What is Search Engine Optimization and Why Do I Need It?
In short, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of increasing the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s natural or un-paid (organic) search results. The higher ranked on the search results page, and more frequently a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine’s users. The more traffic to your site, the more exposure you get, the more profitable it can be!
Before we optimize your site, it is important to do a bit of research. This process can vary depending on a few factors, such as:
- Is your site brand new, or has it been live for awhile?
- Did you previously have SEO work done?
- Was it done right?
- How competitive is your industry?
While the specifics can vary, the general approach looks like this:
- Website Analysis: This is especially important for existing sites. What are you doing right, and where is there room for improvement?
- Competitor Analysis: What are your competitors doing right? If it’s working for them, it’ll work for you too! This also gives us a feel for the competitiveness of your market, and helps pinpoint niche opportunities that others have failed to capitalize on.
- Keyword Research: Our keyword analysis will determine the most effective keywords for your site (they may not be the ones you think!)
This refers to optimizing your website and individual web pages to be as attractive as possible to Google and other search engines. First, we generate custom meta tags for each page of your site, letting Google know what the page is all about. Each page targets a different keyword from our Keyword Research. Next, we optimize the actual content of your page (again, using our keywords!) This can involve modifications to the existing text, to make it more enticing to search engines.
There are two important things to keep in mind during this process:
- Content is king. Search engines love it, and the more your site has, the better.
- Your site visitors are still the most important thing. People – not search engines – buy products and services. User experience is paramount, and we do not want to do anything to detract from the usability of your site. Your content must still be informative and easy to read. We are not simply trying to stuff your keyword(s) into the page as often as possible.
Also during this phase, we create sitemaps of your site (both HTML and XML), plus install and configure the Yoast WordPress plugin. Yoast is by far the best SEO plugin available for WordPress.
Optimizing your web pages for search engines is a critical step in the SEO process. However, it is only the first step and we have much more ground to cover. These days, SEO and online marketing is all about link building and branding. Social media is a key component of this, and we will delve into that next.
Social Media and Online Profiles
You already know about Facebook and Twitter. They are very important marketing tools with a huge reach. You have probably also heard of Google Plus… and you most likely don’t use it. That needs to change, as many online businesses are starting to realize just how much of an impact Google+ has on search results. Google’s results are prioritizing Google+ and Google Places local listings, and the influence of these services continues to grow.
The purpose of this phase is to go beyond “getting to #1 in Google” as a means of traffic generation. Traffic comes to your website from a wide variety of mediums, and you are going to want to tap into all of them. Social media, local listings, and review sites all have an enormous impact on bringing visitors to your site, and can also impact your ranking in organic search results.
We setup and optimize profiles for your business in Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus and Pinterest; as well as Google Places and Yelp. In addition, we will build five (5) other local citations for your business. These are mentions of your business in local listing directories such as CitySearch, AngiesList, YP.com, etc. These may or may not contain a link back to your website. It this case, the mention (citation) is what is important.
This is the most important component of SEO and traffic generation. We feel that link building is best explained not as a component of Search Engine Optimization, but as an entirely separate service. Click here to learn more about our link building services.
The only way to know if your SEO and link building efforts are working is to track them! Thankfully, Google offers two amazing (and free) services for just this purpose. We will setup Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools on your site at the start of your SEO campaign, if they have not been setup already. Together, these services allow us to analyze your site’s ranking in search results, and track visitors to your site. This goes beyond simply counting the number of visits to your site. We can track how visitors are getting to your site, how long they are staying, and what they are doing while they are there… and that is barely scratching the surface of what these tools can do.
We divide our SEO services into three categories: On-Site Optimization, Social Media and Online Profile setup, and link building. Packages are available for On-Site Optimization and Online Profile Development (see details and pricing below.) Link building is specifically tailored to each clients needs and budget. A full explanation of our link building process can be found here.
Our On-Site Optimization Package Includes:
- Website Analysis
- Competitor Analysis
- Keyword Research
- Individual Page Optimization (up to 5 pages)
- Yoast Installation and Configuration
- Sitemap Creation (XML and HTML)
- Setup Google Analytics
- Setup Google Webmaster Tools
Our Online Profile Package Includes:
- Google Plus
- Google Places
- Five (5) Additional Local Citations
What It Costs
Online Profile Setup: $499