Search Engine Optimization (SEO) doesn’t have to be difficult or confusing. Let’s try to dispel some of the myths and confusion around SEO. The first thing we need to clear up is some confusion around terms.
When people say “SEO” what they are really talking about is ranking higher in Google. The technical term for this is Search Engine Ranking Position or “SERP”.
What’s the difference between SEO and SERP?
Search Engine Optimization is a technical process that makes a website more friendly to search engines. For example, making a website load fast, utilize an SSL certificate, or be mobile-friendly are all examples of search engine optimization. Search Engine Ranking Positions are all about what position a website is ranking for within a given search term, for example, “WordPress Management Company”.
Generally speaking, the terms are used almost interchangeably, but it’s good to understand the difference because they both are necessary and both come into play in a Search Engine Marketing (SEM) strategy.
The first step to developing an SEM strategy is to identify which keywords or phrases you would like your website to rank for, measuring what your current SERP is for those keywords, and then working to improve your SERP to the desired position.
So how do you get started? The first step is to perform an SEO audit on your website. This is something you can do yourself, or if you would like we’d be happy to do it for you. Click here to contact us.
Performing An SEO Audit On Your Website
Generate a Google Lighthouse Report. It will reveal how Google grades your website. If all you want to do is “optimize” your website for “search” then correcting any issues found in the Lighthouse report is probably all you will need to do.
What keywords or search phrases would you like to rank higher for, and what position are you ranking in for those keywords now? To answer that question go to semrush.com and run a report. If you don’t want to sign up for an account, send us an email and we’ll run a report for you.
Run an audit of “local citations” to ensure consistency. These are directories, like Yelp, that list your “NAP” or Name, Address, and Phone Number. This not only helps people who are trying to find your business, but it contributes to your SERP on Google.
The final step is to act on the information gained in previous steps. Resolve the technical issues from the Lighthouse report with the help of a skilled web developer. Contact us if you don’t have one. Use the information from SEM Rush to create a plan to increase your rank for keywords you are ranking low for.
How to improve your Search Engine Ranking Position (SERP)
The specific approach to SEO is going to vary from site to site, at the same time, the methods are generally going to fall along the same lines, including:
Resolving issues identified by a Google Lighthouse audit. Resolve the issues that Google itself identifies on your website. Additional technical items include URL Structure, Site Mapping, Adding ALT text to images, etc.
Local Citations / Google My Business
Your business should have a consistent Name, Address, and Phone number (NAP) across the internet. Optimizing and fully completing the GMB profile. Adding images and videos if available. Posting status updates 1-2 times per month.
Keyword Optimization / Content
Adding on-site content. For example, services pages, FAQ pages, About pages, and blog posts all provide opportunities to add natural and relevant target keywords.
Backlinks are the number of other websites that link back to yours. The type of link, as well as the quality of the other site play a factor in the SEO value or “link juice” provided by the backlink.
How to measure SEO Performance?
It’s obviously important to first establish a baseline, and then measure progress against that baseline on an ongoing basis. Here are the three ways we go about doing that:
Google Search Console
Search Console tells us what keywords visitors are using to find your site, your average rank for those keywords, the number of times your site appears in search results, and how often links to your site are clicked.
We use Google Analytics to track the amount of traffic to your website and what site visitors do on your site after they arrive. The key metrics we look at are: Number of visitors, Bounce rate, and total time on the site.
Used by 30% of Fortune 500 companies, SEM Rush provides access to vast amounts of search data, as well as monitoring and measuring the effectiveness of Search Engine Optimization on a particular website.
How much does SEO cost?
We help our clients with everything from initial SEO auditing, onsite search engine optimization, and improving search engine ranking position. The cost for our services ranges from free to over $10,000 based on the services required, the size of the website in question, the size of the local market, and the competitiveness of the industry, and the competitiveness of the keywords being targeted. In general, we are able to create a plan to fit any budget and encourage you to contact us for more information.
The industries we serve include but are not limited to:
Chambers Of Commerce
Industrial & Manufacturing
Retail & E-commerce
Travel & Leisure
The Drawbacks of SEO
Search Engine Optimization is fun and when done correctly it offers long-lasting results. This makes SEO one of the best forms of digital marketing as it tends to be “the gift that keeps on giving” long after you’ve stopped paying for it. That said, it isn’t right for every situation.
Improving SERPs is a long-term investment, so it is not well suited to one-time events, promotions, or information that is generally short-lived. That’s not to say this information won’t rank well in Google. Keep in mind is that Google always wants to connect the searcher with the information they are searching for.