What is involved in SEO?
Google uses about 200 ranking factors in their algorithm. Overall, SEO is mainly divided in onsite SEO and off site SEO. The names are pretty self-explanatory. On site means work done on the site itself and off site is the work done off site. You can also watch these videos for more details: What is SEO video or how to SEO video for quick know-how on SEO.
Keywords & Market Research
Let’s say I am working on client X. One of the first things involved in SEO is researching the target keywords, target market and competitor analysis for client X. Using SEO tools and manual process, I would find out the list of keywords that have good search volume (means lot of users are using these search term to find businesses like X), and that are achievable (means competition is low or medium so I can achieve first page ranking in Google within 3, 6 or 12 months depending on the niche).
I make sure that I make a complete audit of the website before going any further. Audit is done using tools (I mainly use SEMrush and screaming frog for audit) and manual check. The audit helps me find these issues in the website –
- Duplicate content (Google don’t like duplicate content (the content on your site is copied from somewhere else),
- Missing title tags, Alt tags and meta tags
- Pages with no content at all (Google likes pages with more content )
- Title tags too long or short
- Broken links (any link inside your website that is not working)
- Spam on the pages (too many ads, useless comments trying to spam etc)
- Missing Internal linking (most of the pages on a website should link to each other)
- And few other technical things
Competitor analysis is very important for SEO. I am usually not just looking at competitor’s online marketing strategies, website design and business process but I also checkout their SEO strategy including their website structure, content strategy, backlinks and where they are ranking in Google.
My client X will be ranking next to these competitors on first page and has to beat some of them to rank in Google so it becomes important for me to study them. I make sure what I am doing is a step ahead of what my client’s competitors are doing.
Open site explorer tool from moz is one good tool for competitor analysis. Semrush is again another good tool to compare domains. Using this tools and my personal experience, I can estimate how much time and effort will be required for keywords to rank in Google.
When other websites link to your website, Google see it as a vote. Even a mention of your brand name or website name on another website is good. Because it is one of the most important things to rank in Google, link building is my top priority.
As an experience SEO, I make sure the links come from only high quality and relevant websites (sites from similar niche or similar field). I check the authority of a website using tools (such as moz bar tool). This tool gives me an idea how good the site is, quality score and if the site is worth getting the link from. Moz bar tool also helps find the spam score of the site.
There are various strategies to build links. Some of my personal favourites are PR/ making relations with the site admins, writing a blog for their sites, personally contacting them and asking for a link.
Link building is an art which takes skills, experience and lot of hard work. Over the time, I have also developed resources of my own to get link from and made good relations with many sites to get the links for my clients.
Improving the website
This is one of the things many ignore- indirect SEO factors. Many SEOs focus too much into factors that affect SEO directly and they do not bother much on indirect SEO factors.
Improving the site can includes many things.
- Adding multi-media to web pages and improving the look of the page- I make sure my client’s website make a great impression on users and provide great user experience. This will make them stay on the site for longer that indirectly helps SEO.
- Adding great content – People follow the blogs and sites with high quality content. The content can be business news, useful tips or anything that provides good value to users and make them visit your site more often than usual. Content can be creates in the form of videos, infographics or text with images.
- Utilising social channels – I make sure I integrate my client’s website with social channels. Once you get the users on your social channels you can always bring them back on your site in future.
Analysing the progress is a key part of SEO. I use Google analytics and semrush for website analysis. Using these tools, I can tell how many users are visiting the client’s website in a month, where they come from (Google, Facebook or any other site), what pages on site is getting most traffic and so on.
Getting more leads from the site is usually the top priority as I have seen with all my clients. So I usually add an enquiry form to the site pages and using analytics I track how many users are converting. The enquiry goes straight to the client. More enquiries means more sales hence more business. So I always make sure I track the enquiries, where they are coming from, and what page is generating more enquiries.
Knowing all of the above helps me make the informed decisions. For instance, if I know which page is more popular with users, I can further promote it online to generate more leads for my clients.
SEO reports usually include the list of keywords that client wants to rank, ranking of those keywords, landing pages that are ranking in Google. A report may also include updates on organic traffic (traffic coming from Google), and overall website traffic report.
I keep a check on my SEO outcomes and create and share monthly reports with the client. This helps client stay up to date with SEO outcomes. I usually use semrush and Google analytics for reporting. Magestic SEO and Moz tools are also pretty good for SEO reporting.
If you need help in improving your website ranking, you can contact me. I am only a phone call away.