SEO Marketing: Why Once Isn’t Enough
It seems easy enough these days to employ search engine optimization (SEO) tools and ensure your website is optimized. Keywords? Check. Title tags? Check. Meta data? Check. A quick search on Google gives you plenty of DIY info on employing the basics, and if you’ve checked a few off here and there, you start to get the sense that you’re steering your site towards the first page of Google. Soon you’ll be reaping the rewards with new visitors and potential customers to your site. Right? Well, the truth is that it isn’t that easy.
SEO is a digital marketing strategy that comes with some primary requirements if you want to appear in search engine results pages (SERPs). Meeting those primary requirements might feel like enough but, if you analyze your rankings over time, you might find that you move up in rank and then drop down again. Maybe not all of your pages are showing up in searches, or your home page has plateaued at page four.
Implementing SEO is a bit like owning a car. You can fix some issues yourself, even if you’re not a mechanic, like replacing a brake light or changing the oil. But eventually, you’ll need professional help to monitor, report on, and fix some of the bigger issues that arise. The importance of ongoing SEO can not be underestimated. In 2019, results on the first page of Google (The Top 10) receive 92% off all search traffic on Google.
Really effective SEO, the kind that produces the results in the statistic above, requires three things: strategy, implementation, and management. Below we’ve outlined what’s involved in each phase and how they work together to produce a better functioning website for you now, and down the road. If you’re going to drive off into the sunset, you might as well drive off without a hitch!
SEO Website Strategy
When you’re starting out and ready to employ an SEO website strategy, there are some basic content requirements, as well as backend and technical needs, which need to be met in order to make those algorithms happy. The sites that get top real estate spots on the first page or two of Google are there because they’re following white-hat best practices–they’re playing by the rules and likely working on improvements regularly. Generally speaking, your basic SEO rules are as follows:
- Keyword research conducted for each individual page with primary and secondary keywords employed organically throughout copy, and utilizing h1 and h2 headers appropriately
- The meta title for the page employs your primary and secondary keywords as required
- The meta description is a thoughtful interpretation of the page content, and meets character count requirements to produce an engaging summary of the page for searchers browsing result pages
- Your site is verified on Google Search Console
- an XML site map is installed
- URLs reflect ideal structures and support page keywords
- Website architecture reflects primary content and secondary content in clear navigation structure
- A strong internal linking structure is applied throughout the site
- Location, service, and contact are all highly visible
- Google My Business listing is verified
- Google Analytics is set up and installed
Advanced SEO features will include alt and title tags for all of your images, fully developed social media platforms that link off from your website, and a regularly updated and optimized blog utilizing keyword trends in your industry.
It sounds like a lot, right? It is, and that’s why SEO is an industry–it takes time, resources, and professional understanding of the elements at play to get your site set-up for optimal success in search result visibility.
Picking and choosing off the basics list will only get you so far–eventually, the other issues left unattended will affect the functionality of your website overall, just like your car.
We typically work with WordPress for our clients’ websites. It is the most popular website platform in the world with its ease of use, the regularity of updates to improve its services, and the multitude of easy-to-integrate plugins for additional functionality.
One of those plugins is Yoast SEO. This is one of the most popular SEO marketing plugins to date, and if you want your WordPress site to gain traction in SERPs, Yoast should be installed and its recommendations followed. Yoast can automate much of the installation of meta title and descriptions for each page, which is great for a start. Ideally, you want to override the auto-functionality and employ targeted, well-constructed custom data for each page of your website. The more targeted your data is, from your keywords to the title and meta description, the more chance you have of rising above the competition.
Next, you’ll want to ensure you have a green light from Yoast on all page elements when you’re working on the backend of your site. Yoast is your mechanic, and will let you know if any of your website pages still needs work.
All of this requires time, as does implementing Google Search Console verification, and site map installation, set up of Google Analytics, and verification of Google My Business. If you don’t have time to spare and want to avoid the hassle of trial and error, hiring a web development team like Alpha Strategy can ensure that your basic SEO strategy is in place effectively and efficiently.
It would be nice to think that after all that work, your website SEO is done and now you can sit back and wait for the results. Unfortunately, in today’s competitive marketplace, and with Google’s ever-changing and evolving algorithm updates, SEO is a fluid and dynamic industry. While the basics have never really changed, there’s always going to be fluctuations and changes in the marketplace.
Analyzing your user’s behaviour, over time, will also help you understand what you’re doing right, and what you’re doing wrong. You’ll be able to identify trends in behaviour that can lead to ideas for additional content, which can attract you more potential customers.
An ongoing SEO management package can monitor and report on the effectiveness of the strategies and practices in place, with recommendations and implementations for better search engine traction and visibility online. A diagnostic in the shop can help you determine your next steps for a smooth, smooth ride.
Do you want to learn more about Alpha Strategy’s SEO marketing services? From set-up to ongoing packages, we can help you with your visibility goals and get your website up and running accordingly. Give us a call at (778) 441-2535 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s chat!