What is… Search Engine Optimization?

 

Search Engine Optimization or SEO is how you appear higher in the search results that are relevant to your website. The #1 search engine today is Google, and it’s important to rank as high as possible in their search results. But how do you do that?

It’s called an SEO Action Plan.

Remember, even if you are going to hire someone to do your SEO, it’s important that you have a working knowledge of what’s required. There are so many SEO scams out there and you need to be able to recognize if your contractor knows what they are doing or not.

The Elements of an SEO Plan

Assuming that you have a healthy website with great content, fast loading times and clear structure, there are five things that you’ll need as part of your action plan. Because Google is the big guy and most searches are done on Google, we’re going to focus there. Most of these elements will help you on Bing as well.

  • Goals
  • Keyword Research
  • On-Page Optimization
  • Google My Business
  • Citations
  • Reviews

We’ll go through each of these elements in detail below.

Goals of a Basic SEO Plan

The step that most people skip over is setting goals for their SEO traffic. It’s important to think about what you want from your search traffic. Do you want them to take a specific action? Success looks very different if your goal is to sell a product vs educate about a cause.

Keyword Research in a Basic SEO Plan

Keywords are the lifeblood of your SEO plan. You need to spend some time researching your keywords and figuring out what your ideal customer is searching for. It’s also helpful to know what your competition is doing on these keywords. Maybe you can even get some keyword ideas from their website.

On-Page Optimization in a Basic SEO Plan

There are so many ways to optimize your web pages that even if you think they are SEO ready, there’s likely still more you can do. From meta descriptions and headings to schema, accessibility and links. Each of these are thing the search algorithm looks at when indexing your pages. You want the page to be appealing to the crawlers, but more and more Google is saying your site has to appeal to visitors. There’s a balancing act that we can help you achieve.

Google My Business Optimization for a Basic SEO Plan

Google is narcissistic, let’s be honest. It loves to see itself used by websites and gives preference to those who use it well. So once you claim your business on Google, make sure you are completing your profile and keeping everything up to date. Make sure your Google My Business listing has an accurate Name, Address and Phone (NAP) so that any other citations will be linked when Google crawls the web. Speaking of citations…

Citation for a Basic SEO Plan

Google will give your website more credibility when it finds you in other places around the web. You can manage all of your NAP listings with a tool called Yext. We love it, we use it, and we can set up and manage your listing so you can get all the Google-juice.

Reviews for a Basic SEO Plan

Gone are the days of Google just looking at data and making decisions about where to rank your website. Now they actively listen to the users of your site through bounce rates and time on page, as well as your customers’ experiences through online reviews. You may think there’s not much you can do about reviews, but the truth is you can do more than you think. Sure, you can’t get rid of bad reviews, but you can take steps to get more positive reviews and even respond to the negative ones when necessary.

There’s a lot of moving parts to a good SEO Action Plan, and we know you probably are feeling a little overwhelmed or even wondering when you’re going to find the time to do it all. Don’t worry, we can help. We’ve created and managed SEO Action Plans for many of our clients and we can do it for you too. Contact us today and let’s get you climbing that search results list.

Don’t forget to download our SEO Action Plan infographic.

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