Today’s business climate is an extremely competitive one and it’s difficult to keep up especially in the digital world.
When potential clients are looking for business services or products online, more than 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine, and 47% of people click on one of the first three listings.
How do you get noticed by online search engines?
The answer is SEO. SEO is short for Search Engine Optimization. It’s one of the most effective ways to get traffic to your website and get your business’ website to rank at the top of search results.
Though many business owners are tired of marketing companies that try to sell SEO services, most businesses would certainly love to be at the top of search results.
Here’s what our San Diego SEO Expert has to say about staying relevant today.
The Basics of Understanding SEO
You, along with most business owners realize that SEO is of great importance in this day and age. But do you really know what it is, and how it can change your business?
Any SEO expert will most likely tell you that the process is complicated and takes tens of thousands of hours to perfect. And that is true.
Yes, it’s about knowledgeable, technical experts who know the how, but our SEO expert in San Diego knows that it’s not JUST that. It’s about diligently optimizing campaigns to increase rankings. It’s also about the business owner understanding the basics, and understanding the goals.
The basic process of SEO is as follows:
Creating a short and long term strategy
Connecting With High Authority Websites
Posting articles in major online publications
The SEO process sounds simpler than it actually is, but, if you spend any significant time with your SEO specialist, then you can begin to really understand the depth of their job.
The key to SEO success is that your SEO Expert needs to understand what you want to achieve for your business. It sometimes takes SEO Experts that think like business owners to create an SEO strategy that really works.
Keyword Research and Competition Analysis
An SEO expert may not understand your competition as well as you do, however, they have an advantage of incredible data and statistics about your competitors that most business owners don’t have.
If their website is showing up on search results that are higher than yours, they’re doing something you are not. It’s an SEO expert’s job to find out what that is.
This is where keyword research and your competitive analysis comes in.
There are keyword research tools that are available to understand your competition and what it takes to surpass them in the ranking.
Once your SEO Specialist has defined your keywords this will form the basis for rearranging your website, your content, and other elements so that you can move up the search results ladder.
Knowing your own keywords is only part of the process.
The next is to be in the know on what your competitors are doing. Find those websites that seem to be performing better than yours. Make notes of phrases and keywords that show up regularly throughout their website.
These are the phrases that might be helping their website perform better than yours, specifically if they’re not on your website.
There are tools that your SEO Expert will use that helps this process so that hours are not spent crawling the web for these insights.
Combining the findings from your keyword research with your competitor analysis will form a basis for your SEO campaign and content plan.
There are various other concerns that your SEO Expert will need to analyze.
Not only do the keywords and the content on your website contribute to your search engine success, but so does the structure of your website. For example, if you have accordions or tabs on your site that are hiding valuable content, that could affect your rankings, amongst many other things.
Engagement on your website, time spent on your website, and sharing of information through your website also helps SEO ranking. Call-to-actions are a good way to achieve some of this.
The focus here is to decide what the end call-to-action needs to be on your website. Look into examples of CTA campaigns, to get inspiration for your website.
Questions to ask yourself may be: Do you want the user to learn more about your product or service? Do you want them to make a purchase? Or send an inquiry?
Determining how functional your website is for a visitor is paramount. You need your website to be user-friendly with clear call-to-action buttons, and believe it or not, Google will understand by engagement ratios how clear and user-friendly your website is.
Links and More Links
Now you understand keywords, you’ve got an idea on what your competition is doing, and you understand your new website structure and what your call-to-action is.
Yes, you guessed it. There’s more to come.
Links within your website are particularly important to the success of your SEO campaign.
You want to make sure that any links inside your website are quality links. Some larger SEO firms will say that individual SEO Experts aren’t as good as their businesses and don’t have access to as many linking resources as they do. But this is not necessarily true.
Your SEO company certainly needs to include a linking strategy, yes.
By now you should know that high-quality content providing value is the next way to get natural backlinks to your site.
Links are also inclusive to internal linking of your website. The objective here is to keep the visitor on your site by linking to other areas of interest, within reason and staying relevant.
For example, one may be on a page that sells a marketing service, and within that page, the business may talk about branding and could link to another page within the site where they talk about their own branding service and the benefits there.
Do you see what we did there?
We took your visitor from a one-page viewer to someone who stays a bit longer, and the likelihood of them purchasing has just increased.
Hiring Your San Diego SEO Expert
It’s totally worth it to have an agency that conceptualizes and executes your SEO strategy and campaign for you.
When hiring an SEO Expert there are things you need to be mindful of, and things you need to steer clear of.
As mentioned previously, steer clear of organizations that sell themselves as backlink brokers, you don’t want to purchase low-quality links, you want to purchase content that is relevant, high-quality and linked with meaningful connections. A backlink broker won’t give you this.
Read up on the SEO Specialist before you choose one.
Read their reviews and customer testimonials. Most reputable SEO Experts will have a section on their website showing results for previous businesses.
They will show how much they grew the traffic by, and how many leads were generated from their SEO campaign. These are important numbers to take note of when hiring a professional.
Basically, you want to know what their success stories are.
An expert is not an expert, purely because they say they are. As the old saying goes, “The proof is in the pudding!”
Measurable SEO Success Factors
There are a number of factors you need to consider when trying to measure your SEO success.
Obviously, the number one factor would be sales.
But simply implementing an SEO campaign and then seeing an increase in sales is not enough.
You need to know where these sales are being generated from, and who to thank for the leads.
The key success factors look a little something like this:
Increased Rankings = More Organic Traffic
Increased Organic Traffic = More Calls or Web Forms
Increased Calls or Web Forms = Increased Sales
Increased Sales = Increased Revenue
When you’re measuring success you need to see in which of the above stages your SEO is performing, so that if one section is not, you know where to direct your resources and attention to make it better.
A reputable, trustworthy SEO partner will have the ability to show you this process in detail, and where your clicks and leads are coming from. Keep this in mind when considering who to hire.
Your SEO Expert should feel like an extension to your team and not simply a supplier. It should feel this way from the beginning, then you know you’ve found the right fit.
Build a Content Strategy to Fit Your SEO Growth Goals
Your content strategy needs to fit your SEO growth goals. Simply creating meaningless content is not going to aid you in your SEO growth.
Building your content strategy solely around your keywords doesn’t mean that your audience’s content needs are solved.
A great way to sort out this problem is to speak to your sales representatives and your customer service department. Find out from them what questions your current customers are asking, because if you solve these problems for potential clients, it may mean that your potential client turns into a sale with minimal effort.
So, this means your keywords are great for developing your SEO campaign but not for your content strategy. Move away from a keyword-driven content strategy, and focus more on the dynamic needs of your audience and how to help them.
This will mean the difference between good content and great content while simultaneously achieving your SEO growth goals.
SEO Jargon or Professional ‘Speak’
There are many words associated with SEO that you will come across in your search for your San Diego SEO Expert. Understanding some of them in basic language will let you know if your expert is on the right path.
Keyword Research and Analysis: what keywords your business will use, which ones you should change and the basis on which to move forward.
Technical Website Optimization Edits: technical terminology for optimizing your website to be indexed by search engines.
Title Tags, Description Tags, and Keyword Tags: different HTML elements around your website that are basically descriptions throughout your site.
Website Content Tweaks: changing the content on your website slightly so it follows your SEO growth strategy ie: small changes here or there that may not be easily noticeable to you or to recurring visits.
Link building, Link Audits, and Management: building quality, reputable links both internally and externally and a continued evaluation on your site through the management of these links.
Competitive Research: ongoing research of your competitive environment in the SEO world.
Google Penalty Checks: A Google penalty is the same as a sports penalty. Your website has done something wrong, whether it be that it is no longer listed in search results or that your ranking has dropped significantly. Checks on these by your SEO Expert should be done regularly.
High Authority Guest Posting: Authoritative posting by your business on other reputable websites thereby making you an authority in your industry.
SEO Blog Writing: The blogs and articles on your site should not only be content-driven with a goal but also include the elements from your SEO strategy.
Directory Citation Building: A citation is a mention of your business anywhere on the web. These are great for local businesses trying to maintain a geographical excellence rating.
Automated Review Systems: Reviewing your site regularly so that performance issues are not punished in search rankings.
Google Maps and Google My Business: Making sure that your business information is correct, always.
Reports and Analysis: Ongoing reports for how your SEO Campaign is performing, your SEO Expert should report and analyze continuously throughout your campaign.
Now that you have the lingo, you may have a better understanding of what your SEO Expert is talking about when you have your initial meeting and start talking goals, services and expectations.
As the great Benjamin Franklin said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
We’ve armed you with the most actionable tips in the search for a San Diego SEO expert!
Although, we think you’re already in the right place.
Fill out the form, and MAD Group will do all of this and more for you and your business.
SEO Expert San Diego, over and out.