Set the scene:
As you sift through all the confirmation emails you have received regarding your trip to Hawaii, your dog begins barking to remind you that he’s not coming with. This is the first trip you have booked since getting your puppy, Hunter. Unsure what to do with him while you’re gone, you go to the one place that answers all of your questions- Google.
You search, “Watch my dog for a week.”
Within the first few searches you find a place for dog boarding that will play, walk, and take care of your dog, so they have as much fun as you’ll have.
What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the organic process of improving the quantity and quality of traffic to your website.
Why is SEO Important?
If someone is familiar with your brand or product, more likely than not, they will go straight to your website. However, if people don’t know your brand, the product or service you offer, or have simply just forgotten, they’ll open up a search engine and start typing.
When the search results come up, they’ll begin scrolling for something that appears to meet their needs. This is where your website needs to show up. And that’s how you will be able to grow your organic search traffic.
The Importance of Google
Throughout this article as well as any conversation you have about SEO, Google will always be the focus. This is because Google receives 92% of all global searches. This means, on average at any given second of the day, Google receives 40,000 searches, which results in 3.5 billion searches in a single day. In order to gain the slightest bit of this unbelievable amount of organic search traffic, you have to optimize your site for Google.
How to Optimize for Search
Search engines like Google are a business designed to show the best results to their users based on the searcher’s search query. Their number one objective is to show results that will satisfy their searcher as quickly as possible, so they don’t have to keep searching.
In order to show up for a particular search, your site must be focused on those specific keywords or phrases that people are searching.
Each page on your site should have a designated keyword or phrase that you’re trying to rank for. If Vibe Creative Marketing wants to be found when somebody searches Hawaii SEO, we would need to have a page that is built around the keyword, Hawaii SEO.
This does not mean the entire page would repeat the keyword over and over again. This is called keyword stuffing, and would actually hurt your chances of being ranked. Instead, each page that you build should have a primary keyword with roughly two other similar keyword phrases such as SEO company Hawaii or SEO agency Hawaii.
This helps Google build a bigger picture of what you’re focused on so they can confidently show your site for a search on Hawaii SEO as well as show searches that relate to it.
After you’ve assigned each page on your site a keyword and supporting keywords and phrases, there are three main factors to account for to properly optimize your site to those keywords.
Website Back End
In order for search engines to be able to rank your site for a particular search, they have to know that you offer the best results for what the user is looking for. How your site is organized and coded will help bots crawl your website to gain an understanding of what you’re all about.
Your website’s sitemap is just that, a map of your site that helps Google know which pages are important and how to find them.
The way you organize a page and the tags you put on particular words help inform Google what the page is referring to.
This tells Google and searchers what this page is about.
This is a short description that builds off the title of that page.
Informs Google what the main points of the page are. Header 1 (H1) is what is the primary focus with Header 2 (h2), Header 3 (h3) and so on as supporting information.
The title of the image and it’s alt. text have gained extreme importance in recent years. Originally designed to help bots best understand what the image is, for users with sight impairments it helps build a picture of what the image is. It also continues to grow in importance as voice searching through devices like Siri and Alexa grow.
The way a url is built should describe and include keywords as another way of stating to Google and users what they’re going to get.
While Google doesn’t necessarily filter through your website design to decide if your site is aesthetically pleasing, searchers often care greatly about the way a website is designed and laid out. Therefore, Google cares.
Each page should be laid out in an easy-to-navigate way so the searcher has a flawless experience. The content on the page should be clear and easily defined as to what it’s providing the searcher. The page should have complimentary images with the body copy to keep the searchers engagement. The page also needs to load fast, or the searcher will lose interest.
When creating the title and description of the page, the content needs to match. If you use click-bait to draw people in and the content that follows doesn’t match or is poor, the user will bounce from your site.
These are all important factors to prevent website bounce rate and increase your website’s SEO.
As you may have noticed, just about every site in the world (even your grandma) has created some kind of blog. The reason for this is to improve their website’s ranking on Google. Web content is a crucial aspect of SEO.
As mentioned above, each page on your site should be assigned a particular keyword or phrase so Google knows you’re trying to rank for that word. However, there are millions of sites going for similar keywords and phrases. So, on top of a beautifully designed website and a clean and organized backend, Google wants to know you’re a knowledgeable site. Do you know what you’re talking about or is it a load of bullshit? User’s will be able to tell, so Google needs to be certain they can trust you.
The best way to gain knowledge credibility is becoming a hub on a topic. The more people link to your web page about Hawaii SEO, the more Google will think you’re an expert on that topic. Why else would people be interested in linking to that page?
However, you can only control what you can control, and that would be your own website. This is why web content has taken off and become an integral part of SEO. Your original web pages that were assigned a keyword or phrase becomes your website’s hub on those topics. Then your web content strategy should focus on related content to that topic that then links to that hub page.
When you’re building your web content strategy, post regularly. Creating web content frequently is another way Google believes you’re an expert on a topic. Staying up-to-date with the latest knowledge and providing the best, most recent information possible to the searcher shows Google you’re putting in the extra effort.
The Power of Linking
Linking is a powerful tool for web content SEO. It allows search engines to crawl your site and users to easily navigate across the web. As you may have noticed, this article is covered with links to other websites. This is to help you! And, honestly, to help us too.
Google sees linking in two ways:
A way to help them crawl across the web and build a ranking for your site regarding keywords and phrases through internal links and external links.
A way to help searchers gain more knowledge and guide them to ultimately being satisfied with their original search. If your site has links placed carefully and thoughtfully on your page, you’ll be rewarded with a higher ranking. An article about search engine optimization that links to useful stats and more information regarding ways to improve your ranking will have a higher ranking than one that links to useless information.
At first, the idea to link people away from your site may sound crazy, but Google doesn’t care about your site’s success. It just cares about the searcher’s experience. If the external link on your site helps the searcher, you’ll be rewarded. How do you know if the external link is helpful? There are a few things to consider: Is the page for the external site that is being linked an updated or recent article? Outdated site pages can be harmful to your ranking and the searcher’s experience as information is often changing. Is the site that you’re linking to a trustworthy site? If you are writing an article about the best summer music programs, a link to a random blogspot top-ten list can hurt your ranking compared to a link to established music brands and sites that discuss the same topic. Does the site that you’re linking to have a good website design? If the person leaves your site via the link you provide and they immediately leave that site, you will get punished in web rankings. This means the site has to relate to the link’s words and be designed well enough to capture the searcher’s attention. Does the page that you’re linking to exist? This is where SEO and website management meet. Oftentimes people will update web pages and urls, which will then break the link that is within your web content. A broken link will greatly hurt your search ranking. This is why it’s important to regularly check external links, as well as audit your site content, when you make changes to your own site.
The Benefit of SEO
The primary benefit of search engine optimization is to increase your organic web traffic through search. It is a large and time-consuming process, but anyone with a website should allocate resources to make sure their site is optimized. While the results take time (Google needs a minute to figure out you’re optimized), SEO provides the best long-term revenue and success when it comes to digital marketing, as it’s highly cost-effective. If you’re interested in search engine optimization or SEO web content, but don’t have the time or desire to handle it on your own, Vibe Creative Marketing has a proven track record to bring optimization success to your brand or business!
Or, if you’re looking for more short-term success, you can always skip the line and the process by focusing on a (PPC) online advertising campaign. 😉