By: David Stewart, VP, Creative Technology @leuzstewart On November 14, 2017
DRIVING BUSINESS WITH SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION (SEO)
Here is a top line description of how SEO works and tools you can use to get the job done.
Why do you want to optimize your site for search?
Up to 74% of your website traffic can come from organic search. People type in a keyword in Google, get a listing, and then click on a link and visit your site. If you are getting less than 74% of your traffic from organic search, you will want to read on.
What is Search Engine Optimization?
SEO is the process of creating a website experience that ranks your content to be found based on the Google Algorithm. The value of Google is they have created an algorithm that helps you find what you are looking for among millions of possible sites. So, with search engine optimization what you are trying to do is optimize your site to play into the algorithm requirements to better position your site to be found over others. Sounds simple, right? Yes, but there are a lot of factors that weigh into the algorithm and they are changing all the time. Here is a quick summary of those factors and how they work.
How does Search Engine Optimization work?
To optimize your site for search, there are several categories of search optimization to consider and they generally work in this order:
- TECHNICAL COMPLIANCE - You need to make sure your site is technically compliant so search engines can index your site content. If Google can’t index your content correctly, then your site is not going to appear in search.
- ON-SITE OPTIMIZATION - Once you’ve done Step 1, you can focus on creating a good user experience and site content that people want to visit and consume, then drive them to a conversion point. After you’ve identified content people want, then research what keywords you can rank on in Google based on the competition and frequency of search. Your site won’t get found if you rank on keywords that nobody is searching for or ones that are too competitive to rank on at all.
- OFF-SITE OPTIMIZATION - Once you can get indexed and you have good content, it’s time to go out to other sites that are driving traffic to your site and get more traffic from them. Here you are not only driving new traffic, but you are letting Google know that a lot of other people like your content as well which will boost your authority.
- MEASURING SUCCESS - You need to set out with goals in mind, then tag your site with analytics so you can monitor how your program is running. This will allow you to report to your business that we invested x$ in this project and we got y$ in return. Some good KPIs to watch are domain authority, keywords indexed, search traffic, and conversion rate based on organic search traffic.
What tools do you use to do this?
As with any digital project, there are many tools you can use to help accomplish your search engine optimization program.
- First, to research SEO go no further than moz.com. You’ll find everything you need there to do your keyword content research, conduct competitive research and track your campaigns.
- Register your sites in Google Search Console and Bing/Yahoo.
- Connect your Google Analytics and set goals based on organic conversions with events.
- For off-site, make sure your local business listings are up to date in Google Business, Bing, Yellow Pages and Yelp.
Hope that helped everyone!
I hope this gives you a simple framework to start to demystify the complex world of search engines and how important they can be to your business.
The thing to understand about search is the algorithm is always changing, so get in, starting doing it then learn what works for you. Or you can call us to help you out as well.