An important part of being successful on the web is making sure you have search engine optimization (SEO) efforts in place…
Not only do search engines need to understand, but users as well. Users are the reason for your existence, the reason you strive to be in the top three placements on the Google search engine result page (SERP). Search engines are becoming more and more sophisticated but human nature still outranks, which is why SEO should be an important part of your organization’s campaigns. In return, SEO helps search engines figure out what each page is about, and how it can be useful for the end user.
So what are the key areas to focus on, you ask? It’s simple. Never overcomplicate SEO. It can appear to be complex and overwhelming, but if you follow a few key areas or work alongside an agency that specializes in SEO, you will begin to understand the data, how it’s collected and what’s required to succeed.
An effective SEO campaign starts with:
Identifying the main issues that tend to interfere with a website. Examples of issues include:
- Duplicate page titles and Meta descriptions
- Long page titles
- Too many keywords
- Problematic navigation
- Lack of content
- Slow page speed
- Improper URL structure
This may come across as simple but many times these issues are overlooked before a campaign has even begun. That’s a big mistake.
Competition should be at the forefront of analyzing an SEO campaign
You’re fighting for placement, ranking, and to be the site that a user’s eyes see first. Any site would rank first without competition, so having a well-researched view of competitors’ sites allows you to strategize and create a plan on how to rank above the other sites you’re fighting against.
The key areas to focus on once an analysis of your site has been completed are:
- Content—Any blog, news, product or service pages should be a priority. It’s important to determine if competitors are producing quality information that’s shared by others or includes a large amount of relevant text that ranks well. Producing quality content frequently will have a significant influence on search results.
- Backlinks—Search engine ranking algorithms value backlinks. So much so, that if overlooked, can hurt your visibility dramatically. Google uses algorithms, users and competition for each search engine ranking page (SERP) to determine the link profile and if it will damage visibility. This is another reason why evaluating your competitors at the start of a campaign is important.
- Authority—Does your site have a strong presence or do Google and users barely know it exists? Good link building is typically achieved by creating content but can also be achieved by examining the site’s position and comparing with the competition to determine whether it’s strong enough to compete.
- Page Relevance—Most web pages have specific keywords. The tricky part is, when mathematical calculations and rules determine the ranking of a web page, this may not be enough, especially in competitive search verticals. A detailed review of key pages is required, which involves looking very closely at the content on each page and analyzing where and when the page is referencing keywords.
- Technical Audit—Buried issues on your site can create problems that aren’t immediately evident. Sometimes buried issues can cause search engines not to crawl important parts of a site and this happens frequently. By completing a technical audit and correcting site structure, navigation or layout, a website can see significant results and improve search visibility quickly.
It’s important to keep in mind that SEO efforts are a constant, ongoing effort. A common misconception many organizations have regarding search engine optimization is that they can “set it and forget it,” but this simply isn’t true. SEO is an ongoing process due to the fact that many dynamic factors play a role in its success.
No longer is SEO merely keywords and links, rather, sites that cater to users are rewarded. Users’ needs are constantly changing, and your SEO efforts should evolve right along with your audience. By neglecting SEO, you are putting your business in a position to stagnate.
The key areas we have noted above are essential in running a successful SEO campaign. A thorough analysis of your site will help for a strategy and increase your organizations’ odds for a greater return on investment.