SEO & Web
If you're not on page 1, you don't exist to potential customers
What is SEO and Why Does it Matter?
Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is the practice of making your website as Google-friendly as possible—doing so results in higher organic rankings in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs), which in turn results in more potential customers visiting your website.
The practice of search engine optimization is broken down into three areas of specialty:
- Content SEO specialists that compile keyword research, creative assets, copy, internal links in copy, external backlinks, and semantic HTML.
- Data SEO specialists utilize reporting, feeds, data visualization, structured data, and location data.
- Technical SEO specialists focus on UX/UI, JS frameworks, XML sitemaps, taxonomy, redirects, and log files.
SEO: A Beginner’s Guide
By using an SEO agency to combine the efforts of the specialists above, almost every campaign begins at the foundational level, as follows:
1. Onsite SEO: Crawl Accessibility
“Crawling” is a term that describes search engine bots going into your website and extracting additional links. In many ways, it’s how sites like Google and Bing discover your business in the first place.
2. Onsite SEO: High-Quality and Compelling Content
When optimizing the content on your website, a great place to begin is to think about the questions your potential customers have, and the various ways you can answer them.
3. Onsite SEO: Keyword Optimization
Keywords are the diction and phrases in your web content that guide your searchers to your page. If you target keywords that are common for your audience to use in search engines, your website’s visibility and site rank will be positively affected.
It’s not 2007 anymore, when companies used to stuff hundreds of keywords in their websites to rank higher. Google now penalizes these sites. Instead, Google can drill down to a searcher’s intent, which goes way past merely having the best keywords on your website.
Yet, it’s still a best practice to reasonably utilize keywords in your metadata, website content, and alt image tags to convey the value of your product/services to SERPs (search engine results pages).
4. Onsite SEO: Excellent User Experience
Do you have a relevant URL and meta descriptions? How is your website’s overall design? Does it load quickly? How is its user experience? Lastly, is your content internally linked?
People are looking for fun, smart, and relevant content to share on social media, so including hyperlinks, citations, and digital media can increase your rapport. And lastly, implementing snippets and schema markup will help you stand out on search engine results pages or SERPs.
5. Offsite SEO: Online directories
One of the quickest ways to gain organic rank is to ensure that your company’s details are the same across online directories (or citations) like Google, Yelp, and the Better Business Bureau. In addition to these websites, there are 100+ additional citations to consider, and many of them are specific to your industry.
6. Offsite SEO: High-quality backlinks
High-quality backlinks help Google to determine the level of authority a website has. For example, a local realtor writes an article featured in Zillow, and in return, Zillow links back to the local realtor’s website. This kind of backlink shows Google the realtor is reputable, which often results in higher rankings for specific keywords. Backlinking strategies like this are a hallmark of any successful ongoing SEO campaign.
The Dont's of SEO
Back in its early days, many companies utilized black-hat tactics such as keyword stuffing, phony and fictitious link-building, and high-volume, low-quality content.
Some components of black-hat SEO included content automation, keyword stuffing (also considered webspam or spamdexing), link-building schemes, and guest posting networks.
Today, black-hat SEO can get businesses banned from Google, Bing, and other search engines. So if you’re trying to increase search traffic and build the authority of your site, black-hat SEO tactics aren’t worth it.
Boost Your SEO with Nettra Media
The goal of every SEO campaign is to ensure your target audience can easily find you and the answers to their questions. For most industries, this isn’t as difficult as it seems, especially when you’ve got a team of experts at your disposal.
Nettra Media works with each client to ensure their SEO campaign will get short-term wins and position them for long-term success.
Here are just a few areas where we can help improve your company’s online presence:
Optimizing User Experience (UX)
SEO isn’t all about keywords and link building, even though they both play an essential role. One thing that many people overlook is that SEO is also about the UX (user experience).
UX design and SEO are inherently connected, and there are ways to implement both into your SEO strategy.
RankBrain is what Google calls it’s Artificial Intelligence system that scans algorithms and helps people find the results they are looking for, even if they don’t necessarily use corresponding keywords. In other words, Google uses RankBrain to determine the searcher’s intent.
In other words, RankBrain attempts to understand the searcher’s intent by taking into account what geographic area the search is coming from, previous sites and searches conducted, and the words the searcher used in their query to determine their actual intent.
It may seem a bit in the weeds, but RankBrain helps increase the quality of search results, especially when the search has multiple meanings. For instance, if you search “mercury,” you could mean the planet, a metal, a car, or an insurance company. RankBrain looks at the factors above and will serve results based on the searcher’s intent. So if ten people perform this same search, it’s possible that every person will get different search results.
RankBrain is the third-most important ranking factor and focuses on behavior (including a site’s bounce rate, average pages per session, and user dwell time) by intuitively telling Google whether users are happy to be on your web page or not.
Another way to address your website’s UX is to make your site navigation organized and straightforward as possible. One way to do this is to organize your pages into themed silos of information. Many websites will have information about a specific product or service scattered throughout their website. This is confusing to your potential customer, but from an SEO perspective, this dilutes your expertise in Google’s eyes.
For example, suppose a company’s website is selling five different iPhone cases. They have separate product pages for each case, but their website also has a performance page where each case’s specifications are reviewed. This website also has a video’s page of people testing each case’s durability, and finally, their website has a section of customer testimonials that’s organized by each specific case.
From a UX perspective, this website’s organization is a bit frustrating to a potential customer because all the information they need to make a purchase decision is scattered across multiple pages throughout the site without a guide on how to navigate it.
Similarly, Google’s perspective of the website is also fragmented since all of this product info is not very well organized. As a result, the overall website’s organic rank is penalized.
We encounter website organization issues a lot, and the solution is to silo your information based on your specific products or services. So back to the iPhone case website example: the separate iPhone case info scattered throughout the site should be organized as subpages of each specific iPhone case. This service/product-focused content organization helps Google see your authority on your products or services, which results in a higher organic rank.
Lastly, avoid spammy SEO at all costs. Not only will users be able to sniff it out, but self-serving blog posts, sloppily generated content, and irrelevant links won’t help you in the long run.
Onsite SEO refers to your website’s technical and content-based elements.
Many people associate content optimization with the linguistic content of a page, but it goes much deeper. The term “content” encapsulates anything that provides your readers with value, whether it’s images, video, or text.
Some technical components SEO include optimizing metadata, image and title tags, alt image tags, schema, XML sitemaps, and site speed issues.
As discussed above, the practice of onsite SEO is divided into content, data, and technical SEO tactics. So to confidently position your company to be more relevant and to rank higher in the SERPs, your business must address every facet of onsite SEO.
Offsite SEO focuses on how to get other relevant websites to link back to your website, which builds authority in Google’s eyes. This means link-building or the practice of sites pointing from one to the other. The way these links are structured can build a strong foundation for your business’s reputation and result in a much higher organic rank for your relevant keywords.
Take, for example, high-authority links like Harvard Health. Suppose you work for a health care company and Harvard Health links to a blog post you recently wrote. This backlink demonstrates to Google and to your website visitors that your website is a high-quality, trusted site with reliable content.
You can strengthen your link-building strategy by focusing on backlinks that are high in EAT (expertise, authority, trust). Sites that don’t present these qualities can be met with skepticism, or be seen as spammy and low-quality.
Another offsite SEO practice is optimizing 100+ online directories (or citations). This local SEO tactic ensures that the well-known citations like Google, Yelp, and the Better Business Bureau all correctly list your company’s details. But in addition to these websites, there are well over 100 other online directories that should be updated. Since 80% of all search traffic on Google is for a local product or service, updating citations, including your Google My Business page, can result in a sharp increase in organic traffic.
All in all, your link profile is an assessment of all the inbound links your site has earned. Your profile includes the total number, quality, and diversity of your links. A healthy backlink profile is one of the most effective ways to gain organic rank by proving your expertise and value to SERPs.
SEO can be intimidating. So by taking this systematic approach, you’ll be surprised how quickly you gain organic rank.
A/B Testing (or split testing) is especially useful for marketers who want to use their intuition to predict results. Even some of the most skilled marketers initially base their outreach actions on a feeling or a hunch. With A/B testing, you can test different versions of a campaign to see what works better with various audiences. To run an A/B test, launch two iterations of a similar campaign, and track the results. Then set a new hypothesis based on those results, and test it. Now you’re off to the races!
Data-driven design is also helpful when researching your competition. By reviewing all the high-quality keywords they rank for and the layout of their website, you can gain a ton of insight.
Finally, track the data of your user behavior by monitoring dwell time and click-through rate metrics on your site. You can also use heat maps across your website to gauge how long people are staying on each page, where they click, and how far they scroll down.
Is SEO rocket science? Well, it’s more like art and science! Google has hired many rocket scientists over the last 20 years to build their search algorithms into an incredibly sophisticated mathematical equation that organizes hundreds of millions of websites, millions of times every day, displaying hundreds of millions of different results.
Yet, at the heart of every search engine is their goal of showing the most relevant content to each specific user.
So to be successful with your onsite and offsite SEO tactics, you must understand how every element works in concert to earn a much higher organic rank.
A Great SEO Strategy Looks Different for Everyone
Nettra is a full-service SEO agency that works with your goals to help tackle your company’s most challenging barriers to growth, no matter your industry. Our comprehensive SEO knowledge and hands-on approach builds a solid foundation for your digital marketing strategy. Implementing a robust SEO plan can bring clarity and focus that will expedite your success.
Our Clients Aren’t One-Size-Fits-All
Every industry and business is different, and their hidden levers to growth are usually challenging to uncover. So before any marketing campaign begins, our goal is to gain a much better understanding of our client’s company, service/product, industry, goals, and competition.
It’s our dedication to the process of discovery, testing every hypothesis, and continual optimization that has enabled us to be on the winning end of thousands of successful campaigns, spending over $19m on the Google & Facebook Advertising platforms.
People Love Working with Nettra Media
As growth partners, we help our clients tackle their most challenging barriers to growth. Rather than meeting behind closed doors, we involve our clients in every facet of the strategy and its ongoing management—from the formation of the marketing campaign to the implementation of every customer acquisition channel. This robust approach provides clarity and focus that will galvanize your company’s growth goals. Say hi and we’ll say hi back!