SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is incredibly misunderstood, and plagued by myths. SEO is both an art and a science. Artfully crafting content that appeals to the consumer, bolstering the SEM (Search Engine Marketing) plan – while keeping the content scientifically precise and statistically accurate for computer measurement.
Modern SEO is under attack, as-is our internet as we know it. A flood of heavy CMS (Content Management Systems) and boxed “website builders” that are not SEO friendly, nor use optimized code layouts and best practices, are putting strain on the Search Engines to find, and deliver, relative content. Not to mention victimizing website owners, as products like WordPress for example (we are not afraid to name names), offer web designers a way to offer aesthetically pleasing sites with little or no knowledge of web design. The client gets a site that’s nearly invisible in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Page), is heavy and slow, causing the internet to struggle in finding relative content – we all lose.
SEO in its plain form is a simple set of rules to keep things organized. In its most complex form, it is layout, user pathing and proper use of technology to both serve your users better, and make sure the Search Engines know you are serving their users better.
Methodology for good SEO: The search engines job (namely Google), is to provide the best search result for any given search. Just be the best, most informative, easiest to use, fastest loading website with clean code.
Basic Steps to Good SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
Choose good technology. There has always been a disconnect between web designers and search marketers. Usually the two overlap, or view each other as competitors. At FBi, we do offer Web Design, and are pretty good at it – but we will happily work with your current designer. Our focus is always digital marketing first, web design is simply a byproduct built out of necessity to achieve our goals.
Currently, the two best CMS systems available are Shopify & Magento. We feel they do not even compete. They complement each other well, and choosing the right one is simply the matter of a little forethought and planning.
However, WordPress, which represents about 49% of all websites (this is crazy to us), is by far the most popular “CMS”. It is slow, heavy, unoptimized blog software – and we will not touch it. It is nowhere near our standards (and we controlled a top 100K WordPress site for years).
Please contact us for a free consultation, we will clearly show how/if your technology is holding you back, and offer a low cost port to the CMS of your choosing.
Think literally. We sell “SEO” in the public eye. It is the most searched term relative to our services. But we are not “SEO”. We are an “Internet Marketing Agency”, who optimizes websites as one of our services. This page could rank for “SEO”, but our homepage should not.
Making the connection from “Internet Marketing Agency” to “SEO” involves some planning and some education. First we need to now what Google knows about our topics. Until you are an influencer, you MUST craft your content to fit inside the confines of existing search knowledge.
For example: Google knows WordPress is nearly synonymous with websites, and relative to SEO, SEM and most other topics on this site. Do you see how we incorporated “WordPress” into our site and content, without pushing the service? We would be foolish not to mention it, but it goes against everything we believe in, so we will not service or condone it.
Planning. Don’t try to trick the Search Engines! Just write relative content and place it where it needs to go. Your website is measured as a whole. Meaning you do not have to stuff every last concept, product, service or idea on one page. Keep pages to single topic, use a lot of synonyms and relative terms, and just write informative and engaging content.
Think like you’re a user. Make sure each page can be a landing page (not everyone should be landing on the home page). Make sure users have a way out (a link, menu or other way to exit the page to more relative content). Do not just spam them with “buy now” and “contact us”. They will when their ready.
The most common mistake by small business owners is they assume the user is aware of their product/service and fully educated, just waiting to convert! More than 80% of searches are researching. Inform, educate and create desire.
Read your Analytics. I have yet to meet a client not suffering from preconceived notions of what their audience wants. After the first month on the internet, you should have enough data in Analytics to not have to assume or guess.
For example: A high bounce rate means that page is not serving any value. Be aware, a bounce simply means the user is leaving the page quickly. This tells the Search engine “this page was not what I was looking for” (which is horrible for SEO, remember, we are trying to show we are providing value to the Search Engine’s users), but they can bounce to another page on your website – so it does not mean they left.
Add value to the page. Insert an image or menu, paragraph of text, or all of the above, so they can’t just bounce right away. This also increases the time on the page, another valuable metric in SEO.
Don’t be afraid to test, tear down and change. Think of a Search Engine as a fellow business owner, who occasionally sends you one of their clients. If you referred a client, and the person didn’t do a good job, wouldn’t you want them to fix it!?
You are not going to dominate your market on your first try (without meticulous research, and even then, you need time to decipher what your users want). Search Engines have list of requirements, your competition is factored (as to who is best), and finally you have your users needs and wants. SEO is trial and minimizing errors.