We offer SEO services to help you rank above your competition! We have comprised a short list of some best practice SEO techniques to help you start your campaigns!
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What is SEO by Definition?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Search engines such as google have to deal with unimaginable quantities of information. This information needs to be quickly displayed when prompted by a searching party as well as provide a relevant keyword match to that specific search term. For instance, if you searched the term “mouse trap” you wouldn’t want the term “keyboard mice” to get listed in the search results. This is the premise SEO is built upon and the practice of optimizing your content in order to rank higher is the definition. Getting listed at the top is essential, especially in our increasingly competitive digital landscape, and should be a part of every 2017 marketing strategy.
Why Is SEO So Tricky?
The simple answer points to the algorithms. Google and other search engines use complex algorithms (computer calculations) in order to rank sites that it deems fit to grant that coveted 1st page spot (as well as the others). That is simple enough, however, most search engines change their algorithm constantly so it is hard to keep up to speed what is going on from week to week unless you know where to look.
What Will Never Change?
We do know that a few things are most likely not going to change in the foreseeable future. Here is a general list that is a good reference to beginning SEO practices. It is important to know too that there are things that positively affect your score and negatively affect your score.
SEO strategies fall under two distinct classification, White Hat SEO and Black Hat SEO. White hat SEO techniques are defined as any action that increases your site’s SEO in a manner that genuinely makes it easier for the search engine to classify and index the topics on your site and ultimately, bring well-written content to the internet. Black Hat SEO on the other hand, increases your site ranking, but for the most part is only used to fool the search engines. White Hat is definitely the way to go because the algorithm bot may flag your site and actually hinder your ranking or even worse, blacklist your site from searches altogether.
Here is a short list of basic practices that will start your SEO campaign in the right direction.
How Your Website Is Designed- The most important aspect that affects your SEO has to do with how your website was designed. Think of it this way, you can have all the SEO enhancements known to man on your site but if your site is too complicated (or not designed specifically) for Google to actually read then it is just a waste of time. Builders that let you drag and drop, like Wix, are ranking nightmares because the code gets sporadically placed and looks like a jumbled up mess to the search engine bots. Coding from scratch is always a good thing but think about practicality when starting or redesigning your website.
If you are just a small local business then spending huge amounts of money on a coded site just isn’t a sound decision. We recommend template coded sites such as wordpress. These web templates are fully customizable and start your code off very organized so you can be sure Google (and other bots) understands what you are saying.
Title Tags- More commonly known as page titles, are very important in your SEO ranking. The title tells the search engine “This page is about (this)” hence why we listed this as a top priority. Implementing the use of search terms as title tags is another important technique that will pay off when Google and other search engines index your site content. You can look for great title tags by using Google Adwords to look up what popular search terms strategists are using (as well as your competitors).
Normal title tag: Our Services
Enhanced Search Term Title Tag: How Does SEO Improve Ranking
Keywords- Most people understand that keywords are essential for search ranking, however, as with most areas of SEO there is a black hat way to do things and a white hat way. In the past, marketers would list dozens of keywords and jump straight to the top of the rankings. In recent years, search engines have evolved past this and listing hundreds of keywords can actually hurt your ranking. You need to integrate the keywords into a readable, coherent sentence so when search bots scan your page it actually makes sense. Be sure to list keywords that are specific to your industry. The use of long tail keywords is very beneficial, which is a bit like title tags listed above. The long tail keywords are very specific to what people would type into the search to locate your product or service. Image keywords (naming your website images something relevant) will also help to make your image searchable in the search engine “image search” function as well as giving your SEO a boost due to the indexing.
Location Tags/Keywords- These are very important to local businesses. Google doesn’t know where your local business is located unless you tell it otherwise. Location tags are the very process search bots use in determining just that. Good places to insert location tags on your website for SEO starts with the basics which are as follows:
- Your URL is a prime location (no pun intended)
- Somewhere in your footer text
- Displayed prominently on your site’s side navigation bars
- The header or top bar is a great place
A more advanced tactic uses location tags throughout your articles, about us page, services, and others. You have to be careful though, Google’s algorithm can sniff out abuse. If you spam 100’s of locations not actually in your service area you will get penalized. It is best to make sure all your location keywords are working together (on your footer, pages, our service area page, etc.)
Google Business Info Update*
It is extremely important to remember to create or update your Google Business info. Usually, this is the first thing individuals searching will see from your business (if searching with Google) and it has the ability to rank your business via on site SEO as well as Google’s own “quick map” at the top of the page.
Social Media and Other Directories (External SEO)- Essentially, facebook, instagram, twitter etc. are just online directories (like Google Business or even Yelp) that give you an opportunity to post your website URL thus giving you a backlink. Directories are a great idea and if you are in reputable ones, your SEO score is increased. However, if you are listed in any sites that have been blacklisted by Google or other search engines then your score could actually drop a bit. It is always important to check online “best lists” to get listed with. A general rule is any social site or search engine listing is going to be a great choice.
Content- This seems most intuitive when creating a website, you obviously need “stuff” on your page. However, content is what ties all the principals together to make a readable, searchable experience to the end reader.
The more unique and relevant the content, the better it will be for your SEO score. This means copying and pasting is usually a bad idea. However, you can use competitor websites in order to make a nice outline of your content to help you start.
The longer the better, usually. If you have ever seen webpages with a sentence or two and then quickly navigated away, well, Google does the same thing in regards to indexing. It is good to shoot for a few hearty paragraphs.
Remember to incorporate all the keywords, locations, and other SEO tactics in your content as long as it makes readable sense.