Last updated: 5/2020
What Is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization.
Optimizing for search engines entails managing your online presence on an ongoing basis, both on your website and off your website (think social media as one example) in such a way that search engines favor your website in their results and rank you highly.
Higher ranking in the search engines means more people will see your website listed in the results, which can lead to more website traffic and more sales or leads.
Unlike using an ad platform such as Google AdWords, high rankings on search engines are based on your overall reputation with them rather than on how much you pay.
Is SEO Free?
Many people call the organic or natural rankings they gain through SEO free. While it’s true that you cannot pay search engines for these organic or natural listings, your time or time is involved, which is not exactly free!
How Can you Help me with SEO?
Because there is no one-size-fits-all SEO strategy, we start with all of our clients by creating a working document – your SEO Audit and Action Plan.
This document is your action plan for creating a strong SEO foundation on your website and for setting up tracking systems so that you can understand your progress over time. Our SEO Audit is not a one-size-fits-all product. It is a highly-customized action plan that we build based on hours of research on your market, products, and services.
What Will Be in my SEO Audit and Action Plan?
Every SEO Audit and Action Plan is different. However, we’ll generally address each of the areas below.
1. Website Structure
A properly optimized website structure is important for achieving search engine ranking. You can invest in many SEO strategies only to find that your website setup does not allow search engines to access, index, or rank it properly. We’ll examine your website and make recommendations for structural improvements. We look at dozens of factors. A few are: indexing status by Google, URL structure, tagging, canonicalization, and website speed.
These improvements tend to be very technical in nature and can be completed by us or your current web developer. Depending on who built your website, the recommendations can range from a few small changes to numerous time-consuming ones. If we built your site, your structure is already all set.
2. Website Tracking
Website tracking is essential to measure and track your progress on your online marketing initiatives over time. We’ll either make recommendations for setting up tracking tools such as Google Analytics and Google Search Console. Or, if you already have those accounts, we’ll tell you how to optimize and customize them to track your business goals. By implementing these recommendations, you’ll be able to answer questions such as:
- What percent of my website visitors purchased a product?
- What percent of my website visitors became leads?
- What is my most successful channel for leads/purchases (Google organic, AdWords, Facebook, email marketing, LinkedIn, etc.)?
- What percent of visitors come on mobile devices? Do they convert (become a lead/make a purchase) at higher or lower rate than desktop visitors?
- How is my website traffic changing over time?
- What keywords are people using to reach my site?
- And many more.
3. Keyword Research
Keyword research is one of the most important first steps in determining high-value keywords to target on your
website and in your marketing. Through keyword research, you can not only learn about your market and customers as a whole, but you can also learn which terms have the highest search volume and are the most cost effective to target.
Without keyword research, it is easy to target the wrong keywords and bring the wrong kind of traffic to your site – visitors who don’t turn into customers. We will help you determine the best keywords to target for your market.
Most of our clients find keyword research to be the most interesting part of the process. Even those who know their market well learn new things about their potential customers that can bring them business both online and offline.
We can help you incorporate the keywords into your website and content.
4. Competitor Research
Before finalizing your SEO strategy, it is important to know what your competitors are doing and how difficult it will be to achieve your desired goals.
We look at key metrics for each competitor to determine the relative competitiveness of the keywords in your market.
The results of the competitor research will help us understand where the opportunities lie and the level of effort needed to achieve desired results. Based on the results of competitor research, we can adjust your goals to ensure they are attainable.
In addition to helping us prioritize keyword goals, we will review your competitors’ designs and website formats and then recommend ways to use their strengths to your advantage on your website.
5. Website Design and Usability
Website usability is a key part of turning website visitors into customers. This applies to both SEO and paid online marketing campaigns. You can send a lot of traffic to your site, but it’s useless unless you turn those visitors into customers!
We’ll make usability recommendations to improve user experience and encourage more people to convert (contact you, call you, make a purchase, etc.).
6. Landing Pages and Content
Landing pages are a visitor’s first impression of your company, whether that visitor arrives from a search engine or a paid campaign.
Google and other search engines are more likely to rank landing pages that are both structurally sound and focused on keywords that are relevant to a user’s search. We’ll provide recommendations for content focus and keywords for your most important landing pages, as well as title tags and meta descriptions.
We’ll show how these landing pages will fall into the current structure of the site and will provide a prioritized list of keywords that should be incorporated into the copy of each landing page.
We can help you implement these landing pages on your website or provide training to show you how to implement these yourself.
We can also provide copywriting services.
7. Additional Topics
Because our SEO Audit and Action Plans are completely custom, you might find a variety of other topics in your plan. We’ve covered the most basic and common ones here. Let us know if you have any questions!