What Is SEO & Why Do I Need It For My Website?
We hear it over and over again. SEO is B.S. Why does it take so long? Turn it on now please. And many other unrealistic expectations of what SEO is and isn’t, what it can and cannot do. Adamant responses of NO, I don’t need SEO.
The fact of the matter is that most, if not all, companies do need SEO services for their website. Building a website on the web is just like building a physical store location. When you build a new store, a new physical location, you put up a sign and send out announcements. You ADVERTISE the store’s location.
The same is true for websites. You build a new website, you launch it. And then what? You have to promote it. You have to set up your website for success by making sure your website can be found by the people who need your products and services. A big part of this effort, this promotion if you will, is called SEO.
After all, what is the real purpose of a search engine? To find solutions to your problems!
What Is SEO?
To start, we need to make sure we understand what SEO (search engine optimization) really means.
According to NeilPatel.com, SEO can be defined as, “the art of ranking high on a search engine in the unpaid section, also known as the organic listings. Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing your online content so that a search engine likes to show it as a top result for searches of a certain keyword.”
That’s one of many official definitions that can be found by typing “what is SEO” into Google search. But what does it really mean to do SEO properly?
There are 4 main elements:
- SEO Musts
- On-page SEO
- Technical SEO
- Keyword Research
The very essence of SEO starts with the following “SEO Must” activities:
- Install Google Analytics on your website
- Set up Google Search Console for your website
- Set up Bing webmaster tools
- Generate & submit a sitemap to Google
- Check Google Search Console for any errors that need to be fixed manually
- Make sure your website has been crawled and indexed
Moz.com has published an amazing article about how search engines work here.
“…search engines are answer machines. They exist to discover, understand, and organize the internet’s content in order to offer the most relevant results to the questions searchers are asking.”
SEO is like a puzzle with many pieces that need to be put together correctly to achieve the overall goal.
According to Moz.com, “On-page SEO is the practice of optimizing individual web pages in order to rank higher and earn more relevant traffic in search engines. On-page refers to both the content and HTML source code of a page that can be optimized, as opposed to off-page SEO which refers to links and other external signals.”
The things that we work to improve are:
- Analyze & write title tags
- Fix duplicated or truncated title tags
- Find & fix duplicate or missing meta descriptions
- Analyze & improve title tags and meta descriptions (a great tool for this is Screaming Frog)
- Find and fix multiple H1 tags
- Optimize images (naming, alt tags, image size)
- Improve internal page linking
- Find & fix keyword cannibalization
- Find & fix orphaned site pages (A page without any links to it is called an orphan page)
- Update content
So what is technical SEO? According to Yoast, Technical SEO refers to improving the technical aspects of a website in order to increase the ranking of its pages in the search engines. Making a website faster, easier to crawl and understandable for search engines are the pillars of technical optimization. Technical SEO is part of on-page SEO, which focuses on improving elements on your website to get higher rankings. It’s the opposite of off-page SEO, which is about generating exposure for a website through other channels.
Technical SEO items include:
- Make sure you are using HTTPS (requires an SSL certificate)
- Check temporary 302 redirects
- Fix any 404 errors
- Make sure it is mobile friendly and responsive to multiple device types
- Fix broken internal & outbound links
- Check for duplicate versions of your website
- Improve site speed
- Find and fix http links on https pages
- Use an SEO-friendly URL structure
- Find and fix crawl errors
According to the great SEO company Backlinko, Keyword research is the process of finding words and phrases (aka “keywords”) that people use in search engines in order to optimize content around and rank for those terms in search engines.
Keyword Research items include:
- Find your main keywords
- Find long-tail keyword variations
- Create a keyword map
- Analyze the intent of pages that rank for those keywords
- Identify the questions that are being asked on search engines
- Check for duplicate versions of your website
- Understand the competition and how difficult it is to rank for those keywords
- Find link building opportunities
- Set up and optimize Google My Business
Don’t Forget What Problem You Solve For Your Customers
SEO strategies are designed to help your website attract search engine users that are looking for answers. As you can see above, there are a lot of things that can be done to improve your organic search rankings, and ultimately, get more leads that turn into customers for your website.
When you implement these SEO tactics and strategies, your website will start to bring you leads that turn into sales. Good luck!
At Resonating Brands, we are here to give you & your company the best value for your money. We will do our very best to help you execute a well-developed plan that drives business. If you are looking for a marketing group who is curious about you and your industry, takes pride in honest, dependable marketing strategies, and breathes creative life into your brand, we are your people.
Ultimately, we succeed by helping you succeed. We want you and your company to BE RESONATING.
It is only when you Resonate, when you find your voice, your personality and your target market, that you will truly be a Resonating Brand to be desired. We are here to help YOU get there.