Search Engine Optimization
Close to half of all business owners (45%) surveyed recently, indicated they didn’t have a firm grasp of search engine optimization/SEO services [source]. Business owners who understand the importance of SEO and act on recommendations place themselves in a good position to separate themselves from their competitors.
What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization refers to the process of improving a website’s visibility in search engines. It involves using various techniques to increase organic traffic from major search engines like Google, Yahoo! and Bing. The topic covers many areas, and Goliath Creations can help you discover which SEO services your company needs to get recognized.
Why is SEO still important?
When you open a local or online business, you want people to recognize you. When it comes to brick-and-mortar companies, what is the marketing mantra? Location! Location! Location! If your company does not have a prime piece of real estate, then you will spend more on advertising and marketing to get customers in your door.
With SEO, you can drive customers to your local operations. Same thing with your online business. We can create an SEO strategy that will improve the performance of your website and user experience, identify relevant keywords, target appropriate search queries, and boost conversion rates.
When you leverage SEO tools and tactics, you will set a foundation for more people to learn about your unique selling proposition and turn those leads into paying customers.
It starts with a technical SEO audit
Before we make any recommendations, we need to conduct a technical SEO audit. This process establishes a benchmark for your website’s performance and provides a look “under the hood” to see if your site has any lingering issues that will hurt your search engine rankings.
This audit looks at several factors, including:
- Google Analytics: This is a free tool from Google that tracks the behavior of your website visitors. It tells you how many people visit your site; what pages they look it; what pages they enter your site, and from which ones they leave; it informs you if they visit more than one page, or if they leave after visiting just a single site (this is your bounce rate).
- Mobile-friendly: Does your site display properly on a cell phone? Google is moving toward a mobile-first indexing system, so if your site is not easy for smartphone users you will not rank as high.
- Page load speed: Does your site load fast enough? If not, potential customers will bounce from your site.
- Metadata: Your website contains metadata that signals to search engines what the content of each page is. The main metadata are titles and meta descriptions.
- Titles: Do your pages have titles that help convey the intent of your page to search engines like Google? These titles appear in the SERPs (search engine result pages). We will analyze your titles and make sure they follow best practices for SEO.
- Meta descriptions: These are the descriptions that appear in search results under your titles. They cannot be too long, and they should convey the intent of your page and entice people to click through to your page. We’ll evaluate your meta descriptions to ensure they meet best practices.
- Headings/H1 tags: Similar to titles, this is the text that appears on your pages as the main headline. Sometimes pages have more than one H1, and it can be confusing to search engine crawlers.
- ALT text for images: ALT text refers to “alternative text” that describes a photo or graphic used on a web page. This is one often overlooked, but it is important for a few reasons. It can help your page rank higher if you use your keyword in it, and if the photo fails to display, the ALT text will be shown to site visitors. The third is the most important: The ALT text is read to site visitors with visual impairments, which helps your site meet accessibility standards.
- Schema: Also known as mark-up language or structured data, this is a way to identify the information and data on a web page so the search engines know exactly what it is. In the broad sense, schema can indicate whether the page is an article, a service page, or a city page. It identifies some of the data as hours your business is open, a product name, or a product price.
- Keyword strategy: In order to get in front of the right people, you need to know what words they use to search for products and services, like the ones you offer. Proper keyword research and understanding search intent will lead to a strong keyword strategy to help you reach more potential customers.
- Robots.txt: This small text file on your website directs search engines to pages they can index and pages they can ignore. Unfortunately, some sites mistakenly tell search engines to ignore the entire site and not index any pages. If your pages are not indexed, they will never appear in search results. We’ll make sure this doesn’t happen to you.
- Sitemaps: These files instruct search engines where to find your important pages, and they convey info about the pages, videos, and other kinds of files you have on your website.
How does SEO work?
The goal of search engine optimization is to get you and your company noticed by the right people. How do you get in front of the right people? You leverage the benefits of SEO and act on the recommendations that arise from a technical SEO audit.
Search engine optimization covers three broad areas: Technical SEO (seen above), content-based SEO, and local SEO.
When it comes to content and local SEO, strategies, and tactics fall into two categories: On-page and off-page SEO.
Off-page SEO refers to all of your efforts that happen off your website. This includes things like link building (getting other websites to link back to your content); writing press releases that appear in print and online publications; social media marketing; and guest blogging (perhaps you write an article that appears on your trade association’s website).
All of these off-page activities help to build you up as an authority and expert in your field. But, as you can see, these activities require someone else’s permission.
At Goliath Creations, we focus on the all-important on-page SEO because that is the area in which you have the most control.
On-page SEO refers to all those things you do on your site/page. The great news here for you as a business owner is you get to decide what happens … there’s no waiting for someone to give you the nod.
Nearly all of the activities involved with a technical SEO audit fall under on-page SEO. They work together to raise awareness about your business when people search terms related to the products and services you provide to customers.
In order to generate search traffic to your website, you need the right kind of content with the right kind of structure.
Content creation is all about matching the user intent with your page’s intent. When a person is looking for something online, they enter in terms (we call them keywords) that create a search intent.
For example, someone looking for “SEO services near me” wants to find a local company that can help provide a search engine optimization service. That is the search intent, or user intent.
This page discusses SEO services, organic search, keyword ideas, and other related ideas. So, the page intent is “SEO services.”
When the user intent matches the page intent, Google will try to bring the two together.
Content creation involves much more than just writing about a topic.
Keyword research plays a big role in content-based SEO because you want to make sure the content on your website aligns as closely as possible to someone’s search intent. This involves using keyword research tools that show the monthly search volume for certain words/search terms and how difficult it is to rank for the term.
For example, if you are an attorney who practices family law. What words should you focus on? Family law? Family attorney? Family lawyer? Divorce attorney? Divorce lawyer? Custody lawyer? Custody attorney?
The keyword you choose will affect where you end up in the search rankings and how much organic search traffic you can drive to your site.
Some keywords are more difficult to rank for. But, the experienced SEO specialist will be able to cut through the clutter and arrive at a group of keywords that have good search volume and are relatively easy to rank for. It takes someone who understands the complete keyword research process.
To get relevant traffic, you need relevant content. You have to offer your website visitors information that is of value to them, information that helps solve a problem or answer a question they have. Treat your visitors well, and they will treat you well. Give them what they are looking for.
Next steps for SEO services
Did you know, 57% of marketing executives said on-page content development was the most effective SEO tactic? Goliath Creations is a Web design and SEO agency with expertise in on-page SEO.
We can ensure your website’s performance measures up, that your on-page SEO meets best practices, and that your content is highly relevant and optimized.
Let’s work together to help raise awareness about your business so you can connect with the right people looking for what you have to offer.