In today’s day and age, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is not only necessary but STILL very confusing to many people out there.
And that’s ok, not everybody needs to be an expert on digital marketing or SEO, especially not if you have a business to run and many important things to deal with.
Trust me, I can feel your pain.
That being said, the benefit of a little SEO knowledge will go a long way when it comes to creating ad copy, content, or landing pages both now and in the future!
And that’s what I’m going to help you with in today’s article!
As an SEO service provider, I’ll show you my website’s SEO score below! It’s at 100!
I’ll show you our competitors SEO score at the end of the article!
I’m going to give you a run down on the most important parts of Search Engine Optimization so that you know how to improve your online presence and increase your organic growth!
After all, the great thing about SEO is that it’s often an inexpensive one-time process that can greatly affect the number of people who see your offer, leading to more sales and customers!
That being said, we should first define what SEO is and how it can accomplish these results.
If you don’t want to read, feel free to watch the video I made on this very subject!
What is SEO?
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is the process of increasing the organic quality and quantity of traffic to your website by optimizing the visibility of your website to search engines, and consequently, searchers.
Put simply, SEO is like putting a bright neon-colored hat on your website so that it is more easily seen in a search pool of results.
Think about it this way, the top 60% of website clicks go to the top 3 websites in a search ranking.
And 95% of searchers don’t even move past the first page of google!
Better SEO is a surefire way to increase your visibility by placing you towards the FRONT of search results, relative to where you would be placed with bad SEO.
Imagine how much money you could make if you were always placed at the forefront of search results, you’d make a KILLING.
In fact, many companies pay lots of money to be placed in those positions, when in reality, a little SEO goes a long way and costs far less.
The only negaive side of SEO optimization is the onset time that it takes to begin seeing real results.
Let me be clear, you WILL see results, but not soon. It takes an average of 4-6 months before SEO optimization becomes apparent to the bottom line.
That being said, 4-6 months is a relatively small amount of time considering you can utilize and ride off of that SEO for, essentially, as long as you want.
Put simply, in the long-run, it is WELL worth it.
So, now that we’ve discussed what SEO is, why it is important, and why you should care, let’s dive into the factors that affect it!
Factor 1: Search Engine Crawling
What is “crawling” to a search engine? And why does it affect SEO?
Well, “crawl-ability” is essentially whether or not a search engine can enter your site-space to determine what your website is about in the first place!
A search engine needs to “crawl” your website to determine what your website topic is about.
For example, any search engine that crawled my website would know that it is about digital marketing, made obvious by the words I use (which we will get to later) and the fact that they had easy access to “crawl” the site.
Imagine having people who do research for your town’s map of businesses going door to door to determine what people sell.
If you don’t allow them in and talk to them, they won’t know how to categorize your business.
Similarly, if search engines can’t scan your site, they won’t know how to present your site to relevant searches.
By using a well-coded website builder and creating “sitemaps” (which you can do with Yoast SEO plugin) *not sponsored* then you can create a sitemap rather easily if you don’t already have one!
To determine if you have a site map, type in your url in a search engine and then type “sitemap.xml” or sometimes “fullsitemap.xml”.
Or, if you still can’t find it, use a google query and type in your full url, add a space, then add sitemap.cml.
Such as “denisonsuccess.com sitemap.xml”
If you still can’t find it, you might not have one. But if you do, thats a good SEO sign right there!
Factor 2: Security
Consider the security of your site.
Think about this, a search engines job is to provide the HIGHEST QUALITY sites to searchers so that the searcher will continue to use them, right?
Having an insecure site will not make Google, Yahoo, Bing, or other search engine feel comfortable about presenting your site to searchers.
Security is not a make-it-or-break-it factor of SEO, but it still makes a tiny difference that can add up.
Consider using SSL certification to ensure that your site is secure and more trusted (and more shown) by search engines.
Factor 3: Pagespeed for SEO
People are getting less and less patient due to how fast things have become.
50 years ago the average human attention span was 18 minutes, nowadays it’s 8 seconds.
You can thank social media for that, among other things.
That being said, how often do you find yourself on google waiting 30 seconds for a page to load. Probably not often.
Pagespeed is a sign of user experience, something that search engines try and maximize to keep their searchers happy, and therefore beneficial to SEO.
In fact, after just 2 seconds of loading time, your site bounce rate increases by 40%.
That’s 40% MORE offers you could get in front of your audience, all lost due to a slow site.
Lot’s of things go into pagespeed, and there are awesome sites out there that can produce quick and actionable audits on your pagespeed.
Google Pagespeed Insights, Pingdom Tools, and GTMetrix all provide these services!
All things considered, try and decrease the loading times to less than 2 seconds for optimal SEO!
Factor 4: Responsive Design
Responsive web-design means having a website that scales down appropriately to fit smaller media devices such as tablets and phones.
Try it! Check out this very site on a desktop (if you are not using one) or on your phone!
Due to the fact that more and more people are searching the web on their phones, responsive web designs have become a huge part of SEO as dictated by search engines trying to optimize user-experiences.
Usually, it’s not to difficult to make a site mobile-friendly, and there are a few things to keep in mind.
– Text should make itself larger relative to the smaller screens to increase readability.
– Pictures should scale down, along with site functionality.
– Accordion menus should be used to save precious screen space on smaller screens.
Overall, there are plenty of considerations, with these being some of the most important!
Factor 5: Domain Authority
Ok, this is a BIG one.
Ultimately, domain authority can be viewed as a ranking of how “trusted” your site is to the search engines.
Obviously, the more “trusted” your site, the more SEO optimized you will be.
There are a few things to consider here.
1. The AGE of your site.
Older sites are generally considered more trusted as they have had time to show consistency. Most of the top search results are websites that are at least 2 or 3 years old.
2. URL Keywords.
Although it’s not necessary to have your main keyword in the url, sites that do (and aren’t just keyword stuffing) may benefit a tiny bit from that.
That being said, don’t think you have to change your entire business name just for this single factor. It’s not that big of a deal.
3. Backlinks and Community Relevancy.
When somebody consumes your content and shares it or references a link to you from THEIR site, you earn what is called a “backlink”.
Backlinks are VERY important to SEO because it is a direct reference to an authoritative and valuable website.
Search engines see backlinks as social proof that your website and content MUST be quality, and therefore a more authoritative and valuable website.
Backlinks are, in essence, a search engines form of product reviews for your website. The more quality backlinks you have from reputable sources, the more valuable your website is deemed to be.
Factor 6: Content Optimization.
Yes, this blog post that you are reading right now is optimized content.
Remember “crawl-ability”? Well, if crawl-ability is how you get the search engine in the door, then content optimization is like providing a clean and clear definition of what you do.
This ensures that search engines know exactly how to place you in search results.
Likely, the single most important factor of content optimization is keyword research (which i mentioned briefly in the crawl-ability section).
Keyword research is your ability to choose the least competitive, most-searched, relevant keywords that funnel people into your offer.
Use similar keywords, and search engines will know exactly what your site is about.
To do some light keyword research, you can use a litany of online tools like SEMRush or KeywordTracker or more.
You can also do it the old fashioned way by slowly typing in your keywords into google to see what the most commonly searched words are!
For example, I would search for digital marketing, content marketing, online marketing, and more.
By the way, content doesn’t just have to be written!
Videos, podcasts, description, and more ALL need to benefit from good SEO.
For example, let me show you the SEO score for my video about SEO!
I use TubeBuddy to find these stats!
Factor 7: General SEO
These are just some SEO categories that I couldn’t fit into the rest!
Firstly, consider adding alt (alternative text) to your images. Doing so allows search engines to also rank for images with relevant text descriptions on your website!
Also, add relevant keyword tags to your pages and posts! This allows Search engines to connect the meaning behind your site’s content and what you provide!
If I was trying to rank for “ice cream” I might use keywords like “ice cream, popsicles, creamery, etc.”
Also, make sure you use keywords in h1, h2, and h3 title tags on your pages and posts!
Doing so allows search engines to sort through and provide answers to searched content in what is called the 0-position.
The coveted 0-position is the link above the rest in search engines that directly answers your questions.
Add the main keyword you choose to your meta description (the bit of text under the links in search queries), make that description catchy and limit the character count to 160 to ensure it all fits under the link with the space provided.
Overall, there is a lot that goes into SEO.
That being said, given a little time and direction, you can definitely optimize your site and get more eyes onto your offer!
As promised, here is how my competitor scored for SEO and web-performance.
Note: I used the SAME software, at the SAME time, and gave the same formatting for the URL to ensure a non-biased test.
Thank you for reading, and if you ever need help on YOUR site’s SEO, we’d love to offer it!
Best of luck to you and your SEO adventure!
Here’s another awesome post on Content Marketing: The Hub and Spoke Model!
– Austin Denison
Denison Digital Marketing, a subset of Denison Success Systems