Optimization for search is never done and must be an ongoing effort to evolve with search engines, best practices and fresh content. SEO improvements are a marathon, not a sprint. As always, if you need assistance taking your marketing to the next level give us a call at 603-924-1978 or fill out this short form to tell us more about your website goals.