Websites by Falls Church, VA Web Designer and Search Engine Optimizer - James Day

What is SEO
(Search Engine Optimization)… and Why Do You Care?

Filed Under: SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

SEO is clouded in mystery for many.

Allow me to shed some light and bring you clarity on this often misunderstood aspect of Online Marketing.

Search Engines like Google answer questions and guide their users to the ideal content that matches the intent behind their search as best they can…

… and Effective Search Engine Optimization helps Google to see your website and its content in the best possible light so Google introduces people to you.

SEO that works gets your website ahead of the pack on attainable keyword targets that convert into clients that fuel your business.

For example, a local auto repair shop is never going to rank for “cars” nationally and even if it did the people searching for “cars” are probably just looking for pictures or maybe a local auto show or meetup.

“Auto Repair Near Me” or “Auto Maintenance Localtown” are realistic and valuable keywords to go after that will bring you business as you begin to close in on the coveted goal of getting number 1 in Google.

How do Search Engines Work?

Every time someone searches for something on Google the “results page” is dynamically generated to show the searcher the best search results and ads that match the perceived intention Google determines based on past behavior of previous searchers, past behavior of the individual searcher, and location.

What someone puts into Google for their search is the “search term” or “keyword”…

… and by utilizing “Keyword Research” you can know what people are searching for and how difficult it will be to beat the competition and what kind of content Google has decided people are searching for.

The Ying and Yang of SEO

There are 2 sides of the SEO coin and you must get both right to experience optimal results.

Find the right balance in your on-page and off-page SEO and watch your rankings rocket to the top.

“On-Page” Search Engine Optimization

On-Page SEO starts with your existing content. What’s working now? How can it work better?

What’s not working and is gathering dust? Can we repurpose it and give it new life?

Can we rewrite and employ effective Title Tags for SEO and write killer headlines and subheads with better copy that convinces more people to click on your search result listing in Google by making it more attractive?

After maximizing the effectiveness of the content you’ve already created, now we begin identifying gaps where new content can be added to compete in areas where your competition is present and you aren’t and take advantage of any wide open pastures ripe with opportunity for you to get there first.

We make sure to employ effective internal linking for SEO to masterfully “cluster” our content around our carefully selected “pillar pages” – optimizing your content for maximum search engine rankings.

Once we’ve got the on-page foundation optimized we set our sights on the other side of the SEO coin…

“Off-Page” Search Engine Optimization

This is where many get lost – but it’s really not that complicated.

Off-page SEO is about getting links – and making sure those links are the right links, from the right places.

To get those right links from those right people you must build relationships with them in the right way.

You approach them with something to offer that will move their goals forward – be they a professional business or an amature blogger.

But first off, how do we find the right people? Your direct competitors will be at least a bit hesitant to link to you… so we’re going to have to be at least a little bit creative.

But wait… we don’t have to be creative yet! First, let’s identify the tactics your competitors are using to drive their success… and just copy them (doing it even better).

We’ll analyze your competitors content that is ranking in Google – and we’ll determine why it’s ranking. Is the content just that much better and more in-depth than yours? Or, do they have many strong backlinks on websites where you too may acquire links to your website?

We’ve identified how your competition is besting you and opportunities for you to copy their methods and now it’s time to get creative and find ways to get ahead of the pack and leave your competition eating your dust.

And that about covers SEO (except for hosting & pagespeed, technical SEO, ecommerce SEO, sitemaps, analytics & goals, conversion rate optimization, Javascript delivery, image optimization, mobile responsive design, website usability, etc. OK maybe SEO is a little bit complicated after all.)

The best time to begin implementing an effective SEO strategy is NOW. You don’t have to do it all at once but if you want to see results you need to get started and you need to make sure you’re headed in the right direction.

-James Day

P.S. I’d love to have the opportunity to help you get your SEO right and get ahead of the pack.

Claim your free Online Marketing Blueprint now and let’s begin.