The graph above gives us basic site performance at a glance. Site activity which has value to visitors will affect growth and be evident here. Some traffic will appear as if by magic. Content will be published, registered with Google and Bing, and users will find it through organic search. Other traffic is driven to the site more predictably using notification systems, promotion, advertising, syndication and more. In the above example visits are driven to the site with the release of a newsletter.
Success online rewards users’ desire to share
The old days of *sneaking* into the top organic search positions using clever tricks and questionable practices are officially over. This has been a very hard lesson for both those supplying SEO services and those demanding SEO for their web businesses. Google employees are talented, well-funded and intent on improving search. Each revision to the Google search engine is given a cute animal name such as Panda, Penguin or Hummingbird and is released onto the scene with disastrous effect for those caught sneaking. For years sites with hundreds of 150-word “articles” did well in organic search rankings and were promptly torched when the Panda revision was released. Some companys’ sales would all but evaporate overnight. Those with resolve adapted, but opportunists picking the “low hanging fruit” would often not recover.
Peering more closely at these changes, what can we observe? Google search engineers are getting better and better at their jobs, connecting worthy content providers and site visitors. And not surprisingly, Google itself. In short, success online rewards quality content. If you’ve planned accordingly, you will likely do well in this environment.
Google’s Matt Cutts has repeatedly said that quality content is key to Google rankings, and Bing’s Duane Forrester reminded marketers that “all SEO ranking signals revolve around content of some kind” at SMX Advanced 2011. High-quality, search-friendly content allows businesses to populate their sites with keywords and valuable information for visitors. Both are important to search success.
What makes good content
The highest ranking pages on the internet in many categories are 2000+ words, rich in media such as images and videos, and have some inherently useful demand to meet. There are many ways to go about creating great content, but none so obvious as simply starting with the source. If I put myself in the shoes of the type of customer I want to attract, what am I looking for? Any business owner will be able to contribute customer profiling information. This is where we get to work refining ideas, positioning, selecting keywords, copy-writing, designing, formatting, coding and whatever else needs to happen to get some great content published and yielding results!
So what now, you ask? We have great content, what next?
Interpreting the data
Everything matters and can be measured, and the path ahead becomes clear by interpreting the data! The good news is, we love numbers, charts, probability, trends and getting to the bottom of things. We need your help to make some initial assumptions, create an accurate baseline for decision making, review the content we develop for accuracy and quality, give us feedback about sales increases, drum up ideas, and give us nods to confirm we’re headed in the right direction. Beyond this you can focus on what you do best: running your business. If you have a flair for marketing, we’re more than happy to collaborate and become an extension of your instincts. Whatever the case, our intention is to develop intuition for your business to help us navigate and invest our time and your money wisely.
Full Service Web Agency
The single greatest benefit to working with a web agency is specialization. Most business owners spend their time running their business. Building great web pages and driving appropriate traffic to those pages is our business. Successful internet marketing campaigns require weaving the following together:
- Web Design
- Search Engine Optimization
- Graphic Design
- Keyword Study
- Content Creation
- Target Market Research
- Competitive Analysis
Creating and maintaining a successful online presence requires continual creative and analytic effort. Although some SEO and site building efforts manifest early, most require time to develop and show results.
1. Identify Demand and Keywords
Every website should be positioned to catch existing demand as SEO (generally) doesn’t create demand. This means using keyword research to see how end users search in various categories for your product or service. Of course, the first step in this process must include some target market research and competitive analysis. With your help, we will obtain an understanding of your business and your market so that we can create a truly effective strategy to maximize the return on your investment.
When a business is just starting out online, it’s important we pick a few keywords that are easy to rank on until we see some results, as well as some more difficult keywords. We do this by using some low competition long tail keywords, and some higher competition short tail categorical keywords. It’s also crucial to use keywords related to what potential customers are searching for, as it’s important that visitors stay on the site once they land.
2. On-Page Optimization
On-page Search Engine Optimization discussions are typically dominated by technical debates about how search engines analyze and store HTML. For small business owners, the much more relevant and alarming fact is that they don’t do on-site SEO at all, leaving large amounts of search traffic and potential customers on the table. Some of the on-page tasks that generally require attention include:
- URLs, Titles, Headers, Body
- Keyword set landing page
- Rich snippets, schema.org markup
- Add interlinking anchor text
- Sitemap to Google and Bing
- Optimize URL architecture
- Image alt tags/filenames
- Nofollow appropriate links
3. Off-Site Development
- Create directory accounts
- Yahoo Local, Yelp, Google Places
- Bing Local, Citysearch
- Develop directory content
- Encourage customer reviews
- Social networking profiles
- Optimize URL architecture
- Facebook, Google+, Craigslist
- Nofollow appropriate links
4. Create Great Content
Getting attention from search engines requires regular infusions of good content. While business owners are often the most knowledgeable in their fields due to immense practical experience, they’re often too busy to spend time creating good content. Furthermore, the lack of strong on-site SEO means their websites often under-perform no matter how much time they put into the site. This is why having a full service web development agency is important.
Great content comes in the form of blog posts, videos, podcasts, discussions, infographics, white papers, webinars and articles – all targeted toward what the end user is searching for. This is an information exchange.
Regardless of the medium, the content needs to be compelling. Some of the tactics used to create audience engagement include:
- Current Events/News
- Technical Explanation
- Hot topics
5. Track & Promote
All projects need to be measurable and search engine optimization is no exception. We track new page performance by where it is located in the SERPs (search engine result pages). By aggregating data from Google Analytics, Google Webmaster Tools, and Bing Webmaster Center we will provide you with a weekly report which includes keyword rankings (as well as improvements and declines), crawl diagnostics, a competitive link analysis, and raw traffic data.
If the domain authority is already high and a low-competition keyword was selected, the new content may jump near the top of the results. If a satisfactory ranking isn’t achieved immediately (which is more likely), we then apply a combination of on-page and off-site strategies to promote the new content.
We enjoy puzzling over the big picture and the details for businesses in our community. Our varied talents are put to good work creating and following a unique roadmap to grow your business online.