As SEO has evolved with the latest hummingbird algorithm change, making contextual search more and more important, and searches having become completely secure, we understand just how important SEO is to a site’s success. And, eMagine does its best to respond and take action on these constant evolutions with our clients.
Our clients often come to us, frustrated that someone in their organization has been “tinkering” with SEO, and believes that they are not doing their job. How so? The most common complaint is that a manager or C-level person typed a random keyword into Google, and their company did not show up in the results. They then come storming into our contact’s office, livid that “nothing is being done” in terms of SEO.
Let’s talk about this, shall we?
First, we want to make sure that the terms we identify to optimize the site for are ones that have actual search traffic on a monthly basis. So, the first step is to research these terms for those that are the most search, with an approachable amount of competition (not so competitive that we wouldn’t stand a chance in showing up in the search engine results for such a term). This is the preliminary step we take with every client when we engage in an SEO engagement.
Once we have identified the best terms, we can then look at the site, and determine if there is existing content to support these phrases. The type of content needed would be, firstly, an authority page – one that is the end all be all go to page for authoritative content around these phrases. We then follow best practices to make sure the phrases are included in all the proper places on the authority page, namely:
- URL (if applicable)
- Menu items (if applicable)
- Title tag
- <META> description (more for the viewer in the search engine’s results pages than the search engines themselves)
- H1, H2, etc
- 2-3 times in the content of the page itself
- In the alt text of any images on the page
Then we need to make sure that the rest of the site has links to that authority page to support the veracity of your relevance for these phrases. But this is only a first step, an may do little to boost your visibility in the search engines much at all.
With any targeted terms, you need to be willing to produce quality, relevant content around these concepts, so the users and the search engines see that your site (and specifically your authority page), are where they want to be for this type of information. And content doesn’t just mean web pages. Other types of relevant content include blog posts, whitepapers, data sheets, eBooks, videos, etc. The higher the vale and quality of this content the greater the “needle with move” in terms of where Linguist shows up for these terms.
Above and beyond just onsite optimization, having external sites linking to this authority page on these key terms also boost your relevance and authority on these phrases, and back linking is like “votes” towards your site. So have these terms integrated into our back linking strategy is also a must.
Now, here’s the tricky thing: this optimization process works for the phrases we have identified. This will not work if we haven’t optimized for the phrases. So, if our contact is getting pressured by the upper echelon on different phrases, we tell them not to panic. Let’s see if there is any search traffic for these terms and then we can certainly add them into the fold in terms of optimization.
IMPORTANT TO NOTE: the new algorithms are taking context of your content more into consideration than actual keywords. So if you are not visible for a phrase that someone in your organization believes you should be, ask the question: what can we write that surrounds these missing concepts, that can be published, in one form or another, to support our veracity to that concept? It isn’t just enough to want to be seen, we must have the content to support that wish.