Why Hire an SEO Expert?
Search Engine Optimization is the process of improving rankings in search results. An SEO expert can achieve this in two ways: optimizing a site’s appearance to search engines, and building more links back to the site. These are called on-page and off-page SEO strategies. They are the two primary ways that search engines try to assess how good a website is and therefore which order to present sites on a search results page.
On-Page SEO Strategies
When search engines (primarily Google) crawl a site, they assess how good it is as best they can. They also assess the ease of use of the site, and what the overall theme/subject of the site is. This involves analyzing the html code of the site to decide its quality and how it compares to other sites that cover the same subjects. The image to the right is how search engines see a web page. An SEO expert will evaluate where improvements can be made on a site and update the code. Alongside this, they will find gaps in the site’s content which could be built out further to indicate the site’s quality to Google. The godfather of SEO Neil Patel breaks down all these factors well. While these are one way for Google to determine a site’s quality, it is also interested in how many people link back to a site. This is called off-page SEO.
Off-Page SEO Strategies
While the structure and content of a site are a good indicator of quality, Google is not a human. Being non-human means it can’t have a feeling about a site or decide how much it likes the design. On the other hand, it is able to crawl the internet using bots and see which other humans like a site. It uses other site’s links to a site as a proxy for its own feeling about that site. Of course, all links are not made equal: a link from a site with lots of visitors and a good reputation counts for more than one from a site with 10 visitors a month. These links back to a site are called backlinks. Building backlinks is at the heart of every SEO expert’s off-page SEO strategy. They can be built naturally, by people finding a site and linking to it, or arrangements can be made with other sites to post links to your site. Another way of gaining links is through social media. Creating content so good that people share it with each other.
Creating engaging content is useful in two ways:
- The more relevant content on a site, the more it looks like a useful resource on that subject to search engines
- The better it is, the more likely people are to share it on social media or link to it from other sites
Content creation can be hard work. After all, it’s not easy to create groundbreaking, compelling content every week. And just to make it even harder, it needs to be original. If another site that has more visitors has already posted similar content to your own content, it will usually rank above yours. However, creating content that uses those on-page SEO techniques previously mentioned can often be effective at achieving better positions.
Best Sushi in Vancouver
Daily Hive’s article Best Sushi in Vancouver was clearly built around that specific search term. Indeed, a few of the staff at Daily Hive have come through my Digital Marketing Strategy course at RED Academy. The URL contains best-sushi-vancouver the heading is Best Sushi in Vancouver and variations of the phrase appear in the first two paragraphs. This is a great example of effective keyword research: finding high volume search terms and creating content built around them. There’s plenty of other articles about sushi in Vancouver, but none have that exact search term in their URL, headline and paragraphs. For on-page SEO techniques to be useful, there has to be the search volume around the keywords a page is trying to rank for. Having a great rank for a search term that nobody uses won’t generate any extra traffic to a site.
Keyword Research for SEO
Let’s say I want to rank for keywords relating to SEO, there are all manner of search terms I could try to focus on. But which will be most effective for me? Using Google’s Keyword Planner tool, I can find out search volume around them in Canada. Location is important, because people don’t search in the same way everywhere. I can see there is a lot of searches around broader SEO type terms, but are they relevant to my site? The term search engine optimisation has a lot of searches, but is also relevant to a lot of sites. SEO services and SEO company are more relevant, but not exactly what my page is about. I will mention them within the page, but won’t based it on them. SEO expert is the most relevant term to build this page around with the highest volume. Notice I have used a similar strategy to Daily Hive’s, using that term in the URL, page title and in the first couple of paragraphs. I will also use SEO marketing and SEO consultant, as they are both pertinent.
What Can I Do for You?
You might assume that if you pay a developer to build your site, they will implement an SEO strategy like the above. Indeed, most developers will describe sites as “SEO optimized.” But the reason you are reading this article, is that you aren’t ranking for the terms you want to be. A site might be built well, but has proper keyword research gone into every page? Is content written in a way that contains the most relevant, high volume search terms? Is content going to continue to be posted to rank for new terms and build your authority on the subject of the site? Often, sadly, this is not the case.
If you would like to speak about my SEO services, plan an effective SEO strategy, or just discuss SEO in general, I’d love to hear from you. Drop me a message!