A short introduction to the world of SEO (Search Engine Optimization), in layman's terms, and how your company can grow with its utilization.
The world of SEO spans far and wide. There are so many questions you and your team must have, and we'll do our best to bring to light the key points, and how SEO can help promote your business. There are three main entities within SEO, and they are Technical SEO, On-page, and Off-page. Technical SEO is the structure and verbiage within the data side of your site. On-page is what the user physically sees on the website. This includes the writing, images, video, and layout of the site. Off-page refers to other companies or individuals websites that backlink articles, pictures, etc to your website, known as backlinks. Let's take a look at them individually.
Technical SEO is really a part of On-page SEO, as it occurs within your site and alters how pages are seen, but can be classified as its own category as its composed of so many elements. Components such as HTML, metadata, H1 tags, and proper formatting goes into ensuring your website will rank higher in the search engine results page (SERPS). If you are a business owner responsible for your own site, there are several small but often overlooked features within your website host or builder to help improve your rank. Platforms such as Wix, Squarespace, Shopify, and others all offer various options to help format and add keyword tags to your site. Items such as "alt tags," "Meta Description," "H1 tag," and others should be used in order to tell search engines what it is on your page. Google can't read photos, so adding a brief description into the "alt text" will let Google know what the photo is comprised of. Some platforms offer URL structure options, so take that into account if you are looking into building a new site. Lack of flexibility with URL structure can lead to collection and product difficulties if you run an e-commerce site. Remember with Tech SEO, little things like tags can make a huge difference down the road, so don't neglect them.
On Page SEO is comprised of everything that occurs within your website. This includes the styling, how users interact with your site, the colors and overall appeal of your site. As a business, you want to appeal to your users, provide a smooth experience, and leaving a lasting impression on them. A website that is inviting, has on brand formatting, colors, and fonts will entice customers to come back over and over again. If your website is ugly or doesn't coordinate with what users think of your brand, then they are less likely to return. If you know HTML and CSS then you already know the flexibility you possess with styling your website. If you don't have any coding experience, don't worry! Most website builders and platforms utilize themes and allow you to make easy changes to colors, fonts, images, and even layout. All of these items go into making your website a more user friendly experience. Two major often overlooked aspects of quality on-page SEO are Site Speed and Mobile Friendly. Your website can be optimized with plugins, or proper code to ensure your site loads fast. Speed of loading is a huge factor in whether or not a person is going to stick around to view your page. On average, a person will leave your site if a page or image takes more than two seconds to load. 80% of Websites are now viewed on phones. Most site builders only work great on either desktop or mobile, but allow you to view what they'll look like while you're building, so it is advised that you optimize for users on phones and tablets. On-page can best be reflected by thinking about food and and websites you've visited, that you'd like to emulate or stray away from. Keep this in mind when doing on-page work.
Off-page SEO is a lot like the marketing you're already doing outside of the internet, except we're doing it on the Internet. Ranking very much works based on Google's trust in a company, and they rank this by Domain Authority. Large sites may have authorities with 70-90 out of a score of 100. New and small sites usually fall into the 10-20 range. Your goal is to get larger and more trusted websites to publish articles and blogs about your products or services, these are known as backlinks. However, don't go trading links with your friends, because Google will make the connection and dock your rank. Keep your backlinking organic, and get your name out there with press releases, email blasts, and more. Contact us to find out what your Domain Authority is and how we can help improve it. The off page is much more of a PR effort, and getting other people to talk about your site. Local businesses can thrive or fail depending on Yelp reviews, Google reviews, and other local forums. Make sure your reviews are in top shape and do everything possible to keep great reviews. Some other forms of off page networking are social media (we do that too) as well as Youtube, and any forum and mention style platform that allows you to get your name out there.
SEO isn't about picking one of these components and going all in on it. These elements are to be fused together, creating a SEO game plan that flows not only for Google, but for your users as well. If you aren't sure where to begin, let us know, as we do audits and consultations to get your website in the SEO Development stage. Stay tuned for our next post concerning social media platforms, and how to best use them to coordinate with your SEO plan.
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