Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

seo - search engine optimization

A Full-Service SEO Company

Sachs Marketing Group is a full-service Search Engine Optimization company, offering both local and enterprise SEO. No matter the size, nature, or location of your business, we’ve got the tools and expertise to help you get more customers through increased search engine visibility.

 

What is Search Engine Optimization?

Search Engine Optimization or “SEO” is the process of making your website more appealing to the 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.

It 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. 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? 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.

On-Page SEO

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:

 

Keyword Research 

Keywords are what people use to find you. We look at the most common phrases your customers are likely to use to find your website, and what kind of competition there is for these words and phrases. Then, we use them accordingly throughout your website and content to make sure the search engines know you’re a source for their users. Beyond those main keywords, it’s also important to use latent semantic indexing (LSI) keywords, too. LSI keywords are essentially those that are related to your main keywords, that search engines would also expect to see in your copy.

For instance, if your main keyword is “dog collar”, then some LSI keywords could be:

  • Cheap leather dog collars
  • Custom dog collar tags
  • Dog ID collars
  • Best personalized dog collars

 

Website Structure  

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.

 

Responsive Design  

Since mobile traffic has surprised 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.

 

Robots.txt

This file tells the search engine crawlers which files to read and which ones to ignore.

 

Sitemap.xml

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.

 

Page Content

This is where things start getting intense, because your page content is where the bulk of your keywords and LSI phrases will be. Using 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 uses descriptive keywords to ensure those that are using assistive devices can still understand what’s on the page.

 

Outbound Links

These are links to other websites that are not your own. They should be related to the content on your page, and come from authoritative sources.

 

Internal Links

These are links to other pages on your website. As with outbound links, they should be related to the content on the page. For instance, if you’ve written a blog post about how to choose the right dog breed for your lifestyle, you can link it to other posts you’ve written about various breeds.

 

Site Speed

Everything on your page – the code, images, videos, and other elements is data. All of that data effects 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.

 

Social Sharing Buttons

Though social signals don’t play a direct role in your ranking, making it easy for your audience to share your content with their own will help get more eyeballs on your content. The more people who see your content, the higher the chance someone will link to it.

Off-Page SEO

As the name suggests, this is the part of 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.
  • Use Help a Reporter Out to volunteer as a source for things reporters are writing about.
  • Create a valuable resource other websites can link to to educate their audience.
  • Create YouTube videos.
  • Write a press release announcing your new website or any company news.
  • Link to your website in your email and forum signatures.
  • Create 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.
Options include:

  • Actively participating in social media groups or creating your own social media group
  • Running ads on Google AdWords 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 SideShare
  • Actively participating on 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 which pages are the most popular on your website, and 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.

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