There are a lot of things that need to be clarified when it comes to SEO. You wouldn’t believe the number of misnomers I’ve heard throughout my years in the industry. Some of my clients believed SEO was this mysterious practice of manipulating the almighty Google Gods to rank a website by using blackhat magic. Others thought I would just build 10,000 backlinks to hit their desired results. I’ve even had clients think I pay Google for top organic positions. Unfortunately, none of these are true…
In this article, we will discuss the importance of SEO for businesses, including increased traffic, better user experience, increased sales and revenue, and a competitive advantage in the crowded marketplace. We will also break down our SEO process at 50CS, including practices such as Technical SEO, Content SEO, and On-page SEO.
The basic idea behind SEO is to optimize a website to rank well in search engine results pages (SERPs) for specific keywords or phrases. The goal of SEO is to increase the visibility and accessibility of a website for both users and search engines. So, when a user types a keyword into Google, the target website will show up at the top of page 1 with the relevant content the user is seeking. Typically, these results are achieved by making the website more relevant to the targeted topic, user-friendly, and trustworthy. These are called ‘ranking factors.’ There is a lot of speculation on what the true ranking factors created by Google are. Still, there are a few we know for certain, including
- Quality and relevance of the content: Search engines aim to provide users with the most relevant and useful results. This means that content that is well-written, informative, and useful is more likely to rank well in search results.
- Keywords: Using relevant and targeted keywords in the content and other on-page elements can help search engines understand the content and context of a website.
- Backlinks: Backlinks from other websites can be seen as a sign of the quality and credibility of a website. As a result, websites with many high-quality (emphasis on quality) backlinks are more likely to rank well in search results.
- Mobile-friendliness: With the increasing use of mobile devices to access the internet, websites need to be mobile-friendly. Search engines tend to give a higher ranking to mobile-friendly websites.
- Page load speed: People like a fast website. Google punishes websites that punish their users with slow speeds!
So, although a small amount of magic is involved, the overall concept of SEO and how we do it is straightforward. Before I reveal our magical secrets, let’s discuss why SEO is important.
Why SEO is important:
There are several reasons why SEO is important for your business, here are our top 4:
1. Increased Traffic
One of the main benefits of SEO is that it can help you get more traffic to your website. When your website ranks well in search engine results, it becomes more visible to people searching for the products or services you offer. This can lead to an increase in organic traffic.
2. Better User Experience
By optimizing your website for search engines, you can also make it more user-friendly and accessible. This can help improve the overall user experience, as visitors are more likely to find what they are looking for on your website and navigate it more easily. Better UX = Higher Returns.
3. Increased Sales and Revenue
This is probably the most common reason to do SEO. A higher ranking in search results can also lead to an increase in sales and revenue. When your website is more visible and attracts more traffic, you have a better chance of converting those visitors into paying customers. Catching. Catching. Catching.
4. Competitive Advantage
If your website ranks higher in search results, it can give you a significant advantage and help you stand out in a crowded marketplace. Overall, SEO is an important strategy for any business or website owner who wants to increase their online visibility, reach more customers and grow their sales.
Now, let’s break down the process and find that rabbit in the hat.
Our SEO Process:
Although each professional has a different approach to SEO, several practices have been successfully tried and tested to get webpages into the coveted top spots. These include Technical SEO, Content Strategy & Research, On-Page SEO, and Off-Page SEO. This is a breakdown of our specific SEO services.
Technical SEO is simply optimizing a website’s technical elements to improve its crawlability and visibility. It involves optimizing a website’s infrastructure, coding, and architecture to make it more accessible and crawlable by search engines.
A few technical elements are:
- XML sitemaps
- Robots.txt file
- URL structure
- Canonical tags
- Redirects (301, 302, etc.)
- Page load speed
- Security (SSL/HTTPS)
- Structured data (Schema)
- Image optimization
Optimizing these and other technical elements on a website will help search engines understand and index it easily, which can improve its ranking in search results.
Content Strategy & Research
All our content strategies are tailor-made plans for creating and promoting optimized content for search engines. It’s been proven that an effective SEO content strategy helps a website rank higher in search results vs competing websites without a strategy.
Here are five key elements included in all our content strategies:
- Identifying your target audience: Knowing who we are creating content for is an important first step in developing the right strategy. This helps us understand what types of content are most relevant and useful to your audience.
- Keyword research: Identifying the right keywords to target is pivotal for success. We use industry-leading tools and practices to identify the keywords and phrases that your target audience is searching for.
- Planning: We create a content calendar to help plan and organize our content creation efforts. It helps you ensure that we’re publishing new content consistently and that our content is aligned with your overall marketing goals.
- Content creation: Once you have identified your target audience and researched keywords, it’s time to start creating content. We focus on creating high-quality, relevant content that is optimized for search engines and your target audience.
- Promotion: Promoting your content is an important step in any SEO content strategy. We work closely with all our customers to use social media, email marketing, and other channels to share your content and attract more traffic.
After fine-tuning the site and creating a strategy, we move to on-page SEO. This is the point when we optimize individual web pages. On-page involves optimizing the content and HTML source code of a web page, as well as any other elements that appear on the page and are sometimes hidden within the code.
Many different factors can affect on-page SEO, including
- content of the page,
- header tags,
- Formatting & use of title tags and meta descriptions,
- optimized alt tags for images,
- and the overall structure and organization of the content.
Optimizing these and other on-page elements helps search engines understand the content and context of that web page and determine its relevance to specific search queries (keywords).
Lastly, we get to off-page SEO. This is where we build 100,000 backlinks to your website and bring you in a gazillion visitors! …I’m kidding. This is where we build a trustworthy relationship between you and other high-quality websites, building a relationship with Google and other search engines.
Off-page SEO is simply optimizing a website’s visibility and credibility through activities outside the website itself. This phase is about building a network of high-quality, relevant backlinks from other websites to your own through content marketing and other outreach methods.
As of 2023, search engines view backlinks as a sign of the quality and credibility of a website, and so a website with many high-quality backlinks is more likely to rank well in the SERPs. I want to add a strong emphasis on “high-quality.” A website cannot rank with a million backlinks from low-quality websites that are irrelevant and easy to build. Poor link-building practices have a negative effect on SEO and can lead to your website getting removed from Google altogether.
That’s it! This magician has officially revealed his tricks. You now have a general understanding of SEO and our entire SEO process. At the end of each work cycle (quarterly), we review the previous months, adjust the strategy based on our results then continue working on reaching our KPIs.
Common SEO Misconceptions:
SEO is dead
Some people believe that SEO is no longer relevant or effective, but this is simply not true. As long as people continue to say “Google it,” SEO will be an important part of any online marketing strategy.
Keyword stuffing is effective
In the past, it was common for website owners to stuff their content with as many keywords as possible in an attempt to rank higher in search results. Nowadays, search engines can detect. This will typically harm your ranking rather than help it.
You can buy your way to the top of search results
Some websites may offer to sell you millions of backlinks or other services that they claim will help your website rank higher in search results. Be wary of such claims. Typically if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Remember that the wrong links generally lead to the wrong results.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How do you measure and analyze the results of an SEO campaign?
We use various tools and techniques to analyze the results of our SEO campaigns. Some common metrics we track include organic traffic, rankings, conversion rates, and lead generation. We use tools including Google Analytics, SEMRush, and Ahrefs to track these metrics and get a better understanding of the performance of our SEO campaigns.
How long does it take to see the results of an SEO campaign?
The time it takes to see the results of an SEO campaign can vary depending on several factors, including the competitiveness of the industry, the quality of the website, and the effectiveness of the SEO strategy. In general, most of our clients can expect it to take several months to see the results of their first SEO campaign, as it takes time for search engines to crawl and index new content.
Can an SEO agency guarantee ranking in search results?
Unfortunately, we can’t guarantee rankings in search results. Search engines use complex algorithms to determine the ranking of websites, and these algorithms are constantly evolving. While we can use various tactics and strategies to improve a website’s positioning, it is ultimately up to the search engines to decide where a website will rank.
What are the page 1 stats on Google?
A study showed that the first page of Google’s search results receives 95% of all clicks with the first 3 results receiving around 60% of all clicks and 75% of all visitors never make it to page 2. This means that if your website is not ranking on the first page of search results, you are likely missing out on a significant portion of potential traffic.
Here is a rough estimate of the average click-through rate (CTR) for each position on the first page of Google’s search results:
- 30% CTR
- 15% CTR
- 10% CTR
- 7% CTR
- 6% CTR
- 5% CTR
- 4% CTR
- 3% CTR
- 2% CTR
- 1% CTR
It’s worth noting that these are just rough estimates and the actual CTR for each position may be different depending on the specific search term and other factors. These figures are not guaranteed and they do vary across locations, keywords, and industries.