Apr 17, 2018
Ah SEO…the magical sound of free site visitors and search impressions. It’s a sound that every marketer wants to hear, but many struggle to create. It’s more predictable than say, trying to get a brand video to go viral, but not nearly the exact science of buying search results or display ads.
Perhaps more than any other marketing channel, SEO has rules that one must follow to set oneself up for success, and they must be adhered to during your site build and after launch. The rules state what you should put where on your site so the search engine crawlers can find it and recognize it as being valuable. But it is not just about putting content in boxes and watching the magic happen. There are always larger factors at play when talking about maximizing your organic search results.
Beauty is only skin deep. So, you have just launched your amazing, beautiful, informative and deeply engaging website. All those hours, money and emotion you have sacrificed for this are about to pay off when you take the site live. But why can’t you find the site when you do a search for it? ...A search that exactly matches those well thought out key phrases yields nothing!? Well, your site design may be awesome, but if you have not attended to all of the SEO requirements, all of your work may go unnoticed (at least as far as organic results are concerned). What may seem like small things often loom large in SEO. Google is very good at sniffing out what is relevant and what is fluff and if your new site is not listing on Google search pages - and sufficient time has been given to allow Google to index your site - you may be suffering from some common mistakes. These could include duplicate content, stale content, confusing navigation, poorly created meta data and alt tags, lack of a blog with fresh content, and many more. With SEO, there are many factors to success and they each must be addressed in the site building or site improvement process.
Patience is not just a virtue, it’s a requirement. The first thing to remember is SEO is not a quick fix. There is no immediate gratification. Even after you have gone through the lengthy process of identifying what content to improve or update, creating that content, and then putting it up on your site – it will still likely take Google months to index your new content and determine if it provides new value. It takes on average between 4 and 10 months for all of the above to happen. So, build your content intentionally and be patient, this could take a while.
Choose your words carefully. Google has built amazing technology, but it can’t read your mind…yet. Make sure the instances of the key terms you are using are related directly to what you are trying to sell or communicate on your site. It’s not just the key terms themselves but the relevance of the terms that actually make Google take notice. If you have a car repair business, make sure your site is using terms that add context to the services being offered. The more specific, the better. Phrases like ‘car’ and ‘repair’ may work but using phrases like ‘Best BMW repair service in Boston’ will be recognized by Google as more valuable.
Off-site to Your Site. Lastly, there are some elements of SEO success that simply are not in your control, or at least not in your control on your site. Mentions and inbound links in social media and in the news or blogs count for a lot. Simple metrics such as site traffic do as well. To make your site rank high, the internet needs to support it! If a site is built in a vacuum with nothing pointing to it, Google will not give it the credit it deserves.
SEO may be an inexact science but by following these rules you can will increase the likelihood that SEO will be a top performing channel for your business.