Search Engine Optimization
What is Search
Just a couple of years ago, at least 75% of clicks went to sites that appeared on page one of Google’s search results. Roughly 33% went to the top ranking site for the search query. And 41% of clicks go to the top 3 ranked Google Ads.
These statistics about search engine optimization (SEO) and pay- per-click (PPC) prove that search marketing is an essential strategy for businesses.
A Certified SEO Agency
Organic traffic, also known as earned traffic, is “free” or non-paid visits to your website. But thinking about search engine optimization as a free way to build marketing traffic is a huge disservice to you and your marketing team. Developing and implementing a good SEO strategy takes a lot of worker power. So instead of thinking of SEO as free, think of it as non-paid in the long term. When your site ranks organically for a keyword or key phrase, that means you’ve created a lot of compelling content that matches a web visitor’s search intent.
Like the statistics showed, a higher search ranking brings visibility to your website. Optimization (SEO) is more than a Yoast SEO score (though tools like Yoast can be helpful). It’s more than alt-tagging and meta descriptions (though those are also good!). More than anything, search engine optimization is about supplying valuable content to people who are looking for it in the format they desire.
Types of Search Engine Optimization
In truth, there are a million ways to increase your organic search results. However, these are the most common terms you’ll hear SEOs talk about in reference to a site strategy.
1. Off-Page SEO
Off-page SEO is all about content interactions that happen off of your website. That includes gathering reviews on your Google Business Profile, social media, affiliate links, podcasting, and other forms of podcasting or interacting with your audience.
2. Technical SEO
Technical SEO refers to the basic structure of your website, including the site speed, site map, and more. With a variety of auditing platforms at hand, we’re able to look at what makes your website tick and diagnose (and fix) rank-threatening issues.
3. Keyword Research
Using trusted tools, we assess search volume and keyword difficulties for the words you want to rank to identify high-value opportunities. This informs our content strategy.
4. Content Development + On-Page Optimizations
With our keywords and site structure determined, we can generate human-first content that search engines also understand, index, and rank. But it doesn’t end with putting words on a page. On-Page Optimizations like adding images, videos, proper header structures, anchor text and more are also vital for improving page performance.
Watch your number of ranking terms increase, your positions rise, and your site performance metrics improve as we continuously improve your SEO. Yes, this process takes time, but it’s also key for reaching new audiences and staying in front of the ones who know you already.
Build a Site with a Healthy Foundation
If you’re developing a new site, you have a rare, excellent opportunity to prevent problems that might inhibit your site from ranking well. Start with critically thinking about your sitemap and site navigation. What pages and topics are important to your users? How will pages link to each other? The way you organize and categorize your site is one of many significant signals to Google about the topic of your site. A site that has a nonsensical flow or no precise topic and purpose is not likely to rank well.
In addition to your site’s navigation structure, make sure you check other technical aspects of your site. Things like slow site speed, broken links, and code limiting your website’s crawlability can hinder your SEO performance. One of the big things web designers tend to forget is the importance of a website’s UX across multiple devices. If your website’s performance suffers on mobile, you’re at risk of losing a significant (50-60%) share of traffic.
Draft and Implement a Content Strategy
Once you have a good site in place, you can truly optimize it with excellent copy. Copywriting for SEO is a mix of technical skill and creative flair. Copy should always be simple to read, and focused on a specific topic. Subject matter for your copy needs to be motivated by keyword and keyphrase research.
By researching keywords, you can learn approximately how much effort you’ll need to put in to rank for particular terms or phrases. Finally, as you’re writing the copy, structure the pages in an SEO-friendly way. Adding the proper headers, spacing, and visuals to your site makes it easier to read and more fun to engage with.
There are dozens of ways to tweak and improve the content on your pages. Headers, links, and optimized videos and images are a few of many. There’s a lot you can do on your own, but having an SEO-knowledgable team on your side can expedite your efforts.
How long does SEO take?
Well, it's never "done," but we tend to see improvements on ranking for a key term within 1-4 weeks of launching new content or making other substantive changes. Noticeable site-wide improvements tend to occur after several months of an SEO partnership.
A go-to term for SEOs is "it depends," and that's not because we exist to annoy you. It's because Google has different crawl frequencies for different sites and uses 200+ factors to determine page rank. It's because you have competition that's ranking, and every time your competition improves, we have to as well. It's because it's almost never possible to jump from outside of Google's top 100 into the top 10 links in one fell swoop. And, well, it's always changing (Google Marketing Live 2023 announcements, anyone?).
An improvement may be jumping from beyond position 100 into the top fifty. It might be moving from fifty to thirty, or fifteen to eight, or 3 to a featured snippet. Hang in there, and hold on to the little wins as they come. The big ones eventually follow.
Our most successful clients understand the importance of putting consistent content out, sticking to a single strategy, and trying new things.
What reporting tools should I have set up for SEO?
We're glad you asked! We recommend setting up Google Search Console, Google Analytics, Google Business Profile, Bing Places for Business and Google Tag Manager as quickly as possible whether you work with us or not.
If you don't know how, we can help! However, with Search Console and Analytics, you'll have no data before the date you set it up. Historical data can show us where we started so we know if our work is making a difference. Having those accounts set up in advance is a huge help that gets us working on your site faster.
Can I do SEO on my own?
Sure! Many in-house teams look for an seo agency to help lift the load. If you have a content team, we can guide them with the strategy and execute the optimization when it's written. If you have an awesome developer, we can work alongside them too.
We've trained teams on using tools like SEMrush, Google Search Console, and others to help them achieve their goals, and we've been the sole SEO support for other clients. There are many ways to get it done.
Should I invest in SEO or Ads?
We recommend both! Ads can get you instant traffic while SEO builds up your long-term organic traffic strength. The two can help each other, and appearing in more places on the SERP just makes your company more dominant and top of mind.