I’ll write about it as if you knew nothing about SEO, so apologies if you know most of this already. SEO is search engine optimization and is used so that Google can identify the relevancy of your website. The better your website ranks in SEO, the higher towards the top of the page you show up on Google under organic searches.
The goal of SEO is to bring in organic traffic, or web visitors to your website without advertising.
Common Terms in SEO
Domain Authority: Domain authority is a measure of the power of a domain name and is one of many search engine ranking factors. Domain authority is based on three factors: Age, Popularity, and Size.
Popularity is measured by things like bounce rate, backlinks, traffic, and social shares.
Backlink and inbound link: an incoming hyperlink from one web page to another website. The higher domain authority the referring site has, the better for your website, too!
*Pro Tip: backlinks from a .org or .gov website are incredibly powerful for SEO ranking.
Bounce Rate: the percentage of visitors to a particular website who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page.
*Pro Tip: This is why it is important to include internal links on your website and other content to keep them on your website longer.
Traffic: the amount of data sent and received by visitors to a website.
Social Shares: People sharing your website and articles on social media. This creates more backlinks and inbound links to your website. It will also boost traffic.
Outbound Links: Outbound links are links that direct to other blogs, web pages, or resources that you link to within your blog.
*Pro Tip: When you create an outbound link in WordPress, be sure to check off the box “open link in new tab” so that they aren’t leaving your website. Also, when you give an outbound link to another site, reach out to them and let me know. They may return the favor!
The Power Of Keywords
How you select and use your Google keywords has a profound effect on your search engine ranking. I recommend using a professional to do your SEO keyword research to provide you with a list of keywords and competition rankings.
Competition: The number of other web pages competing for that specific keyword.
Monthly Searches: The amount of times the term is searched monthly.
*Pro Tip: Try going for the lowest amount of competition with a long tail keyword that has the highest amount of competition
Short Tail and Long Tail Keywords
Short tail keywords are search phrases with only one or a few words. Their length makes them less specific than searches with more words. “recording studios” (1 word) is an example of a short tail keyword, whereas “recording studios in New Jersey” (4 words) is a long-tail keyword.
*Pro Tip: The lower the competition, the lower the amount of search traffic. In the beginning, the more specific that you are, the better. As your domain authority increases, you can begin to rank for higher competition keywords. Never try to rank for short-tail keywords in the beginning of your campaign.
Things like domain authority, long-tail & short tail keywords, site speed, bounce rate, etc. all go into calculating your domain authority. Domain authority is ranked by over 200 google signals.
My personal opinion is that SEO is only one of the many ways that you get web traffic. It is not responsible for the bulk of it, nor is it the quick, easy fix for a website’s traffic. I think most businesses make their mistakes by going all in on SEO without anything else. While SEO is extremely valuable and powerful, when it stands alone as the foundation of a new business’ entire marketing plan, it can be costly and takes time. I find this to be very risky for new businesses, not packaging up other services (social media & digital advertising).
Often, the business will get ten e-mails from someone saying they’ll rank them on Google for a few grand a month. While it can help (especially for certain businesses), I find that ads are much better for traffic and conversions since you are very specific with who you’re bringing to your site. That’s why I always put more money into ads rather than SEO.
But I digress. As far as local keyword research goes, it is all about establishing what the local market is looking for. I’ll use a combination of tools to see what people are searching for. Again, I’m oversimplifying Local SEO Optimization a lot.
By using a long tail keyword vs. a short tail keyword, I’m able to rank more quickly. This is especially important for a new website. It also helps the location. It will always be more difficult for a site to rank in a big city than a small town. (It is easier to rank in Small Town, Kentucky than New York City).
A great example of a short tail keyword would be Redmond Real Estate Listings.
This short-tail keyword would be more challenging to rank for than say Redmond Real Estate Listings for Luxury Apartments. The latter will have less search volume, but you’re more likely to rank.
Other tricks that help to boost your local presence are to create a Google business page, list your business in local directories, set up your Google API map key, and get plenty of reviews which I’m going to be teaching you.
As a matter of fact, in a small town having just a few reviews will skyrocket you to Google success VERY quickly.
Look, I get it. This stuff is complicated. Honestly, out of all of the things that I have studied in digital marketing, this is probably the one I struggled with the most with learning. It’s complicated, it is super techy, and to be honest, it is just straight-up boring.