Search Engine Optimization

SEO stands for “search engine optimization”. The purpose of developing a structured SEO approach is to improve your website‘s rankings. 

When people search on a search engine, such as Google, the results that pop up include paid and unpaid options. SEO takes place in this latter section—the unpaid ranking of websites in how high they appear on the page. It deals with clicks on these websites; aka the organic traffic some see versus don't on their website.

 
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Components

Many people associate SEO solely with keywords. However, there is more that goes into optimizing your site for search engines past keyword research and utilization. 

Background Research

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The first part of SEO, and your marketing strategy in general, is knowing who your target audience is. A target audience is the generalization of characteristics that group your customer-base together. This phase within the context of SEO is gathering information about what users want from your site. Additionally, it is important to conduct industry research to identify trends in your industry and how to differentiate yourself from your competitors. 

Competition Research

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In addition to researching your industry and keywords, it is important to identify how competitors are drawing their customer's attention. This will help dig deeper into your target customers mindset about their needs when searching. They are finding your competitors for a reason; it is vital to understand how and why in order to separate yourself from them and gain more traction. It comes back to the old saying, know thy enemy, or in this case, the other guy competing for your customer. 

Content Production & Optimization

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To increase ranking, new, updated, and high-quality content is required. Content production and editing doesn’t just include the creation of new content, but also refreshing current content including the utilization of up-to-date keywords and statistics. If your work has data from ten years ago, it can make users (and Google) question your credibility. It also demonstrates that you are still active online with recent posts and information as well as can bring returning users back if they see what they read from you has been updated.

Analytics & Reporting

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Google Analytics is a top form for understanding your ranking as Google is one of the most often utilized search engines. Another part of this is creating backlinks that don’t violate Google’s guidelines. There are free resources for you to review, available from Google. Understanding the reports can take some technical knowledge and is quite time consuming; which is why many companies hire SEO experts.  

Keywords

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There is more to keywords than stuffing them into your website and within your content. "Stuffing" will actually cause more long term harm than any potential short term benefit as Google's algorithm will spot this and tank your ranking for using such a manner. It is critical to do time-intensive research to figure out the correct keywords that will bring you valuable traffic. Keywords utilized need to be searched often enough that it is worth your time to try and attract these searchers as well as not be impenetrable to get within the top 10 of businesses using them or else you won't improve your page positioning and it will cost you time and money without yielding results. Additionally, it is important to identify how customers search for businesses like yours. One such thought you need to delve into is, what questions are they asking when on a search engine? What need do they want fulfilled? 

Site Architecture Optimization

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Keywords and research are all good, but they aren’t worth anything if your site is inhospitable to your visitors. When they visit your site, they need to have a great experience. This includes elements like fast loading content and no missing links. Many users (including ourselves) enjoy a simple experience on a website. We want to find what we want without having to do a dig worthy of archeologists. Those trained in SEO can assist in reducing the number of clicks it takes for users to get to the information they desire utilizing internal links and keep your URLs both short and efficient. A pleasant appearing website is important, but so is the functionality and this is not something to skim over. Many websites are visited on a mobile device as well as desktop, so ensuring the mobile-friendly version is just as clean and efficient is vital.  

Link Building &    Digital PR

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Link building is getting other websites to have one of your URLs on their site—aka "linking" your site to theirs. This is helpful in two ways as it drives referral traffic as well as having others reference your site indicates to search engines that your site is credible. Great content, influencer reviews, and partner links are a few ways this can be accomplished. Linking is one of the most crucial elements to increasing your ranking.

Timeline

SEO is not a quick turnaround solution for drawing traffic to your site. It is focused on increasing organic traffic to your website. It won’t be until the second/third month of implementation that the initial strategy can be assessed and optimized with an understanding of what is and isn’t working. SEO is a long-term investment, but it is imperative to any digital marketing strategy. Following this progression, you will notice your traffic increasing as well as your strategy even more specified for you and your customers.

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Why is SEO Important for You

Everyday there are around 5.6 billion searches per day on Google; with around three to four searches per person per day! Yet most people—and clicks—don’t go past the first page of search results. SEO is a vital part of digital marketing and increasing organic traffic flow to your website. Tailoring your SEO can improve your ranking and grow your business. 

 Without this, you will have to rely on paid advertisements, which can cost you a lot of money in the long run and don’t always produce the results you desire. Versus paid advertising, the money you put into understanding and improving your SEO/unpaid representation will yield you a greater online presence and customers who find you without being directly paid for.

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Want to learn more about how SEO can help you, 

contact our SEO Director at: 

mikayla@livefivewebdesign.com