What is SEO?
When someone searches on Google (which happens approximately 63,000 times every second), they are seeking information, services, or products. Being able to provide the answer to their query on your website can drive strong inbound leads and sales. Because most searchers click on the top three results, SEO is the practice of increasing your rankings to earn those top spots and drive more traffic and value for your business.
Google’s algorithms include 230+ factors that determine what sites and pages rank for what terms. Dozens of these are on-site. Every page of your website that you want to rank should have a clear subject which is included in:
- Content that is original and provides value
- Title tag (50-60 characters)
- A unique URL
- Image alt text
- Meta description (155-160 characters)
- Links back to category, subcategory, or home page as appropriate
You also want to ensure that every page is optimized technically, including:
- Mobile friendly
- Optimal site speed: you can test your site speed here.
- Have internal (to other pages on your site) and external (to other sites) links as appropriate
- Use Schema.org structured data or other markup
Once every page of your site is fully optimized, you also want to make sure that your content is being shared and linked to by other trusted resources. Off-site SEO, also called outreach, link building, or digital PR, is arguably the most important factor in Google’s algorithms. Earning links from other sites that are considered valuable and credible passes that value and credibility to your site, and will help your pages rank for the key terms you’ve optimized for. Quality should be the focus for any link building efforts, rather than quantity. For example, a link from Forbes has significantly more value that a link from someone’s personal blog.
Best practices for creating content that is sharable and can earn links from top tier publications include:
- Select a topic that is newsworthy. It should be related to your business, but non-promotional
- Collect or create (through a survey or market research) original research
- Share content in a visual format, telling a story
- Pitch content to relevant websites and publications
Link building is an ongoing practice that should be done continuously to strengthen the website and gain more visibility for your keywords and phrases.
Before you begin any SEO work, we recommend establishing a baseline so that you can measure the impact of your work. Using a tool like Google Analytics, you’ll want to pull your current organic traffic and conversions (contact forms, sales, etc). You’ll need to ensure that Google Analytics is properly installed on your website and that conversion tracking is set up.
Once you’ve identified the keywords you want to target, we also recommend tracking where you currently rank for each term. Each month, review how your rankings have changed if you’re driving new traffic, and most importantly if you are seeing more conversions from organic search. While SEO is a slow and ongoing process, you should see improvements month over month as you work towards growing your business.
SEO can be tricky and it requires the skills of an expert. At Echo, all of our SEO work is performed by talented, experienced people who specialize exclusively in SEO and PPC. To learn how SEO can help your company grow, please contact us to learn more.