What is SEO? Why should I care?

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What is SEO?

To put it as simply as possible, SEO increases your standing with google and other search engines so you get more organic search traffic.

Search engines want to bring the searcher as much value as possible so they have developed ways to determine if your site is trustworthy and growing.

There are many factors that go into SEO, such as keyword selection and structure, heading structure, blog entries, product descriptions, service descriptions, internal and external links, and more.

Visitor Experience

This is for some reason one of the most overlooked factors in seo. Just like a brick and mortar business, customer experience is still incredibly important!

Of course keywords and content are important to get traffic to your site but the amount of time a customer spends on, and interacts with your site once they get there are becoming more and more important to google. In a world of “cookie cutter” and people trying to take shortcuts, google is becoming smarter and smarter. They want to give the most value to the people searching on their website because that brings people back.

If you try to trick google or the people that visit your website through keyworded content that doesn’t have any real value or expertise the internet will know. Google has a history of getting smarter and shutting down traffic to websites that “found a loophole.” There are no viable long term shortcuts anymore

Keyword Selection

What are SEO keywords?

Keywords are words or phrases people type in to search engines to search for something on the internet.

How to Pick the Best Keywords.

When looking for keywords you have to consider your current website strength. If I’m generalizing though I would say to look for high traffic, low competition keywords. That means keywords that are being searched by potential customers that other websites are not targeting at heavily as others. If you don’t have the proper research software there will be a lot more trial and error in this process

Keyword selection involves more than you might think. Common sense would tell you that if you are a painting company in Chicago you would target the keyword phrase “Painters in Chicago” or something similar. Maybe that is the most searched term for your industry but if 100 other painters are already targeting that keyword you may actually get more traffic going with a less searched term like “interior painters in South Chicago.” Then once you rank for the smaller keyword and build up more website strength you can go for “painters in Chicago.”

Where to do Keyword Research

There are multiple paid tools such as Moz (which is what I use) to do keyword research. I recommend using a paid service because it is the only way I have found to get all the information in one place. I am yet to find an equally effective way to do keyword research with free tools.

Google search keyword research

One of the simplest ways to find out what people are searching for is in google search itself.

Let’s go back to the painting company in Chicago. If you go to google.com and type “painters in Chicago” google will populate suggested search queries or keywords. These are based on what people actually search for in google. It won’t tell you if competitors are targeting those keywords or what your chances are for ranking but it is a good starting point if you have nothing else.

Content Creation and Updating

What is Content?

When it comes to your website, content is any text, pictures, or videos. So pretty much everything :). It’s hard to tell a lot of the time but the strongest websites have every section planned out to target different keyword and keyword groups.

Let me give you an example that worked well with me recently. I was working with a local hemp company that sold CBD products. They have a product called CBD Kief. CBD Kief happened to be a regularly searched keyword that didn’t have a lot of competition targeting it. I started by formatting the description toward my target keyword and sub keywords, but I didn’t stop there. My next step was to write a blog called “What is CBD Kief?.” I did this because then google not only realizes they offer CBD Kief but also that they are experts on the product and the topic through the blog.

With proper content/keyword structure and placement your pages work together to create a body of work that is recognizable and reputable to google and your consumer.

Link Structure

Backlinks

Backlinks are links that come from other websites such as blogs and social media. If someone posts a clickable link to your website anywhere on the internet that is considered a backlink.

As an example, if someone shares your product or blog on social media or another website that is considered a backlink.

Does Google care about backlinks?

Google has focused more on backlinks in recent years because they feel if you provide something of value that people will want to share it. This is part of why creating great content is important. The more people that share your site the higher you will rank in search.

Should I pay for backlinks?

Backlinks are better earned organically. For instance, a company shares a link to your blog article because it is a great source of information. That is an ideal backlink. You want to stay away from paid backlinks because Google is getting smart enough to see what’s happening.

Internal Linking

Internal links are links on your website linking to other parts of your website.

Example:

If I sell Jade Jewelry and I also have a blog on what jade is and where it comes from I would have links on my product pages linking to the blog and the blog to my product pages. This provides benefit to the customer because it lets them know there is other relevant info or products to what they are currently looking at. Google also uses internal links as a ranking factor because it provides a better customer experience and that’s what they want.

Structured Data Schema Markup

Structured data markup is a certain way to code products, articles and more to make it easier for google and other search engines to read it. Structured data markup is how google will identify your content for rich snippets such as the one below.

Formatting your content for rich snippets is becoming increasingly important as google is trying to answer every search query with some kind of rich snippet.

In Conclusion

There is SEO Possibility in every word, picture, and video on your website. Keyword research and a knowledge of heading and paragraph structure are incredibly important in having a website that google and other search engines recognize and rank in search queries.

The concepts of SEO are fairly easy to understand but applying those concepts in a structure that google can understand and is good for your customers takes a long time to master. The amount of research to do it properly is pretty intense and you need to love analyzing numbers to really know what is going on and be able to make the right moves.

If you want a Free professional website SEO consultation let me know. You can decide if you want to go with my services or if you want to keep it in house after we go over your plan.

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