post by Stephanie Nelson
“Successful SEO is not about tricking Google. It’s about ‘partnering’ with Google to provide the best search results for users.”
I recently ran across this quote, which is attributed to Phil Frost, founder and COO at Main Street ROI, a digital marketing agency with team members across the United States and clients around the world (per their website). As an SEO practitioner, I’ve taken this stance for as long I’ve been in the industry; I just never worded it this way. Instead, I talked about focusing on white hat tactics vs black hat tactics. But I feel Mr Frost’s words may resonate with small business owners in a more easily digestible and understandable way. So here are a few tips on how you can “partner” with the search engines for SEO success.
- Determine what your target audience is searching for.
Abandon your preconceived notions and industry jargon. Don’t use the terms you THINK make you sound smart or like the industry expert. Do the research to find out what terms and questions they’re using to search for your goods or services.
- Do competitive research.
Once you have an idea of the keywords you should be focusing on, look at the top sites that show for those queries. Look at their title tags and meta descriptions. Look at their calls to action. Look at how they’re using those terms in their content. The consider how you can differentiate your business from theirs in the eyes of the consumers AND the search engines. Why should someone choose you over them?
- Work your new knowledge into your site.
Once you know the terms you want to rank for organically, how your competitors are working their angles, and how you’re different, optimize your title tags, meta descriptions, and on-page copy around this data. To do this properly, you’ll need to make sure you’re adhering to the search engines’ character limitations on title tags and meta descriptions, as well as their guidelines around keyword saturation within the on-page copy. Make sure you’re incorporating this information in your image alt data, too, while also optimizing them for size so as not to increase page load time (which is bad for user experience and SEO).
As with most tasks in life, when you know how to perform these items, they roll off the schedule with ease. But when you don’t, they can seem daunting. If you fall in that latter category and would like some help, use the button below to give us a shout to see if we’re a good fit for you! We love our SEO projects!Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay