You are about to take the first step toward establishing an online presence for your new business. The first sign you needed to learn a few things was when your web designer mentioned the phrase SEO. You are not sure what it means or why it matters. The fact is that the right SEO strategy will make a huge difference in how quickly your site catches on and attracts an audience. Here are some things you should understand about search engine optimization and how to create a viable strategy.
Understanding the Basic Concept
Search engine optimization is a collective term used to describe how you construct a website or other web presence so that it gets positive attention from the major search engines. Positive is the keyword. When you create a strategy that fully complies with current search engine standards and provides value to users, your pages will rank higher when someone is trying to find what your business offers. If you want the best results, you must pay attention to just about every facet of the website design.
The Role of Content in Your SEO Strategy
When people think of websites, blogs, or landing pages, content immediately comes to mind. It's true that content is one of the most important features of any web page. The text must offer information that the reader finds useful and informative. It must be organized in a logical fashion and it should be easy for the reader to scan.
The content must also be easy to read. That is somewhat different than preparing content for other purposes. For example, you may use industry jargon in the proposals you send to prospective clients. Perhaps papers you prepare for presentation at a learning conference or other gathering can include terminology that is only accessible to industry professionals. Save the technical stuff for those settings and make sure your website content requires nothing more than an average reading level to enjoy.
Creating Effective Meta Tags and Descriptions
Meta tags and descriptions are two elements that search engines routinely check before ranking your pages. The tags should be based on the titles used for each of the web pages. The connection with your content must be direct in order to win love from the major engines. That means a sensational headline that is followed by content that has no connection at all won't rank long for very long.
The description is the snippet that most engines display as part of the search results. Readers will quickly look at the description and decide if they want to click through to the page. Your goal is to ensure the description directly relates to the search query and that it's compelling enough to make the reader want to learn more.
Choosing the Right Images
Images are more than something to add visual interest to your web pages. The major search engines also display a limited number of images along with the ranked pages. Choosing images that truly represent the idea or the product you are attempting to convey on the page will result in higher rankings. That in turn paves the way for more users to visit your pages and increase the chances of making a sale or at least earning a regular visitor who shares your site with other people.
Blogs and Backlinks
Blogs must also be part of your SEO strategy. Create one and populate it with posts designed to interest readers and motivate them to visit your website. Inserting backlinks into the text provides them with a quick way to visit relevant pages and still be able to go back to read more of your blog entry. Remember to create entries on a regular basis so people will keep coming back to see what topic you are covering this week.
There is a second approach to blogging that you should consider. That's posting a guest blog on a site that is relevant to your industry. In exchange for providing the blog, you ask for a byline that includes your company name. You also ask for permission to insert one or two backlinks in the text. If you guest post on a popular blog, the result can be quite a bit of fresh traffic to your website.
Need Help Making It Happen? Here's What We Do!
Having a good idea of what needs to be done is just the beginning. Business owners who understandably are focused on the day to day operations of a business may realize the importance of SEO and even understand the main elements. What is more difficult to do alone is develop a plan of action and make the most of search engine optimization strategies.
That's where we come in. As experts in SEO, our team has the knowledge and abilities needed to ensure your business is reaching the right target audience and generating ongoing results. We sometimes refer to our approach as the 4-in-1 solution. This logical progression of steps allows us to begin with the elements you already have in place and make them the best they can possibly be. Here's what you should know about each of the steps included in our process.
- We Conduct a Complete Audit
The only place to begin is at the beginning. Before we recommend any changes, our team conducts a full audit of the online elements you already have in place. This helps us to learn more about your business in particular, and your industry in general. This phase also helps us understand what sets you apart from the competition.
How you make use of the resources already in place is just as important as what elements compose your online presence. It's not enough to have the right pieces of the puzzle. Unless they are in the right place and performing at maximum efficiency, you are not getting the full benefit of them. Our audit makes it possible to identify what's working effectively, what could be changed to be more effective, and what is holding you back.
During this phase, we will evaluate your domain authority. That means we will assess your domain names based on how easy they are to remember, the degree they describe what the reader will see when coming to the page, and the relevancy to your core business.
We'll also conduct what is known as a competitive analysis. This is a comparison and contrast with other leaders in your industry. Doing so helps us position your online efforts to showcase your goods or services in a way that grabs more attention from consumers who want what you have to offer.
Evaluating your use of keywords and how they rank in the major engines is also part of the audit. What words or phrases do you use now that help drive traffic and improve your ranking? We'll identify content on your pages and in your descriptions that perform well and others that need to go. We'll also come up with keywords that are frequently used in searches and prepare them for use on your pages.
- Developing the Strategy
After the audit, we get into the specifics of a fresh SEO strategy. Everything that is working today will remain part of the plan. Anything that was holding you back will be removed. Fresh content, images, descriptions, and other essentials will take the place of whatever was not yielding the desired result.
It's during the strategy planning that you begin to see what we can do for you. Our experience with SEO positions us to know where to look deeply into every area of your online presence. The comprehensive work we've done for other clients and the expertise we've developed come together to create a unique solution that truly makes your business stand out from the rest. Whether you are seeking to expand your reputation and reach in a local community or reach out to an international audience, we take what we've learned and make it happen.
We work closely with you on the strategy. That means you get to see what we plan on doing before it's done. It's your business after all. Making sure you know why we are making the changes and enhancements, and what results you can reasonably expect, is only ethical. As your partner, we pledge to always keep you in the loop on what is happening in the world of SEO, how it affects you, and what changes will keep your pages at the top of the rankings.
- Freshening Old Content and Adding Something New
The audit and developing a strategy compose the backbone of our 4-in-1 solution. Supporting that process is the need to freshen older content on your pages as well as develop additional content.
As you've heard with other forms of advertising, it's important to give consumers something new to enjoy from time to time. That includes the content they see on your website, social media pages, landing pages, and other online elements. We work to optimize old and new content so that it remains relevant and helpful to your readers, but also provides them with new insights and ideas. In this way, we help cultivate more loyalty with your existing clientele while continually offering something your prospective clients will enjoy.
- Optimization and Converting Leads Into Customers
The foundation we've established positions us to complete the initial optimization process and begin to test the effectiveness. Our team will optimize every element of your online process using images, keywords, and content designed to attract and hold the attention of your target audience. We are likely to create new landing pages that draw on the latest in search engine algorithms to generate the most attention. Calls to action will be seamlessly included in old and new content. Even elements like page construction that allows for faster loading or attractive display on smaller screens will be part of the optimization plan.
All these efforts combine with two key goals: attract readers to your pages and give them the motivation needed to click on a link and become a customer. Our team knows how to make it easier for readers to find you. Once we have them on your pages, we ensure they can always find a way to place an order, sign up for a service, or otherwise initiate a business relationship with you with ease.
- Next Comes the Refinement
Some people think that once a great SEO strategy is fully implemented that there is nothing else to be done. In fact, SEO is not a static art; it remains a work in progress from the moment it's launched.
Search engines are constantly refining the way they evaluate and rank pages. While many business owners hear of major overhauls in search engine algorithms, there are actually minor changes taking place regularly. Part of our commitment to you is to be aware of those changes, great or small. When something changes, we will refine your pages so that you get to keep your high ranking.
Why does refining matter so much? Keeping your pages higher in the rankings means more consumers find and stay on those pages long enough to choose your business over others. Did you know that the average consumer will visit seven times before making a decision? Refining your pages as the major search engines modify their algorithms ensure they have an easier time finding you and making those repeat visits.
Did you also know that poor backlinks or gratuitous use of backlinks in general could harm your ranking? We know which ones search engines like and which ones could harm you based on the algorithm changes and take action to correct the potential issue.
That's how we use SEO to get and keep you ahead of the competition. It is truly a process and not a project that can be completed once and never visited again.
Think of where you want to be this time next year. Would you like to have your pages rank higher? Do you want to reach more consumers? Would you like to enhance the reputation of your brand?
Contact us today and talk with our SEO experts. Discuss your hopes and goals for improving your online presence. Work with us to evaluate what you have in place and allow us to come up with a plan of action that builds on what you've already started. What we have to share will be exciting and open your mind to a whole new world of possibilities. Call or email us now and let's get started on building a brighter future for you and for your company.