SEO

Understanding SEO

Understanding SEO, What Senior Executive Need To Know

Understanding SEO, What Senior Executive Need To Know 1920 703 Marsh Williams

If they haven’t already, someone is going to tell you, “We need to spend money on SEO to improve our search rankings on Google.” There are a few things you need to consider when that happens.

Understanding SEO; in a nutshell, SEO does two basic things. First, it ensures that your website can be seen by search engines and technically matches what those engines expect to find. the technological crossing of T’s and dotting of I’s.

It’s the second SEO function that people are usually more interested in— : achieving higher placement in search engine results.

Understanding SEO

What really helps boost Google rankings is not SEO–it’s content marketing!

When businesses want better search rankings, they usually look for a quick fix. There isn’t one. The only way to get the Google placement you want is to consistently create valuable content with which your target market regularly engages.

That means, to achieve better Google rankings, you must commit to regular, ongoing content creation like blog articles, social media posts, and publication outreach. That commitment means you must have—or find– the resources to sustain it all.

This is where SEO really contributes to its own success. It provides answers to the following key questions: What content does my target market want? What relevant Google searches should include my company in the results? What searches are my competitors capturing? And what content will it take to “out-Google” them? SEO research can give you those answers and more. It’s the have-to-have tool to inform your content strategy.

Successful content marketing involves incredibly detailed planning.

Effective research is the key, but it takes the right software, clear goals, and the know-how to analyze the data and make a plan to achieve the results and better rankings you want. The right tool (we use SEMRush) in the experienced hands of the right team can take you where you want to go, delivering both upfront research and follow-on analytics.

Through research you’ll learn:

  • Phrases/words your potential customers use to search for your product or service.
  • How many frequently those keywords/phrases are used, in each search engine, in your country, state, and/or city.
  • The competitive landscape for those keywords. You can bet there are others who are intentionally or inadvertently drawing traffic by using the same words you are targeting. Which words/phrases are less competitive? Let us tell you.
  • Which keywords are your competitors using and how to best co-opt them for your purposes
  • Which keywords have the highest probability of leading people to your website?

Like content creation, effective SEO research is an ongoing process of discovery and analysis. Trends will emerge over time, and with the right resources in place, your position in Google’s results will improve. (By the way, if you’re into techno-lingo, they’re called SERPs: Search Engine Results Pages.)

Optimizing the content you create is also a must to improve search engine rankings.

A lot of technical details matter here – where your keywords fall on a page, how many times they are used in an article, more specifics than you could possibly keep track of — and they’re all important. Once again, the right tools allow us to guarantee that all content is optimized for every page, blog article, and image on your website.

Understanding SEO

A brief message about Organic vs. Paid Traffic, or Content vs. Ads

Ads, particularly promoted posts on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram ads, or Google ads, should absolutely be included in your content marketing strategy. Just remember that they have little-to-no shelf life. The second you stop spending money on them, they disappear.

Great content, however, can have an incredibly long shelf life and will continue to draw search engine traffic for as long as it is on your website. Knowing this is essential to understanding SEO and how it works.

While Google Ads can be a shortcut to the top-of-the-page it just will not perform as well as organic in terms of CTR (click-through rate). With 80% of all searches on Google leading to a click on pages one, two, or three, that means all those Google ads are fighting for the remaining 20% of traffic.

My final comment on organic versus paid traffic depends on the users’ intent. When people go to Google, they search with specific intent. Conversion rate data show a big difference between ad results (1.5% for B2B) and organic content results (2.6%). That difference translates to a 73% better conversion rate for organic traffic.

The End Game, Understanding SEO

Many executives and their well-meaning advisors misunderstand where and when to fold SEO into the marketing mix. While it plays a valuable role in effective marketing planning and execution, SEO is not some magic silver bullet guaranteed to get you the highest search engine results. SEO is part of the puzzle, a tool, for defining the correct content in your overall marketing strategy.

Interested in a cup of coffee and a conversation?

Every client relationship we have started with a simple conversation, usually over coffee, we love to brainstorm and answer questions. If you have any please let us know…we’ll spring for the coffee.

How User Experience Can Affect Pagerank

How User Experience Affects Page Rank

How User Experience Affects Page Rank 1920 703 Shout Out Studio

This year marks a shift for what factors in on-page optimization are most affective for search engine rank. Some of the items have been closing in from a distance for a few years now, but 2015 has allowed them to take shape. Google (and Bing and Yahoo) are taking a more holistic approach to how your pages and sites are ranked. Investing in their user experience has become increasingly important, if not the most important factor, for making sure your potential clients, customers, and audiences can find you.

What factors indicate a user’s experience?

  • Site speed – Users want a snappy site. The top ranked sites load in 2 seconds or less, and most users will leave after 3 seconds. Tools like GTMetrix can help you analyze how quick your site is loading, and what factors may be slowing it down. Upgrading server technology, using a CDN, and optimizing images are just a few of the ways to increase response time.
  • Security –  If you have an e-commerce site, or are exchanging sensitive information, installing an SSL certificate is a necessity. Adding encryption will help gain your clients and customers trust and confidence.
  • Responsive – No surprise, but mobile usage is on the rise. Search engines not only rank pages optimized for mobile higher, but decreases the rank for any page that is not responsive.
  • Topics – Users are no longer just searching for keywords. Were they ever? They want answers and solutions. Providing that information to your audience is a great way to see your rank increased. Things like proof and relevant terms have becoming increasingly evident on top ranked sites.
  • Images and Videos – Content that includes original images and video is more dynamic and more likely to be shared via social media. Don’t miss this opportunity to make an impact.
  • Readability – Font size matters. Sites that used consistent font size across their pages were ranked higher. Information structured using bullet and number lists also help users digest information.
  • Interactive elements – Top ranked sites also use buttons, graphics, and streamlined navigation to help guide their audience and structure their content.
  • Contact – Including a Contact and About page signals to search engines that you are authentic and interested in engaging your audience, clients, and customers.
  • Time – Bounce rates and time spent on a site are indicative to search engines to the relevance and usefulness of your content. Longer visits mean higher ranking. High Bounce rates can lower rank.
  • Social signals – Social signals continue to be important. Facebook being the biggest indicator followed by Google+. Backlinks from social media are considered trusted links and highly prioritized by search engines.
  • Ads – Including too many ads, or having ads above the fold of your site can now hurt your rank.

Thoughts on these new trends? It seems a departure from SEO strategies of the past. Keywords and URLS continue to lose their punch while qualified content and social media continue to gain steam. I appreciate the twist. I like it because it allows sites who take care of their audience and users to rank higher than companies who have just learned how to play the page rank game.

 

Page rank data from search metrics

Anatomy

Anatomy of An Effective Blog Post

Anatomy of An Effective Blog Post 1920 700 Nathaniel Seevers

The why and how of an effective blog post – for beginners

It’s no secret that a great blog keeps your site fresh and can provide a nice search engine bump. Not only that, it can also act as a strong voice for your brand and a means by which you establish a thought leadership position in your industry. More and more companies are taking on the task of writing content and maintaining a blog. We see excited and reluctant writers jump into the blogging pool every day.

For those of you out there new to blogging game here are some tips for making sure your blog posts are effective and the time spent is good for you and your readers.

Be clear about why you’re blogging

First things first; if you’re starting a blog so you can talk about how awesome you are don’t waste your time because readers won’t waste their time reading your content. That is unless you’re a celebrity and strangers are just dying to know how cool your life is.

A business blog is an opportunity to share insights, knowledge, a peek behind the curtain and overall be a productive member of internet society. read more

photo by Barbara Willi used under Creative Commons 2.0

25 Simple Methods to Get Inbound Links For Your Website

25 Simple Methods to Get Inbound Links For Your Website 842 452 Shout Out Studio

One of the truths about SEO is that inbound links are absolutely critical to increase your search ranking.

When I explain how Google sees inbound links as votes of confidence, I always see folks nod their head. Yes. Yes. Yes.

Then I ask them how they think we should go about link-building.

Blank stare.

I thought I’d try to help the folks out there who need some help. Here’s a list of 25 ways to get inbound links to your website: read more

Three

3 Absolute Truths About SEO

3 Absolute Truths About SEO 842 452 Shout Out Studio

Optimizing a website for search engines is absolutely critical for brands hoping to be the answer to a searcher’s query.

While the importance is obvious, the strategy and tactics to get there are not. Being such a misunderstood practice, Search Engine Optimization has attracted both champs and chumps. Unsuspecting clients might have no clue they’ve hired an SEO chump until read more

© 2022 Shout Out Studio, LLC
Skip to content