Search Engine Optimization is a big and complicated field. In larger companies, SEO is a full-time job for one or more people. For your small business, SEO may be slightly less intensive, but it still warrants lots of attention on an ongoing basis to achieve and maintain good results. As SEO experts, it is our job to stay on top of the trends and current best practices for our clients. Here are some of the questions we hear the most about SEO. Some are rooted in misconceptions about SEO, and others are based on the fact that SEO is just complicated.
What Do You Do to Improve SEO?
Google considers more than 200 factors to rank search results on its pages. Not all of the factors have the same importance, and there are a few that will provide more impact than others. When we start working on SEO for a new client, we look at a series of factors that are known to have high significance to search engine algorithms and can cause the most significant change to SEO.
These factors include assessing page loading speed, optimizing images, choosing relevant keywords, optimizing content for those keywords, and general page hygiene (fixing broken links, etc.)
Once these things are addressed about SEO, we develop a strategy for the long Search Engine Optimization game – developing new content to lend authority to your website, adding long-tail keywords, adding links from other websites and more.
What Are the Metrics That Show SEO is Working?
Business savvy clients always ask this question (as they should), but they are not always satisfied with the answer. Unlike ad spend or social media performance which have easily measured performance metrics, SEO performance is much more difficult to nail down. Googling your company to see if your website appears at the top of the page is not an indicator (see below).
Instead, looking at Google Analytics for your website is a better bet. There you can find how much traffic reaches your website from organic search and the proportion of organic traffic compared to other traffic sources (social media, paid ads, other websites, etc.) Over time, you’ll want to see a positive change in both factors. We monitor an additional set of metrics derived from our SEO tools, and we look for improvement over time.
Benchmarking against competitors can also give you some insight into how well your SEO is performing. Each competitor may be using slightly different SEO tactics, so the comparison isn’t always apples-to-apples. However, for the keywords you monitor, you get a general idea of where your website stands and see the changes in time.
How Do You Choose Keywords?
If you are doing SEO for yourself, one of the most challenging aspects is choosing appropriate keywords. This is because the way you think and speak about your business may not be the same as how potential customers think and speak about it. The terms they search for may not be the words you would use. They may be technically incorrect, off-brand or simply not often searched.
Let’s say you sell ‘widgets’ – which is the technical name for ‘gadgets’ or ‘thingys.’ Furthermore, you like to refer to your widgets as Wodgets to differentiate from your competitors and reinforce your brand. To get the keywords right, you need to think like your customers and use the language they would be most likely to use. Your keywords should include widgets and Wodgets, but gadgets and thingys will also be important in helping customers find your website.
SEO doesn’t only include the keywords for the products you sell but also for complementary products and services that could help generate interest for your own. For example, if your main product is garden gnomes, you should also work in keywords relating to other garden decorations such as statues, fountains, lighting and even pink flamingos.
Why Is My Website Not Top of Page for the Highest Level Keyword?
Let’s get something straight. Regardless of how good you or your SEO partner is, your website will not always rank number one for the simplest or highest-level keyword relating to your business. These keywords are generally highly competitive, with hundreds of websites all trying to achieve that top-ranking position. Let’s say your business is landscaping. For the keyword ‘landscaping,’ you’ll be competing with tons of businesses of all sizes. Luckily, ranking well for a collection of long-tail keywords like landscaping tools, landscaping service, and landscaping ideas will ultimately bring in much more traffic than that one high-level keyword.
Why Does My Competitor Always Appear Before My Site in Search Results?
With so many factors affecting SEO, there could be any number of reasons why your competitor ranks higher. They could have been doing it longer, have more quality content, faster page load speeds, etc. Don’t stress about how the competitor site is performing today, but work on improving your site’s performance over time by optimizing all of the technical factors you can, choosing the right keywords that customers are likely to search for, and regularly adding well-written, relevant content to your site.
Knowing about SEO is complex, and it takes dedicated time and attention to do it successfully. Give us a call at 1-855-656-5262 to find out how we can help with a solid SEO strategy and tactics that get results. Being found on Google: It’s all about SEO!
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