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Many digital marketing firms offer “SEO” or “search engine optimization” services, but it can be confusing or even a bit mysterious what that includes. Search engine optimization is meant to maximize the number of visitors to your site (or specific pages on your site) by ensuring that your site (or page) appears as high as possible in search results for a particular set of keywords.
When we work with clients to improve their search engine optimization, we focus on three different aspects: technical optimization, on-site optimization, and off-site optimization.
1. Technical SEO
When building a website, it's important to consider not just content and design, but also the technical "behind the scenes" details that can greatly impact your site in search. Technical SEO can also include several elements that search engines consider when ranking website, including:
- Page speed
- Broken links (internally and externally)
- Crawl errors
- Sitemap accessibility
When it comes down to it, you need a firm who understands how to optimize a website behind the scenes and explain how each factor can impact a site’s ability to rank higher.
2. On-Page SEO
On-Page SEO is primarily focused on the content on the site, how well optimized it is for relevant keywords, and how good the user experience is. Writing excellent website content means marrying compelling and relevant content for the user with rich keywords that are going to be picked up by search engines.
The process of optimizing on-page SEO includes things like:
- Researching relevant keywords that have strong search volume and limited competition
- Ensuring the on-page content satisfies the user’s search query
- Building internal links from page to page to create strong on-site content linkages
- Balance internal links with relevant and reputable outbound links
- Ensuring content on a page is laid out and tagged correctly
3. Off-Page SEO
Off-Page SEO is primarily focused on building links from authoritative and relevant sites. Building links has two primary benefits: driving traffic back to your website, but more importantly, sending signals to search engines that your website is reputable. Links from other authoritative sites is like a stamp of approval from those sites that your content is valuable.
Link building can include several different tactics, including attaining listings in directories, publishing content on other sites, answering questions on social Q&A forums, and more.
The link building process includes the following:
- Researching valuable opportunities for link building outreach
- Prioritizing opportunities based on time, effort, and expected return value
- Strategizing outreach (can be email, submissions, forum discussion, etc.)
- Tracking new inbound links generated
Bonus: Local SEO
Something that ties into many of the above strategies is Local Search Engine Optimization. Especially for local or regional businesses or businesses with brick-and-mortar locations, local SEO is a critical part of an SEO strategy.
Local SEO includes ensuring that your business ranks for specific SEO keywords (for Aztek, something like “Cleveland SEO Company”), is important. This stretches beyond simple search results too, as it has become more important to rank well in maps results.
Tactics for Local SEO include:
- Ensuring that your organization has listings in most of the prominent local listings locations (especially Google)
- Ensuring that your listings are consistent across all channels and sites
- Optimizing your site and content using specific local keywords, like city or state names, where applicable
- Link building with relevant local directories, business organizations and groups
How long does it take to see results from SEO?
Unfortunately, there is no solidified answer to the question, “how long does it take to see results from SEO?” For some tactics, results can be seen within a few months if not a few days. For other tactics, especially in competitive industries, results can take several months if not more.
What’s important is keeping an eye on the right SEO performance metrics. At Aztek, we keep you apprised of the progress being made each month, and more importantly, how it’s impacting your business. Remember, ranking higher is great, but if it’s not driving additional business success, there may be other issues at hand.
Our goal is to keep our clients up-to-date on all tactics we’re using to improve search engine results. Our focus is on educating our clients on some of the very technical aspects of SEO. We know you don’t need to know what a “meta description” is, but we also know that you need to know how we’re using these techniques to improve your traffic and convert more visitors.