Search engine optimization is probably the most diverse branch of digital marketing. It has three core facets, each of them is equally important. To make your SEO machine work for you, all the three cogs need to be in perfect condition, they cannot compensate each other.
All the work done on your website, meaning you have full control over it.
The most important stakeholder of your content is the site visitor. You need to create it for humans, make it useful and fun to read. But hey, how will people see your content if it doesn’t appear somewhere high on Google search? There are hundreds of factors that make your content worthy “in the eyes” of Google. The crucial ones:
- One topic per page
- Easy to read based on readability tests. Thus, short sentences, short paragraphs, not overloaded with scientific vocabulary or complex phrases.
- Based on keywords, but not keywords staffed. Thus, it answers the questions that people ask Google but sounds natural.
- The factual tone of voice (as of Sep’19). Don’t overload your content with marketing bullshit a-la “best most efficient breakthrough bubble gum.” If your product happens to be the best, you may mention it, though concentrate on explaining what makes it so good using facts, not exclamations.
- Smart and relevant metadata: meta description, page title, headings, and sub-headings.
It is the only part of search engine optimization that requires technical knowledge, and it does not create any advantage. When you have technical SEO done correctly, it means that you do not create any barriers between your site and Google crawlers. Moreover, it means you do not cause any penalties by Google.
The work touches but goes beyond the following elements:
- schema markup
- images optimization
- robots.txt file
- canonical URLs
- URL structure
- loading speed optimization
- internal linking, creating silos if relevant
Detroit T-Shirt is the apparel e-commerce selling Detroit, Michigan, Jeep, Dodge, and Mopar official branded merchandise.
The client used to have organic traffic only for keywords related to Detroit. This is called a branded search: Google prioritizes searches that match the domain name.
Start getting organic traffic for Michigan, Jeep, Dodge, and Mopar related keywords.
What we did
- Reworked the categories structure with UX and SEO in mind
- Worked on creating internal linking silos between the homepage and category pages to get the best use of existing backlinks leading to the homepage
- Created text description for significant category pages, about 500 words each.
While keeping the existing positions for Detroit-related keywords, we reached excellent positions for Michigan, Jeep, Dodge, and Mopar keywords.
There were no efforts for off-site SEO at all! Doing additional off-site work would further boost the results and increase the number of relevant keywords on the first page of Google search results.
Working with webmasters of other sites to build your authority.
Whichever search query you can think of, Google will have at least a few thousand pages to choose from. Within fractions of a second, it will decide which site has the most authority on the subject and put it in the first place. This is where you want to be. At least in top-10.
There are tons of factors that Google considers when doing its magic. And they never reveal their algorithms, of course. Though, the proven most significant factor is backlinks. Thus, if other websites refer to you, you must be a reliable source for everyone else.
It’s one of those cases where quality is more important than quantity. If you ever get to choose if you want to be cited by Forbes or 20 bloggers, go for the first option.
To make it more straightforward, you want to have dofollow links from websites with high domain ratings.
SEO metrics 101
To quantify the likelihood of a website to appear in the search results, the SEO community is using the summary metric Domain Rating or Domain Authority. We measure it on a scale of 0 to 100. As you could guess, the more significant authority you have, the better. You get authority via backlinks coming from different domains. In the end, it’s the amount and quality of referring domains, not links that matter.
The more websites target a particular keyword, the more difficult it is for you to squeeze in. To outrank your traffic competitors, you need to have better content and send more authority to the page that fights for the given keyword. To quantify the severity of competition, the SEO community uses the Keyword Difficulty metric, also measured on a scale of 0 to 100.
Both DR and KD are logarithmic. It takes fewer efforts to more your DR from 5 to 15 than from 45 to 46.
You get the analysis, action plan, technical and creative work done on-site and off-site to drive high-quality leads to your site through search engines.
Timing and cost
Projects vary from $300 to dozens of thousands. Time-wise starting from a week up to several years.
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