Because SEO can be an ever-changing, multi-faceted marketing strategy and penalty risks loom, it’s more important than ever to understand the components of SEO, the deliverable you’re getting from an SEO provider, and where and how your businesses could benefit from SEO services.
Design and Conversion Rate Optimization
A website should be viewed as much more than a resource for people to find and learn about your business. It can be a powerful marketing tool but you don’t want to advertise something that doesn’t adequately represent your brand.
In the more than 200 factors that make up the Google search algorithm, there are several where design plays a role such as the amount of time user spend on a page and it’s usability on mobile devices.
The page layout, navigation, use of images, and colors all affect the user experience on the website. In addition to visual appeal, leading users to and increasing click rates on the places on the website where a business wants them is important. Whether it’s strong calls to action for a buy now button , a phone call, a contact form, an email subscription or a download, design plays a significant role in a website’s effective as a marketing vehicle.
The Technical Aspects of a Website
Website structure, clean programming, HTML tags, meta data, server speed, mobile capability, a consistent URL naming convention, page titles and other on-site aspects affect a website’s performance. Improper site set up can also block search engine crawlers which can adversely affect or prevent a site from ranking.
Page speed is a Google ranking factor so having minimized files with condensed code to increase load times not only aids SEO, it also helps visitors better interact and use your site. For larger websites or ecommerce sites, technical aspects have an even bigger impact on a site’s performance. Amazon increased revenue by millions of dollars by decreasing load times by one second.
Having the ability to implement schema markup language, can also help search engines better interpret the content of websites and can boost search engine visibility.
Without content, it’s difficult to rank in the search engines for many keywords. But don’t just do content for the sake of content. It’s needs to be high quality, highly consumable, and targeted to a business goal such as promoting the product or service, providing valuable, useful information for customers or prospective customers, or promoting the brand.
Content is much more than written pages or articles. Videos, graphics, images, presentations, and audio are all different forms of content. Content creation can have many added benefits beyond SEO, including building a community of brand enthusiasts.
In addition, your website description, headlines, testimonials, and calls to action are also places where having good content matters. After all, you want your content to convert website visitors to become engaged with your business and become customers.
In addition to content on the website, content on other websites that reference or link to your business’ website can also be very useful for SEO. Many SEO providers do ‘guest posting’ as part of their off-site services. But if you are doing guest posting primarily to get links, this can be dangerous. Google has cracked down on guest posting for this purpose with penalties.
Guest posting should be done with the view to gain brand mentions and website referral traffic on relevant, authoritative or industry related websites, in addition to gaining new external links. If you’re SEO provider is guest posting for the primarily for the purposes of gaining links, your site could be at risk.
While link building used to be widely used term in SEO to gain links, in light of the changes in SEO over the past few years, link earning is now a more apt term. If you are building or constructing links artificially, you are likely violating Google guidelines and your site is at risk for a penalty
Other tactics to gain new external links that SEO providers may use include: obtaining links on industry related websites and relevant online directories, broken link building, content creation, and outreach.
It’s been said content is king in SEO but really outreach is king. It’s the chicken and the egg. While it’d be nice to just hit the publish button and have links come into your website, it isn’t usually that easy. You need content to promote but in order for great content to have it’s largest impact, it needs to be effectively disseminated and pitched in advanced to influencers and targeted, high authority sites that have large social media followings. This is where having a strong, active community and social media following can really provide a boost. Let them go to work for you and help you promote and spread your creative work.
For companies wanting to gain maximum visibility only for their businesses, agencies that have the contacts and can deliver professional outreach that gets results can provide a big boost. These PR efforts can drive brand exposure, social media gains, website referral traffic, and links. But this level of services comes with a cost with some agencies charging tens of thousands a month.
PR outreach doesn’t have to be expensive. With persistence, creativity, and determination even smaller companies can get big PR.
The quality of links pointing to your website is a critical factor in a site’s ability to rank valuable keyword phrases. A few years ago, it was easier to get Google rankings and make them stick. With targeted content and anchor text links, it was pretty easy to gain prominent search rankings for valuable keyword phrases. This made providing SEO services highly profitable.
As Google has updated it’s algorithm and more strictly enforced its
SEO services that tie into link acquisition are keyword research, competitor link and website analysis.
Evaluate Your Needs
This post does not include all SEO services. There are many others including the most unfortunate event of when a website needs Google penalty recovery services or local SEO for specific business locations.
Regardless of the current state of your website, understanding the different components of SEO can help more easily identify the needs for your website and what types of services may be most beneficial for your business. It can also help bring clarity in a confusing and evolving online landscape.