The SEO Process – A Quick and Dirty Version of How it Works
The image speaks for itself, but just in case there is any confusion: SEO = search engine optimization = optimizing content pages for search engines, right? Therefore, if a search engine’s job is to satisfy users’ queries, then the goal of SEO is to make content that’s accessible, friendly, and relevant to users, as it is to Google and Bing. If you’re responsible for website marketing, SEO is a cornerstone; but wait, there is so much more! SEO is not a silo…
How Tower Has Expanded the SEO Process
SEO is made of two key areas and we focus on both in the process In the process to develop SEO we see that there are two main areas that need to be focused on: 1) on-page and 2) off-page factors. On-page Optimization On-page optimization process refers to all actions that can be taken directly within the backend of the website (usually what humans don’t see). Optimizing the on-page factors enhances the webpage’s position in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). This can include, but is not limited to, Meta data, clean code, website architecture and website loading speed. Off-page Optimization The off-page optimization process refers to metrics that can be taken or viewed outside of your own website, to help improve its position in SERPs. These include brand mentions, backlinks to your site from other relevant websites and social mentions.
How the SEO Process Can Achieve Results
When you have the right steps in place, SEO can help measure some important factors that will not only help your site rank better but also with:
- Conversions – These are the assets on your site that can help users take actions that are important to your business. This can include lead generation, click-through-rates etc.
Does your site offer a great User Experience? Does your site have call-to-actions that can be measured?
- Information – Search engines are machines collecting and dispersing massive amounts of information and they only want to show the best results. As a result, search engines highly regard audience engagement as a sign of information quality.
Do you have low bounce rates? Do users spend a descent amount of time on your pages or are they just leaving? Are your pages being shared by your users? Is your content fresh and unique?
- Technology – Search engines not only collect information, but also index that information in their storage bank, only if the information on those pages are accessible. Websites need to have sitemaps, clean code, and permission to be able to crawl your website and save your pages.
Are all your website pages being indexed? Have you uploaded an XML sitemap to Google so sites can be crawled more easily?
We know that SEO is changing and that it can’t be successful on its own…
At Tower, we believe that SEO is not meant to be a single marketing service because on its own, it won’t achieve the best results for your website. The web has changed so much and will continue to do so. Consequently, SEO has had to adapt as user behavior changes, technology improves and other platforms gain more prominence such as social media. We believe the best SEO process starts with a well-built site; which is why on-page optimization is critical. There are three other major components that help the SEO process get more reach:
- Fresh Content – Websites that are regularly blogging are proven to have higher amounts of traffic. Every time you add new content to your site, Google has the opportunity to index another page.
Create great quality content that users want to read and share.
- Social Signals – Social signals are a growing indicator of a site’s authority and expertise. Websites that have shares, likes and comments indicate that a website is popular and trustworthy. As a result, Google is more likely to give your website more presence in the search results.
If you create content that is not being shared or liked, you need to change your approach.
- Inbound links – Links are still one of the most influential ranking factors that search engines pay attention to. Inbound links are similar to votes, therefore the websites with the most (relevant) votes tend to rank higher.
Do you have backlinks from authoritative websites that endorse you? Are you connected to any spammy links that may actually hurt your rankings?
Our SEO Process is Integrated into Internet Marketing as a Whole
As mentioned previously, SEO is a cornerstone to any website marketing because it is integrated into all areas of internet marketing. Part of the internet marketing process that is driven by SEO efforts, include the following:
- Create Ideas – What ideas are you using to create, unique, relevant content that is focused on the user? What are you talking about, what is your tone, is the message clear?
- Find Influencers – You have your ideas but your reach is limited. You need a network of influential people who are active online, especially on social media channels. Building and nurturing these relationships with influencers is vital to spreading your message, building your brand, generating links and traffic.
Do you have any influential sources talking about your brand, services or products in a positive way?
- Production of Content – The type of content you create is critical to the response you will receive from the audience you are targeting. Keyword research, trending topics, videos, infographics and crowd sourcing ideas are all useful ways of capturing the attention of the user and engaging with them.
What types of content have you used to talk to your audience? What has worked, what hasn’t?
- Platforms for publishing – There are many ways to publish content. Wikipedia uses crowd sourcing to generate content on their own website. Forums encourage ideas, sharing and conversation, while blogging offers more insightful articles and social media is great for sharing snippets, videos and pictures etc.
How is your message going to be used to communicate with your desired audience?
- Promotion – In terms of SEO, promotion is usually referring to link building and social outreach. Links from relevant, high-quality sites are a powerful way to have your website promoted. Links are like votes and when your link is on a website that is in the same industry as you, that acts as an endorsement. The same goes with social outreach; influential people on social media have followers, they are experts and if they mention your website, you will gain great exposure from an audience that you could never have reached on your own.
Do you have high-quality links on relevant websites? Do you have other users influencing others’ perception of your website?
The Process is Cyclical
This SEO process is not something that stops, it can be as big or small as you like and should be running continually to help grow your web presence and domain authority.