Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization can be challenging for many companies. There are a slew of articles outlining what needs to be done and they make it seem so easy. The reality is that it takes time, knowledge and an investment in tools to get it done correctly.
When businesses started jumping on the SEO bandwagon, there were many ‘experts’ there to help. Many of these ‘experts’ were making claims about ranking businesses on Google’s top spots, and they were able to do it for some time. They used what is referred to as Black Hat SEO. It was sort of like gaming the system and focused on optimizing content for search engines, not humans. Google learns very quickly about these tactics and has been penalizing sites for using them.
At Engaged Digital Marketing, we focus on White Hat SEO. This type focuses on providing quality content for a human audience and making it easily accessible to them. It also follows the rules set by Google to avoid penalization.
Here is how we optimize your website to be discovered by the right people via the search engines.
On-Page refers to optimizing your actual website and there are 4 main components to take care of.
We do extensive keyword research to determine the best keywords and phrases to rank for with the search engines. Keyword research is the foundation that we build upon for the services we offer at Engaged Digital Marketing. From the keywords we uncover, we’ll produce content for blogs, infographics, lead magnets and help rewrite your website copy, if necessary.
We analyze your website content and blog articles to make sure that you are effectively using keywords, internal/external links, and that the content is directed towards your target audience. The goal is to provide quality, relevant content that seeks to answer questions your target audience is asking.
We will make sure the technical aspects of your site are set up properly and can manage it ourselves or with the help of your website designer/manager. This includes:
- Title Tags
- Meta Descriptions
- Header Tags (H1, H2, H3, H4, etc.)
- Internal Links / External Links
- Image Titles & ALT Tags
- Schema Markup
Good website architecture will improve the visitors’ experience while browsing your site. Good web designers understand this, but often, it is overlooked.
Here are some of the areas we focus on:
The search engines need to be able to easily crawl through and index your site. A proper sitemap will help with this. We’ll make sure yours is accessible and block pages that you don’t want the search engines to index.
If your site isn’t mobile friendly, you are losing out on opportunities. Let’s face it, the world has moved to mobile and your site needs to be designed with this in mind.
URL Structure Optimization
The way in which your website’s URL is written, can impact the search results ranking. We will examine, then restructure your URLs the way that search engines like to read them.
Your pages need to original in the eyes of Google and the other search engines. Duplicate site content can be in the form of URL variations and prefixes (HTTP vs. HTTPS or WWW vs. non-WWW). We will perform a site audit to determine whether or not your site contains duplicate content and then provide a fix.
Like on-page SEO, off-page has many elements to it. In essence, you need to establish your site as a trusted authority that provides relevant content. For the most part, this is done through Quality Backlinks to your site.
As part of our SEO services, we will perform outreach to relevant sites to get them link back to your site. We focus on getting backlinks from quality websites and not just a high number of backlinks. If you receive ‘toxic backlinks’, we will be able to disavow those for you, as they may harm your overall SEO.
Part of the off-page work we perform is guest posting. We reach out to relevant sites in your industry and secure a guest posting slot. We then have them publish this article with anchor text linking back to your site.
Social media plays a part in off-page SEO as well. With social media, just like with backlinks, the quality is important. The people sharing your content, if influential, can provide a boost to your SEO juice.
As part of our social media marketing efforts, we will connect with social media influencers in your industry and attempt to get them to share your content, which will link to your site.
Along with quality shares on social is the quantity of shares. Through our content marketing activities, we’ll produce content that is not only SEO-friendly, but also articles that your followers find relevant and want to share via their social media accounts.
Local competition is heating up and if you are not optimizing your site for local search, you’ll be missing out to your competitors who are.
Here is how we tackle local search optimization to get your business to rank higher.
Local Structured Data Markup
This is often referred to as schema markup and can be added to your website’s code to provide search engines more information about your business and the services or products you provide.
Online Directories and Citations
Google states that roughly 4 out of 5 consumers use search engines to conduct local searches. What that means is that you should claim your online business listings now. They need to be consistent across the web with accurate information.
It’s important to get an accurate listing of your business’s name, address and phone number (NAP) on the major citation aggregators to push the right information out to other sites.
Local directories are important also, and we’ll make sure that your business is listed correctly on them.
Google My Business Optimization
Google my business falls in the online directory category, but this one warrants its own section. Google My Business (GMB) is free and since it’s part of Google, is very important. Claiming your listing on GMB and optimizing it will help you show up in the Google 3-Pack, which is the the listing you sometimes see with a map associated with the business listings.
You can set us up to manage your listing or handle it yourself. Either way, it’s important to optimize your listing for local search.
Titles and Meta Descriptions
Titles and meta description tags are part of your site’s html code. We help customize them to accurately reflect what your business and pages are about. When prospects do a search online, these descriptions are what they will be show for each page in the search results.
We pay close attention to the length and text to make them display properly and compel people to take action through CTAs (calls to action). For local businesses, it’s also important to optimize titles and meta descriptions tags for local search.
By performing these ‘White Hat‘ techniques, we are able to build up your site traffic over time, without having to worry about Google penalizations.