Establishing search engine optimization (SEO) is a marathon, not a sprint. Many companies start the process imagining their content ranking at the top of a Google search, even in the most competitive industries.
The reality is that reaching that goal might take a lot longer than expected – but it’s worth it.
How does SEO work?
Search engine expert Kaspar Szymanski once compared SEO to physical fitness – just like there are no shortcuts for getting in shape, there is no “quick fix” for SEO. Instead, you need to have a plan and stick to it, which means exercising regularly, eating well, and pushing yourself to keep up a healthy routine until you see natural improvements.
You can’t get the results without going through the process. With patience and strategy, SEO – and digital marketing in general – is a process that can bring you new web traffic, new leads, sales revenue, and business growth. Understanding this process and creating a plan is crucial in the SEO journey and ultimately achieving your end goal.
The process always begins with a technical and/or content audit of your current sites and online accounts.
A technical audit examines every element on your site that can affect your SEO performance. An important element here is speed. Does your website take a long time to load? Do pictures or videos take a long time to appear? This directly results in a high bounce rate and lost customers. Done properly, a technical audit is in-depth and takes weeks to complete to ensure that nothing gets overlooked.
During a content audit, you identify whether you need to eliminate, repurpose, or rewrite content to achieve your goals. If your business’s website is large with thousands of pages of content, you should do a content audit to cut out a lot of the noise and focus in on what is really important to your brand.
In the process, some businesses find they can cut website content by as much as 50 percent. In the short term, this will lead to a drop in traffic – but this traffic eliminated is non-relevant. Publishing content for the sole purpose of driving traffic doesn’t actually result in clients or customers, and often you could end up generating bad leads. An audit trims down your content into only what is relevant for your target audience, allowing for more qualified leads coming your way. Once the search engines register your new and improved content, you’ll see more conversions.
By going through the audit process, you’ll have an understanding of everything you need to fix in order for your website to rank highly in organic searches on the internet.
2. Technical SEO
There are a lot of components of technical SEO, including: Index status, crawl budget, crawl errors, internal links, sitemaps, site/page speed, redirects, broken links, HTTPS and AMP. Fixing a few items on this list won’t work – you need to improve everything.
Just as a house needs a foundation, wiring, walls, and a roof, your website needs all of these elements to be optimized.
Technical SEO repairs have been proven to boost traffic by as much as 1,100 percent. By increasing the speed and functionality of your website and its pages, you’re going to decrease bounce rate and increase conversions.
3. Keyword Research
Keyword research examines how people search, what they search for, and how search engines use keywords to serve results. Search engine marketer Roger Montti offers a useful guide for beginners: How to Do Keyword Research for SEO: Everything You Need to Know.
Keyword research can help you understand which keywords are most valuable to your business. Optimizing content by incorporating high-value keywords into your website copy and content will get your website in front of potential clients and customers with greater success.
4. Location Demographics
Businesses that offer services in a specific region know the importance of location. You need to understand who your regional customers are and how they search for local businesses. Keyword research comes into play here, because you are able to see what the people in your geographic location are looking up and incorporate it into your targeted keywords.
Make sure you have accurate NAP (name, address, phone) information on your website, and content that references your service area. Geraci Media experts also advise registering your business for a Google My Business listing and make sure all information is up-to-date.
Your website should appeal to your potential customers, so make sure to meet them where they are. The more signals and location data you give Google, the higher you will rank in local searches.
5. Content Strategy
Once you’ve completed your content audit, you need a content strategy. Consider a mix of foundational content, FAQ content, and authoritative content to provide an optimal user experience.
- Foundational content is your core content about your services or products that targets your main keywords and topics.
- FAQ content answers common questions your audience is typing into Google. Make sure these pages have an SEO friendly URL and offer more comprehensive information than your competitors’ pages.
- Authoritative content demonstrates expertise and authenticity.
Enhance your website navigation and calls-to-action to further improve user experience.
Make it easy for visitors to understand who you are and what you offer, and to find what they’re looking for. Creating content that serves a purpose will attract your target customers and clients and convert them into customers.
6. Content Writing & Editing
The copy of your content should be SEO optimized. Keeping your audience in mind, write content that Google will index and rank highly and people will engage with. Read more about SEO writing here.
Good content that is thoroughly proofread and edited establishes authority, relevance, and trust. In contract, poorly written and edited content will repel potential customers and send them running to competitors.
You can’t control Google or any search engine’s ranking, but you can learn how algorithms work and understand the SEO process. Know your target audience well, and provide great content that piques their interest. This combined by a great website experience is a recipe for success.
If you take these steps to optimize your website and you offer a top-tier product or service, you will improve your SEO visibility and generate sales for your business.
SEO takes a lot of planning and preparation, but you’re guaranteed to get results if you stick to the process. To get to the promise, you have to put in the work – but the results will be worth it.
Geraci Media’s team of experts works with you in order to create a plan that works best for you and your business needs. SEO is a key factor in improving your business’s presence through generating qualified leads and gaining higher conversions. Reach out to a team member today for a free consultation at (949) 379-2600, or contact our team here.