Does SEO really exist or is it a make-believe idea that agencies use to make money? The buzz around SEO (Search Engine Optimization) grew to epic proportions last year. Look at the trend for the term “SEO” since 2004 on Google Trends (https://trends.google.com). You’ll see that late in 2017 the interest dropped off. Unfortunately, there have been so many major updates for search engines, that much of the industry is again uninformed about what SEO really is or what it means to “Optimize for Search Engines”. I cannot begin to express all of the misinformation that there is about SEO. I also can’t tell you how many clients we have gained who were so disheartened with their digital marketing that they wholeheartedly wondered if it even works. By far the most requested post we have received is about how SEO really works. The easiest way to explain the search engine optimization process is to expose bad practices by making a list of correct ones. Let’s start from the beginning.
Websites are the basis of it all.This is going to be the point of reference for the vast majority of your clients or potential clients. There are many tools that we can use to find issues that need to be fixed. There are 2 categories for your website that these issues will fall into. As a disclaimer, these tools will only show you the issues not fix any of them for you. Especially on the technical side, fixing the issues may require hard code and use of a developer.
Randomly Choosing Keywords Means Failure.I guarantee you that your business can rank number 1 for something. If I use your business name, plus your location including your state, 99.9% of the time you’ll rank top 3. Guess how much traffic that will give you. Probably not much until you’re a known brand. The goal of choosing the keyword is to get traffic in the cheapest, most effective, most consistent way possible. Here’s what your agency should be evaluating.
- Mobile vs Desktop
Mobile VolumesGone are the days that you can just use one position monitoring list and disregard mobile. Now they are regarded as 2 separate things. Take a more in-depth look on this topic in a recent blog post we did about it. The most important take away here is the difference in volumes of the same keywords (above example) on the 2 platforms; 20 total for desktop, 2610 total for mobile! When doing proper SEO, reporting and choices have to be made for both as if they are 2 totally different campaigns. 2. Keyword Difficulty vs. Volume Google has a keyword planner tool that can be used to see what has been searched in a specific area or city on average per month. You can use this information to gauge just how often people are looking for specific words and phrases while also having some concept of the difficulty for you to rank for those. Generally the higher the cost, the harder to rank for. The goal would be to maximize somewhere in the middle; finding relevant keywords and phrases that have high volume but aren’t exceptionally difficult to rank for. Recognize that the choice of keywords doesn’t need to be something the client does, but something the agency does. 3. Location and Region We see SEO reporting from other agencies all the time and one of the many things that is consistently missing is the location targeting of the keywords. Often they will just give you a list of keywords and what positions have changed. If you have a company with multiple locations, the keyword volumes and difficulty will change in different cities. Thus, you have to have different campaigns for each. This is why our SEO pricing is based on this. There absolutely is no one size fits all type campaign, even when the campaigns are for the same company. 4. Monitoring and Being Aware of New Keyword Strategies Using a monitoring software you can see that keyword rankings and updates on them happen hourly. Through the course of multiple months some of the heaviest hitting keywords WILL CHANGE. One of the worst things that you can do with any campaign in such a fast moving market is to set it and forget it. The entire structure of your SEO campaign cannot be determined on day 1. Maintaining traction will be evaluating all of the previously mentioned factors while also looking for new keyword strategies to get traffic to the site.