SEO - SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION
SEO/SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION
Sachs Marketing Group is a full-service Search Engine Optimization or SEO company, offering both local SEO services and enterprise SEO services. No matter your business's size, nature, or location, we've got the tools and expertise to help you get more customers through increased search engine visibility.
What is SEO - Search Engine Optimization?
Search Engine Optimization or "SEO" is the process of making your website more appealing to Google and other search engines. It involves many factors, from the keywords used in the title and text of your webpages, to the time users spend on your website, and even the number of links to and from your website. SEO professionals use a variety of tactics to improve rankings.
SEO is far more complex than this – as it's speculated there are over 200 ranking factors the search engines use to determine ranking for any keyword. While the algorithms that determine ranking are held under lock and key, experienced marketers have conducted tests and analyzed data to learn what works and what doesn't.
Ultimately, search engines are just like you – aiming to please their customers. If users aren't happy with the results they get for their searches, then they'll go elsewhere to find what they're looking for. SEO algorithms have changed dramatically over the years, all in an effort to improve the quality of content on the web, and make the user experience better.
In the early days, it was easy to rank for anything, whether it was related to your site or not – all you had to do was stuff keywords, a practice known as keyword stuffing, in your webpage, and you were good to go. Now? SEO Ranking requires more effort, and relies on creating a valuable resource for your target audience, focusing on the users first, and the search engines second.
The SEO process can be broken down into two key components, each with their own series of best practices.
This is the part of SEO that's done on your website. It involves numerous elements, and when optimized correctly, goes a long way to getting you ranked for your desired keywords. During on-page SEO, we look at:
- Cheap leather dog collars
- Custom dog collar tags
- Dog ID collars
- Best personalized dog collars
A good website structure translates to a good user experience. Everything should be built using a logical hierarchy, so that users can easily find what they're looking for. Plus, the better your website structure is, the easier it is for the search engine bots to crawl and index. Bots will not automatically discover everything on your website, so it's up to you to make it easy for them.
Part of your structure should include an SEO-friendly URL. Use keywords in your URL. For instance: http://buydogcollars.com/sparkly-collars, http://buydogcollars.com/personalized-collars, http://buydogcollars.com/leather-collars, and so on.
Since mobile traffic has surpassed desktop traffic, it's important to create a seamless user experience regardless of what device a user is coming to you on. Responsive design automatically adjusts your website to look appropriate for a computer, a tablet, or a smartphone, so that users continue to have an excellent experience across the board. Mobile-friendliness was added as a ranking factor in April 2015.
This file tells the search engine crawlers which files to read and which ones to ignore.
This file tells the search engines how many pages should be indexed on the website. As webmasters add additional pages, they can resubmit the sitemap to have the new pages included.
This is where things start getting intense, because your page content is where the bulk of your keywords and LSI phrases will be. Use heading tags throughout to logically break up your text for easier reading. Each page should also have ALT text on all images and videos that use descriptive keywords to ensure those that are using assistive devices can still understand what's on the page.
Everything on your page - the code, images, videos, and other elements - is data. All of that data affects how fast your page loads. If it takes too long, users will click off of it in favor of another source. In fact, 47% of people expect a website to load in two seconds or less, and 40% will abandon a website that takes three seconds or longer to load.
As the name suggests, this is the part of SEO or search engine optimization that takes place elsewhere online. The main focus is to build links to your website from other sources, so you become recognized as a valuable resource. We help address this in a number of ways, and craft a strategy that aligns with your brand.
COMMON LINK BUILDING METHODS INCLUDE:
- Submitting guest posts to other websites and blogs.
- Commenting on popular blogs in your niche.
- Using Help a Reporter Out to volunteer as a source for things reporters are writing about.
- Creating a valuable resource other websites can link to in order to educate their audience.
- Creating YouTube videos.
- Writing a press release announcing your new website or any company news.
- Linking to your website in your email and forum signatures.
- Creating and distribute infographics.
Beyond building backlinks, the idea is that you want people to become aware of your website and your brand. This means using a variety of techniques to spread the word.
- Actively participating in social media groups or creating your own social media group.
- Running ads on Google Ads or social media platforms to jumpstart the traffic flow.
- Listing your website in appropriate online directories.
- Sharing business documents like presentations and brochures on external websites like SlideShare.
- Actively participating in question and answer websites like Quora, Yahoo Answers, and Answer Bag.
Once you get the on-page SEO handled, you may need to make adjustments based on what you find out about your traffic. That's where Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools can come in handy. Always install analytics, so you can track which pages are the most popular on your website, and learn more about your audience – how long they're staying on your site, which pages they come in on, which pages they leave on, where they're coming from, what browser they're using and more. Google Webmaster Tools can help you make sure your sitemap is properly submitted, whether or not you have any broken links or crawl issues and more.
Off-page SEO is an ongoing effort. New websites and competition pop up all the time. Continuous efforts to keep your rankings high are necessary, because the rankings are never static.
Let us help you navigate SEO for your business. Call us today.
Local SEO content matters just as much as general search engine optimization (SEO) content.. The search engines still want to know you're providing value to their customers, so that means investing in quality content that educates and informs but also engages your target audience. Beyond the use of keywords in the content itself, it's a good idea to add your city or region with a relevant keyword to the following locations:
- Landing page title tag
- Landing page H1 tag
- Landing page URL
- Landing page image ALT tags
To help users find your business, it's also a good idea to embed a Google Map with your business marker in your landing page.
Mobile-friendliness is a factor regardless of whether you're focused on general or local SEO, but it is especially important for local SEO. Google reports more than half of all web traffic now comes from smartphones and tablets. You need to assume that at least some of your audience will be searching for your services from their mobile devices, and make it easy for them to contact you directly from their smartphone, as 30% of all mobile searches are related to location. Plus, 76% of people who search for something nearby with their smartphone, visit a business within a day, while 28% of those searches result in a purchase.
We'll audit your existing website to make sure it is optimized for search engines, making adjustments for improvement where necessary. We'll analyze the results and refine in an ongoing management campaign to ensure you get increased rankings and visibility.
FOCUS ON CITATIONS AND LOCAL REVIEWS
In “standard” SEO, there’s talk about building links to your website from other reputable sources. While those certainly won’t hurt your local SEO efforts, there’s more focus on building citations first, and links second.
Why? So you can rank in the “Map Pack” like our client “AP Urgent Care” shown below.
To do this, we focus on three core areas:
- Name, Address, Phone Number (NAP) Citations: We make sure you have your full NAP on every page on your website. And, however it is listed there, is how we'll mention it on other websites. It is essential that each citation be done in the exact same format, and include all the same details. We'll use the org markup on your NAP, to make it easier for search engines to display your company information correctly. Your address needs to be a real, physical business location. This means it cannot be a virtual office, as Google requirements state it must be staffed.
- Local Reviews: Since Google launched the Local Carousel feature in June 2013, they've had influence on how a business is ranked. According to Moz, they account for about 10% of how the search engines decide to rank results. When we focus on reviews, we don't craft reviews for you – we help make sure your business profiles are claimed on all the popular review sites like Google Reviews, Yelp, TripAdvisor, and others specific to your business services. This way, all the NAP information stays consistent, and you can start encouraging customers to leave honest reviews for you.
- My Business Signals: We'll make sure you've created or claimed your business in Google My Business, and assist with the verification process. We'll include the correct category data for what your business is, rather than what it does. We'll scan for duplicate listings and get rid of as many as possible. If we can't get rid of them, we'll minimize the listing. We'll add as much rich data as we possibly can, such as your hours, photos, and a business description. If your business has multiple locations – more than 10, there's a bulk option, too.
Our team will handle crafting the citations for you, which will save you time and effort. Plus, we'll take it one step further to look at all the citations your competitors have gained, so we can be sure you are wherever they are.
Just how much do online reviews matter to your business? One survey shows before deciding whether or not to conduct business with a company the majority of people research reviews. Whether or not those reviews are trusted depends largely on the demographic, with 70% of Millennials believing customer reviews (compared to 85% of them believing personal recommendations from friends and family. However, overall, nearly 1/3 of people trust reviews they believe to be authentic.
LOCAL LINK BUILDING
Once the citations are built and the on-page SEO is handled, we'll shift our focus to local link building, with a number of tactics, such as:
- Getting local press coverage for your business
- Arranging interviews to feature in relevant online publications
- Sign up for press request services to allow your business to be quoted as a source in local publications
- Sponsor a local little league team
- Donate to a local charity
- Infographic creation and distribution
- Social media
Are you a local small business that's struggling to make progress with your online marketing efforts? Give Sachs Marketing Group a call to learn more about how we can build the right strategy for you.
Photo Credit: Adobe Stock
ENTERPRISE SEO SERVICES AT SACHS MARKETING GROUP
Enterprise SEO (search engine optimization) refers not necessarily to your company size but your website/product catalog size. If you've got thousands of products, you've likely got a website that would benefit from enterprise SEO services.
Sprint Wireless, no doubt an enterprise-sized company with over 10,000 employees, also has an enterprise-sized website, with more than 980,000 results in Google on the Sprint.com domain. They have pages for each of the devices they sell and support. They also have pages for company news, press releases, support knowledgebase, and a community forum with questions and answers. A site this large definitely needs enterprise-level SEO.
There are many companies out there listed in the Fortune 1000, like Alliance Holdings with small to medium websites that wouldn't benefit from this approach. Many of these pages feature financial reports and press releases. Smaller sites like this may benefit from enterprise tactics, but the majority of SEO experts probably wouldn't call them enterprise websites.
On the other hand, websites like Wikipedia, which run with a limited small team and rely on public donations to stay functional, have massive amounts of content – more than 88 million results, meaning enterprise SEO would be beneficial for them.
Websites that contain thousands of pages of content are best run on a content management system (CMS), like WordPress, Drupal, or Joomla. These systems make it easier to create, manage, and edit content as needed.
The fundamentals of SEO still matter here – but instead of having to optimize five to 10 pages, you now have to optimize 500+. How are you supposed to publish long-form keyword-rich content articles on each of them, and then build backlinks to each of them? Regardless of whether you have one page or a million, you still need to factor in the core SEO principles, but your strategy and approach must be adjusted accordingly.