SEO (search engine optimization) is using on-site and off-site methods to increase traffic to your site by getting listed higher in organic, non-paid, search results.
There are a lot of scams and myths concerning the black box of SEO. There is no magic method you can pay for and get legitimate results.
On-site SEO Search Engine Optimization
Competitive research – Find out why is your online competition is listed higher than you for key search terms. Look at the different pages of your competition’s site. Read their content carefully and look for key search terms and phrases for each subject or page. From this research, develop a list of search terms and phrases for similar subjects or pages in your site. If they have pages on services that you offer, but don’t have on your site, put those pages together.
Keyword research – Find out how well your search terms could perform on your site and if people are actually using them find products and services like yours. Once you have your list together, use Google’s Search Console to see how many searches are really being done for those terms and phrases. It will also give you other suggestions for terms, along with the number of searches done for those. Refine your list for each subject/page.
Writing content – Now write or rewrite your content using the list of search terms you have come up with. Do not copy content from the competitor’s site. Don’t even copy it and then reword it. Google will find it and penalize you for it.
Writing page tags – The only tags that are read by Google, Bing, and Yahoo are page title and description. The keyword tag hasn’t been looked at by them for years. The tags must by relevant to the content on the page, should include key terms, and must not exceed the allowable length.
Up-to-date code and responsive design (mobile friendly) – Google wants to see the newest code methods being used for all websites. Additionally they want all sites to be responsive or mobile friendly. This does not mean using the latest designer wiz bang graphic styles. If your site is older and not using the current standard in code, it will hurt your ranking.
Structuring your site correctly – Organize your site by grouping like pages together. It seems logical but a lot of sites don’t do it. When done correctly, the keywords and phrases of the different pages will support each other. It also helps customers find what they are looking for faster.
Domain – How old your domain is, how long is it reserved for, and the words used in it are important factors for your sites ranking. Most older sites have domains that are the name of the business. But now it is better to have what your business is or does than the business name.
New content – Search engines want to see continuous new content on your site. Your SEO and marketing plan should include adding new content on a regular basis. This can be through a blog, adding press releases, company or industry news, or just additions to products and services.
Off-Site SEO Search Engine Optimization
Link building – You want other sites that have content related to your site, to link to your site. Not your site linking to them. Incoming or backlinks are the number one thing the search engines look for and it is the hardest thing to achieve.
“Natural” link building is when someone likes your site so much they add a link to it from their site. This is okay but you want that site to be related to the business you’re in.
Cross links or exchanging links where you give someone a link from your site and they give you one back works well for local business in different cities.
Getting backlinks is not technically difficult but very time consuming and frustrating. It’s not just getting a link – it’s getting ones that Google likes. This is very important now that Google is penalizing for bad links.
Social media – Participating in social as a business is different from your personal account. Search engines look at the “likes” and “+1” responses to a businesses posts.
Top 10 ranking guarantees – If someone offers, or guarantees, to put your website in the top 10 or first place in a search engine, run away. While it is possible to get you great ranking if they get to choose the keywords, you won’t get any visitors out of it. Many people have been hooked by these claims, only to see their money disappear with no change in position.
Monthly SEO charges – The only things someone can do for you that would justify a monthly charge is:
- Write new content
- Post on social media
- Get backlinks
Submitting your site to x number of search engines – There is no website submission anymore. Google looks for your site by finding links for it in other sites.
Our SEO company is certified by Google – Google doesn’t certify SEO companies.
Google’s Matt Cutts said – What Matt says isn’t exactly what he means. For example, when Matt said content of your site is the most important thing to Google. What he meant is that your content should inspire people to discuss your site and link to it from other sites.
The key is be careful. Because there are a lot of scams out there.