SEO or Search Engine Optimization is the holy grail of the Internet. SEO is what enables Google to read and rank your website. Being at the Top of search is the most coveted and valuable position on Google. Your brand gains visibility when your business pops up organically at the Top of the SERP’s (Search Engine Results Pages) for your target keywords.
The beauty of it is that no one needs to know your name or your business name. They have a need, type in that need, and voila, you magically show up at the Top, and so starts the flow of new traffic to your business.
Google handles nearly 4 million searches per minute. That comes out to 228 million searches per hour, 5.6 billion searches per day, or 2 trillion searches per year! That’s a lot of inquiries! Only those that fall on page one of the Search Engine Results Pages (SERP’s) have an opportunity to reach those searching, and the #1 position in Google receives approximately 33% of the search traffic. (source: Chitia Insights)
There are two parts to the SEO equation. One is on-site SEO, what is on your website. The content, page structure, image alt text, title tags, meta descriptions, URL structure, site speed, and mobile view are all necessary for Google (and any other search engine) to read and rank your website.
If it is not on your website, you cannot rank for it. That goes for content as well. If you want to rank for Dental Veneers, you must have the best content on Veneers. It sounds simple, and there is built-in SEO in website builders, but in the most competitive categories and keywords, there is strategy involved, and you need a skilled SEO expert to get you to the Top.
Off-Site SEO or Off-Page SEO
Now for the second part of the equation, off-site SEO. So what is off-site SEO? Off-Site SEO refers to everything outside of your website that impacts your online presence. Google’s algorithm takes into consideration all the activity around your brand. Some activities are weighted heavier than others. Link building is one of the main components and should be the backbone of your efforts.
The goal is to gain quality links from sites with authority. The idea is when a more powerful website gives you a link, it passes power or authority on to your website. In the past, this was often referred to as “link juice.” Links are also commonly called backlinks, inbound links, linkbacks, and one-way links. Link building requires a great deal of time and outreach. Links can comprise of guest posts, paid links, and citations, to name a few. Link building is a topic that deserves a blog if not a complete course of it’s own.
The main takeaway with links is to be sure that you are getting high-quality links. A poor or irrelevant link can hurt your ranking and may result in a penalty. I have seen companies have to rebuild their entire online presence due to blackhat marketing. Other Off-Page strategies include social media, reviews, blogs, articles, videos, podcasts, brand mentions, and content. Your Off-Site SEO strategy should be planned strategically to meet the goals of your company.
For effective long-term SEO strategies, you must have an expert. If you are running a business, trying to stay on Top of SEO’s ever-changing world is a task even for the experts. Outsourcing key SEO tasks will have a positive impact on your business. The key to SEO is consistent effort. It is not something that you start or stop. It takes time to ramp up, but once you have momentum, the results with be nothing short of astounding.