Are you ready to check SEO off your list? It may seem overwhelming at first, but once you understand how Google “thinks,” SEO becomes much more intuitive. At TRIO, we have a dedicated SEO specialist who works on getting our accounts in tip-top shape (so give us a ring!). For those of you who are looking to get started, dive into the SEO tips we’re sharing here. Let’s start from the beginning…
What is SEO?
SEO is an acronym that stands for “search engine optimization,” and it should make up a big part of your marketing strategy. Did you know that 75 percent of people never scroll past the first page of search engines? (Hubspot) That means that if you’re on page two, or God forbid, past that, you’re missing a lot of traffic.
What’s a SERP?
Hint: It’s not a snake. SERP is an acronym that stands for “search engine results page.” In other words, it’s what comes up when you search for something in a search engine. In Google, there are many sections that could possibly pop up, like local packs, knowledge cards, featured snippets and more. It’s a good idea to Google your keywords to see what comes up so that you can write in a more targeted way. For instance, if an image pack comes up, you should place a high priority on optimizing your alt text.
Another section that could pop up is paid results. While search engine marketing (ex. AdWords etc.) can drive search impressions and results, many who may not have a dedicated budget for this will be happy to know that 70-80% of people do not click on paid search results, choosing to focus their clicks on organic search results. (ImForza)
Defining Goals & KPIs
The most important key to success with SEO is to do your research up front and set goals. Otherwise, you could fall down a rabbit hole and completely lose sight of what you wanted to accomplish in the first place. Determining this information includes knowing your competition, knowing where you’re coming from in terms of an SEO standpoint and having a long-term strategic plan that includes a comprehensive content strategy with tentacles in backlinking, cleanup and keyword planning. Then, it’s time to think about how you will measure your impending success. Moz defines common KPIs to be sales, downloads, email signups, contact form submissions and phone calls.
The Site Crawl
Performing a site crawl is the first step in diagnosing your current state. You can use free crawlers, like Screaming Frog or SEM Rush, but at TRIO, we like to use Moz. A site crawl will show you 404s that need to be fixed alongside issues like missing titles or descriptions. After identifying your site’s existing problems, it’s time to clean all this up before you can start optimizing. Google Search Console is also a good tool for diagnosing issues and uncovering analytics. Once you can see what problems need to be fixed, it’s easy to pop into a platform like WordPress and clean up links, descriptions and the like. Just make sure you have the Yoast plug-in and it’s a breeze.
Now for the fun part: optimizing content! Once you’ve determined goals for your site, it’s time to come up with some targeted keywords. There are many sites that can suggest keywords for you based on what you want to achieve. We like using Moz’s keyword explorer, but you could also use Google Keyword Planner or other free sites. If you don’t use a program like Moz, keep a spreadsheet of which keywords you want to track based on each goal you’ve set. Warning: this could take many, many hours, but it becomes game-like and you will probably become addicted to tracking analytics once you’ve gotten this far.
Revisiting Content and Planning for the Future
SEO work is never done. Many of the most successful blogs continue to revisit old content to tweak for optimization. While you should stay away from keyword stuffing, it is worth your time to go through your existing content with a fine-toothed comb to ensure that your keywords are present and in the right amount. It’s also important, as we mentioned earlier, not to forget about your alt text, which is how Google reads images.
If you have any questions or would like to have a TRIO talk about how we can help you boost your search engine rankings, reach out!