SEO & SEM.   Your audience is searching — help them find you.
Search engines like Google are continually changing their algorithms to deliver the most relevant results to searchers. Our SEO experts are skilled at creating relevant content, topic clusters, and linking strategies that will help you attract the right audiences to your site organically.
To drive additional traffic and further improve organic search, we then develop SEM campaign content, offers, and landing pages to engage audiences. We track the performance of these ad campaigns on an ongoing basis and optimize continually to improve results.
The basics of SEO.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of helping search engines read and interpret your web content. Optimizing your site for search can improve your search engine rankings, generate high-quality traffic organically, and increase awareness of your site. People who find your site through search are often better suited for your content — since they’re actively searching for it, they’re more likely to be interested in what you have to offer. And high-quality, well-suited visitors are better than hordes of visitors that won’t amount to anything more.
Make your site easier for searchers to find by focusing on…
- Keywords. Research the words and phrases that your buyer personas use when searching. Create content to answer your audience’s actual search questions, and optimize by using the appropriate keywords in your titles, URLs, and anywhere else they naturally fit, including headers or image alt-texts. Beware of keyword stuffing, though, as search engines will pick up on this, and content stuffed with keywords is annoying to read anyway. Always write your content for your readers, not search engines.
- Promotion. Share your content on the platforms where your audience spends time online. It’s easier for search engines to pick up on your content if people are talking about it.
- Links. Earning links to your content from well-reputed websites will increase your website’s authority and status. External links basically show search engines that your site is vouched for by others.
SEO might seem like a series of small improvements, but it can make a big impact on your traffic and, ultimately, your lead generation.
Want business? You need to get seen.
We all use Google (or Bing, Yahoo!, or another search engine) constantly, and “googling” has become part of our everyday vocabulary. As the primary navigational tools on the web, these search engines shape our online experiences. For a business, receiving a high ranking from the major search engines can generate exposure and impact revenue. Unoptimized sites, however, might as well be invisible to search engines — and by extension to consumers, as well. Learn to improve your website’s search ranking through SEO, and you could increase your visibility and traffic — and maybe even beat your competition for the top spot.
How to measure SEO.
Once you start optimizing, there are several ways to analyze the impact of your efforts.
Look at your traffic sources.
How are people making their way to your site? Are they navigating there directly, coming from links in your emails or other marketing campaigns? Are they referred by other websites? Or — and this how you’ll measure your SEO — are they organically searching and finding you? When it comes to these coveted organic searchers, pay attention to the search terms, phrases, or questions that people used to find you and ensure your content actually satisfies their search queries in order to keep bounce rates low and user experience positive.
Do your keyword research.
Identify the keywords for which you’d like to show up on the first page of the search engine rankings. Monitor your keyword performance and get suggestions for related highly-searched keywords using tools like Google Analytics and Moz’s Keyword Explorer. Use these insights to create content that will answer your target audience’s questions and build your online authority in your area of expertise.
Gear your content for conversion.
Next, look at the people who have converted from visitor to customer on your site in the past. Which keywords did they use to find your site? (You can track this with tools like HubSpot or Google Analytics.) Make sure your content satisfies these searchers, too, to increase your chances of replicating those conversions. Pay close attention to the user experience on your landing pages — think of it as your brand’s chance at a first impression.
Continually test and improve.
SEO is mostly science, but there’s a little bit of art, as the algorithms are constantly changing. Experiment to see what garners the most traffic and monitor your results — just be sure to implement any changes one at a time.
Performing an SEO audit.
To know if your content is optimized for search, conduct an SEO audit. This helps determine if your site is performing how you’d like it to — pulling in the traffic you want and converting visitors. A thorough SEO audit will leave you with specific actions you can take to improve your search rankings.
When we conduct SEO audits for our clients, we use a web crawler configured to think like Google’s bots to analyze the entire website — every page, every piece of metadata, every word. If you don’t have the technical tools at your disposal to do a full SEO audit, though, start by asking yourself these questions. Depending on your answers, you may determine that your site is performing just fine, or you may decide to invest in a more thorough audit.
Is the site content readable? This includes URLs, images, visuals, embedded media, and more. Be sure that they’re all crawlable and accessible.
How are you performing on your targeted keywords? On which page of the search results do you appear?
What comes up when you search for your brand? Hint: it should be your site!
Who created the most recent content for your site? Make sure it’s someone credible and authoritative to increase your chances of social sharing.
Are your titles and page descriptions fitting and compelling? Searchers can be drawn in by a good title or description, so be sure to fully capitalize on this chance to capture attention.
The partnership between content strategy and SEO.
There is a misconception that good content and SEO practices butt heads — that SEO is all about how to talk to search engines, while quality content is made for people. In reality, the two work hand-in-hand to help your message get to the right audience at the right time. SEO best practices can inform your content strategy, ensuring that what you’re putting out there will actually solve people’s problems and answer their questions. And if you create quality content that people actually like and find helpful, it’ll be rewarded by search engines.
Making sites mobile-friendly.
We all know that if you don’t adapt your site for mobile use, you’ll be missing out on a huge portion of the population — mobile users will typically abandon a slow-to-load site after 6-10 seconds. But did you know that mobile-friendliness (or lack thereof) also affects your SEO? Google uses mobile-first indexing, so if your site is not optimized for mobile use, you will lose rank.
Optimizing visual content.
Content with images gets 94% more views than content without, but you can’t just toss in images and videos and assume that’ll automatically help you. Visual content needs to be optimized, too. There are several ways to optimize your images and videos:
Filenames. Make sure these are relevant and informative and that they describe the actual image or video. If someone were to see only the filename, they should still have a good idea of what the content looks like or includes.
Size. Compressed images can improve the user experience because they take less time to load, but don’t go too small or you’ll sacrifice image quality.
Alt text. The alt text describes what an image is in a short and direct way and is used by bots and crawlers to understand what an image is about. This text also makes your site more accessible for visually impaired users.
Position. If important and relevant, place the image near the top of the page, as search engines are more likely to account for the first images on a page.
Titles and descriptions. Image titles aren’t as front-and-center as video titles, but still be sure to use clear titles and captions, if applicable. Likewise, give your video content meaningful titles and descriptions.
SEO + SEM: a team effort.
Search-optimized content earns unpaid, organic search results and traffic for your site. Search engine marketing (SEM) places paid ads in search results. While they both drive traffic based on keywords, adding SEM to your toolbox can help increase the effectiveness of your targeted campaigns. Plus, it allows your site to be found through search terms for which you wouldn’t organically rank.
SEM will only help if you have a solid site to begin with. Our advice to clients when it comes to SEM: focus on providing quality information that people are actually looking for. Once your site has accomplished this, use paid ads and marketing strategically to promote specific offers. SEO is crucial to cultivating a truly successful website for your business. Want to get started with an SEO audit to find out how your site is performing? Work with us.