Published January 06, 2020
What is SEO? Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the name for how search engines decide what appears first when someone conducts an organic search on their platform. To simplify this, say you and your competitors each have a jar of marbles. The jar with the most marbles has the best SEO and will appear first on critical searches to your brands success. SEO is very intimidating, but some easy tweaks can put your brand on top of the competition without having to pay the search engine’s expensive advertisement fees.
What factors determine the marbles that each jar will get? Search engines are constantly changing and evolving so there is no exact formula to guarantee you the top ranked search, but many of the key factors are known. Content, links, mobile friendliness, page speeds, and keywords are some of the key factors that are easier for beginners to improve.
How can I improve my content to score higher in SEO? Content is one of the major factors if not the most important factor and it has evolved over the years. It used to be that you would just plug in a bunch of keywords into your web pages. Now your SEO will now be affected negatively for using the old keyword stuffing strategy. Instead, search engines value quality content since they can decipher the meaning of your content and not just words. Write content that is concise and targeted as being mobile friendly is also a key component in modern day SEO, and large bulky paragraphs are not ideal on mobile formats. It often helps to think of the searches you want to appear in and then adjust your content to target that search’s purpose.
Yoast SEO has a great free plugin that helps with your content. The free version will give you a readability score along with being able to see how well your content is written for different keywords.
Links are a huge factor in scoring well with modern SEO. A huge part of how Google measures how popular your site is, is by the amount and quality of links to your site. This means that if quality websites link to your website, then your website is going to see you having a strong authority. Interlinking between your own site as well as links to other popular websites is an important element in a strong SEO strategy. Anytime you are referencing a different part of your website be sure to link it to that page, and just like a strong paper in college, site your sources. Siting website sources should follow the same basic principle from your school days, and the number one rule is making sure that source is credible. For a great article on linking take a look at this article.
Are keywords dead? Keywords aren’t dead at all, using one-word vs another can still have an impact. Paying attention to what keywords you are using in your brand. Changing a service or product’s description or name can be the difference between being searched a few hundreds of times or being searched thousands of times. We use Google’s Keyword Planner to help study the strengths of keywords and other alternatives to consider.
User Experience, Page Speeds, and Mobile Friendliness
Google examines just how user friendly your website is. Do the pages load quickly? Is your website easy to navigate for users? The best place to start is to do a page speed test. GTmetrix.com offers a great free test that also gives great suggestions. One of the first things to check is if your theme is responsive. This means that it will scale to different screen sizes and already has mobile friendly adjustments made to it. Often even responsive websites will need customized tweaking to be more mobile friendly. Secondly, think of your website is a viewer on your own mobile phone or tablet. Is the content displayed in an organized format and easy to read? If these all seem to be good but your site still runs slow on mobile or desktop it might be a good idea to optimize the images and content to an optimal size. Large images that take a long time to load are a big negative on mobile devices and on your page speeds in general.
The important thing about SEO is don’t get discouraged. Google offers many helpful tools like Google Search Console and other great tools to help you with your SEO improvements. It takes a lot of time and effort to build a nice website and even more effort to optimize that website for the everchanging guidelines of SEO. If you get too discouraged, send us a message we can help you get your site to your ideal level of SEO.
We offer free consultations to get to know you and identify the opportunities available!