Updated: Jun 15
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. SEO is so vast, I find it difficult to explain. I really like the way SemRush explains it though! You could follow this link here if you prefer to read a description instead of looking at a diagram: Are You Getting These 21 SEO Basics Right? (How to Do SEO if You Are a Beginner)
What I prefer to do, instead of writing out a long description and having you read it all, is to show you a diagram and to go over the sections.
There are 6 main areas here: Technical, Content, Citations being the 3 main pillars and then each of these when working together should convey understanding, deliverability, and credibility.
We like to start with Content, because content is everything and it’s the foundation you can’t live without.
Content (on-page SEO)
Meta titles and meta descriptions
Writing style - simple, clear, and focused
Authorship - Identify the author
Rich content (images, sound, video)
Internal & Outbound links
Quantity & Quality
User-friendliness of the design.
Freshness (regular updates)
I'm not going to go into detail about each of these items in this post. Most of them you can understand what they represent just by their titles. You can see content (in this situation) is mostly talking about actual text or copy. Your copy should be focused on user-friendliness of the design in which it's being displayed. The freshness of your design is accomplished through regular updates. Your content should be relevant and should care more about quality over quantity, though having a lot of content vs. little is always better. Your writing style needs to be simple, clear and focused. You should identify the author of all posts or blogs. Your site should have really good navigation. It needs to have internal and outbound links as well. Your headers (H1, H2, H3) as well as paragraphs should be clearly identified. And each page should have built in meta tags and meta descriptions.
Furthermore, content is also talking bout images, sounds and videos which we call "Rich Content". Each of these items also need proper identification so Google can determine what they are. From there, we make sure that we use phrases without ‘stuffing’–natural language.
As we move one, we want to make sure your content is correctly laid out on the technical side of things.
Technical (on-page SEO)
Again, I won't go into details about what each of these mean but you can gather that your site's speed is important. Having a mobile friendly site that has a SSL certificate is important.
If your site doesn't have an SSL it wont' be seen online easily, if at all. Other sites won't cite it and search engines like DuckDuckGo wont' even show it.
The areas of Schema.org markup, Crawlability and Indexability are technique things that should be explained, but that's another post and another day. If you are interested in knowing what they mean, just let me know and I'd be happy to explain!
Site architecture works like navigation, your site should be clearing laid out on the technical side of things. Like a user who would want to be able to navigate your site from a human stand point, Google wants to navigate it from a bot stand point.
Once we get these first two areas completed (content and tech), then we work on building your online presence.
Citations (off page SEO)
Backlinks from relevant and authoritative sites
Unlinked brand mentions
Quality over quantity
When it comes to being cited on other people’s websites, it’s important to look for sites that are relevant first, then sites that are credible second and lastly, sites that are popular. Google deems this method more valuable to users so relevance supersedes popularity here.
We want to include links on your site from authoritative sites but we also want your site to be linked from others! We want to make sure that what we are linking is relevant to the page it is on. We want to anchor one page of your site to others within your webpage.
There are a few things here that I do need to give more details on and that's unlinked brand mentions, influencer marketing, trust signals and guest blogging.
Unlinked brand mentions are places on the web where other businesses have mentioned your businesses name but haven't included a link. Google still sees them, just not as often or easily.
Influencer marketing falls under one of the paid advertisement areas. You are paying influencers or bloggers to mention your brand on their social or email channels or website and you pay them for your clicks or leads. They are put under citations because most of them are using links to help promote.
Trust signals are the things you put on your website that ensure and promote trust to your users such as clear contact information, forms, mentions of what types of payments you accept, listing organizations you have been mentioned or you network with and more.
Guest blogging can work both ways, you write for someone and they put that content on their website or they write for you and you put theirs on yours. Either way, it's a blog post written that has citations built in for backlinking purposes. If you write for them, your blog will be about their business and visa versa. We do this for our clients as it's a great way to build those links!
As your SEO strategy is being maintained, Google needs everything to be understandable, credible and deliverable and of course, quality over quantity is important here as well. This all leads up to the understanding, credibility and deliverability portion of our SEO Diagram.
The key elements of being understood online is to have clear copywriting, to utilize Schema markup and to have relevant inbound links.
The key element of being credibly online is to focus on the page, the author, and the website. Be the expert, show authoritativeness and promote trustworthiness (E-A-T). Work on your link building and be sure they are from and with relevant sources. You can't cheat the system, Google knows... if you are listed on a ton of sites that have no relevance, you'll get flagged!
If you offer a great user experience and you deliver your content in the most appropriate format your deliverability is going to improve. Make sure your site is mobile friendly and your download speed is on par. Use rich content (videos and images) and makes sure your copy is well thought out.
Then, you'll be on the right track!
With the SEO services we offer, we go with some of the methods all the way up to all of the methods. It just depends on how quickly and how consistently you would like to be seen online.
The most valuable thing to take away from this post is to understand that just because you have a website, it doesn’t mean SEO automatically comes with it (I’ve listed out corresponding posts below). In fact, you can have an amazing site, with content on it, but if the content isn’t optimized and every-changing, maintained and updated, SEO can’t even begin to happen.
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to reach out to me!
HMG / HWD
Chief Everything Officer Design Obsessed
"I want you to look as good as you are!"