SEO can be complicated in many cases, as many ranking factors are involved in generating strong organic search results.
In this, we just want to simplify a few things and outline the main areas which should be focusing on with SEO. Really, when it comes down to it, SEO is actually pretty simple at a strategic level.
Some important key areas of SEO that site owners need to consider are:
Technical SEO can seem a little daunting, but really, what we are talking about is ensuring that a search engine can read your content and explore your site. Much of this will be taken care of by the content management system you use, some tools to explore your website and highlight technical problems.
The main areas to consider here are:
Crawl – Can a search engine explore your site?
Index- Is it clear which pages the search engine should index and return?
Mobile – Does your site adapt for mobile users?
Speed – Fast page load times are a crucial factor in keeping your visitors happy.
Tech – Are you using search-engine-friendly tech or CMS for your website?
Hierarchy – How is your content structured on your website?
If you are a small business using WordPress for your website, technical SEO should be something you can check off your list pretty quickly. If you have a large, bespoke website with millions of pages, then technical SEO becomes much more important.
On-site SEO optimization
Assuming you have a well-structured site, applying sensible optimization is again relatively straightforward. Your website should be optimized as a whole and at an individual page level. There is some crossover here from your technical SEO, and you want to start with a well-structured content hierarchy for your site.
The main areas to focus on here are:
- Keyword research- Understand the language of your target audience.
- Descriptive URLs – Ensure each URL is simple and descriptive.
- Page titles – Use keywords naturally within the page title.
- Meta descriptions – Craft meta descriptions like they were ad copy to drive clicks.
- Content optimization – Sensibly use keywords and variations in your page copy.
- Good user experience (UX) – Ensure your site is a joy to use and navigate.
- Strong calls to action – Make it easy for your users to know what to do next.
- Structured data markup – Tap into the latest SERP features to improve click-through rates.
When optimizing your site, take time to consider your customers. If you are a local business, then local SEO is more important, and your address and location become crucial optimization points.
Content is king. That’s the saying, right? It’s true in a way. Your website is really just a wrapper for your content. Your content tells prospects what you do, where you do it, who you have done it for, and why someone should use your business. And if you’re smart, your content should also go beyond these obvious brochure-type elements and help your prospective customers achieve their goals.
For service businesses, we can loosely break your content down into three categories:
- Service content – What you do and where you do it.
- Credibility content – Why a prospect should engage with your business.
- Marketing content – Content that helps position you as an expert and puts your business in front of prospects in the marketing industry
It’s really important to realize that SEO is important for all of these kinds of content, but it is often only really considered for service-type content. SEO is often forgotten when it comes to credibility content like reviews, testimonials and case studies.
Off-site authority building
Eventually, all SEO rivers run to this one spot authority building. Building your authority, in large part, involves link building. Links are still a crucial component of developing strong organic rankings. However, links can be the hardest part of SEO to get right. It really is important here to get your link philosophy dialed in before you start, as this can truly make or break your link-building efforts. While link building is a deep topic that we can’t cover in depth here, if you can at least develop a positive link-building philosophy, you are already ahead of the majority of your competition.
As we are pretty sure they have never done any link building. This is because they have reams of useful content that gets linked. These are real, natural links that enrich the linking page, provide further context and serve as the real connective tissue of this hyperlinked world we live in. This kind of natural link should be the backbone of your link-building efforts. This may mean you have to revisit the content on your site and create something of value first, but if you can nail that, then you are halfway home.
Key takeaways here:
- Make sure you are building the kind of real links that make sense in the real world and won’t upset the qualitative and sometimes punitive parts of the algorithm.
- Ensure you have content that deserves to rank and deserves to be linked to.
SEO does not need to be overly complex. These keys areas of SEO that you need to be considered, a structured and methodical process so that it can be followed to optimize your site.
We sincerely hope this post helps you cut through the noise, improve your rankings and generate more business from organic search!