“He who is well prepared has half won the battle.” ~ Portuguese Proverbs
The core of a strong SEO lies in careful planning in every step of the way. Professional SEO service does not mean satisfying the parameters for page titles, page descriptions, and content tags. In fact, a lot of high ranking pages do not follow a single trend on how each on-page factors are being optimized. The importance of having a well-planned SEO is that this is where you get 90% of your website traffic – naturally via search engines.
Components of a Professional SEO Service
SEO can be divided into three aspects, namely:
- On-Site SEO
- On-Page SEO
- Off-Site SEO
On-Site Search Engine Optimization
On-site optimization is the first step of the way. It deals with a lot of procedures that will help the search engines evaluate the performance and the structure of the website. There might be lot of on-site optimization settings but the following should be sufficient enough to give you an idea of how to optimize your website:
- XML Sitemap – A list of pages you want the search engines to crawl and is created in XML format and submitted to the search engines.
- Title, Meta Description, and Meta Keyword Tags – Allow us to tell the search engines what the page is about and how they should classify it.
- Open Graph Meta Title, Description, and Content Type – Social media meta tags that can help you boost the amount of social traffic you’re getting.
- Robots.txt File – A text file in the root of domain that allows you to tell the search engine Spiders how to index your website contents.
- Server and Hosting Setup/ Site Optimization – Website hosting optimization setting for best performance (website speed and caching) and security.
- Website Theme Optimization – Website coding system optimized for cross-screen settings and website speed.
- Categorization and Organization – Site structure/navigation optimization to make it easy for search engines and users to navigate from pages to pages of your website.
On-page optimization deals with how you would want your visitors to see every page of your website. On-page optimization can be categorized into 4 – content formatting, internal linking structure, external linking structure, and content optimization.
Content formatting is centered on the topic of the content or the target keyword. It includes page title optimization, headings, keyword placement, and keyword density. Aside from the target keyword, the page title must be compelling enough for reader to click and go to your page. Page title is the first element when a website is being listed in primary search result pages. Headings are coded as H1 to H6 – defines how ideas are being organized in content from main topic down to sub-topics. Keyword placement involves aesthetic positioning of the keywords so it would not look “spammy”. Keyword density is the ratio of how often a target keyword appears across the content over the total number of words used in the content. Content formatting also includes image and video embed to graphically represent the text in the content.
Useful tools for Content Formatting:
- Keyword Density Checker for Keyword Density
- Free Keyword Tool from WordStream for Related Keywords to target Keyword
- Yoast SEO Plugin – for in Post (WordPress) SEO Fine Tuning
Internal Linking Structure
Simple internal linking structure is best; websites who have deeply nested pages is not pleasant in the eyes of search engine spiders and visitors. Simple website navigation will always keep SEO potential positive. The use of a breadcrumb trail is also very useful for visitors to see where they are while navigating through your website.
Internal linking strategy also involves determining the key pages of the website for each of the target keywords. They can also be called as money pages because other pages are supporting them by linking to them through related words known as tags. Search engine spiders can easily evaluate them as your most important pages.
External Linking Structure
External linking is one way to cite authority pages from your website. This could also mean you get data from reliable sources. You can also put your social media profiles as external links so others can see your online reputation via social media sites – how many have followed you and user-generated reviews of your products.
Search engine also determine the value of your site’s external links. This could include:
- Trustworthiness of the linking domain
- Popularity of the linking page
- Relevance of the content between the source page and the target page.
- Anchor text used in the link
- Amount of domains linking to the target page
- Ownership relationship between the source and target page
However, be careful not to use your target keywords as anchor texts for your external links. This would pass the authority of the target page with respect to the target keyword.
Content optimization is all about building an authority of your website with respect to your niche – where your content will be all about. This could make or break your business website. Writing crappy think contents will only hurt your reputation online. Here are some tips in optimizing your content for a particular target keyword:
- Focus on what your target audience would want to know should they be using search engine to search for a particular keyword.
- Start with a catchy title about the target keyword
- Deliver what has been promised in your title.
- Never copy exactly the text coming from previously published content – learn to paraphrase important information.
- You can combine information from different sources to strongly support what has been claimed in your content.
- Do not forcibly mention your keyword every now and then – that would be keyword stuffing. Learn to semantically relate words in your content.
- Incorporate images and videos in your content – a picture can paint a thousand words.
- Provide some social media sharing platforms – it’s just like word-of-the-mouth in internet marketing
- Provide commenting forms to encourage your visitors to leave feedback
- Always give them information on how to contact you and make those call-to-action buttons highly visible
Off-site optimization is synonymous with backlinks and link building. With the recent search engine algorithms, backlinks are being refined to have the highest quality possible. Link building is not anymore about quantity, but building quality contents for your website that will define its relative authority with respect to the target niche.
The good thing about off-site optimization is that it has a lot of options. There can be so many strategies you can work out and combine to effectively telling the search engine that your pages are better than the others. Since backlinks are primary ranking factors in search engine results pages, so be very careful who you are linking from as it could make or break your site in terms of organic traffic.
Sources of Backlinks:
- Press Release
- Podcasts/Video Backlinks
- Social Media Signals
In a press release, you are making a public announcement of your new site, new products, new promotional offers, or anything new about your business. Focus on the newsworthy of the content of your press release. You can start with 20 press release outlets and it will be syndicated by other news sites as well so no need to create different contents for the press release topic.
Although directories are intended as listings of contact information of different businesses, it can also be a good source of backlinks. Most directories include business website as one of the contact information as well as updates from the business website. However, submitting to a directory network will only hurt your reputation as Google marked them as bad backlinks. So make sure you submit only to reputable directories like CrunchBase, HotFrog, Yelp and other online yellow pages directories. Of course don’t forget to get listed on Google Local Business directory!
Highly informative articles published in authority websites can also establish an authority of your brand in your target niche. Valuable articles could generate leads, and then new customers since people are getting knowledge of your brand with trust. Trust is an important driving factor in any marketing strategy.
Podcasts and videos functions the same way as articles – in audio and video formats, respectively. They both convey information to target customers about a particular brand. Since podcast and video directories enable their users to provide brief description about the file being uploaded, this could also provide an opportunity to leave a backlink.
Social Media Signals
Social media can also be your major source of traffic. Since social media signal are becoming an integral part of SEO, every online marketing strategy should include social media campaign to boost user-generated backlinks from social media followers and eventually rank high on search engines. It is inevitable for every business to maximize its branding strategy by creating profiles and generate followers on social media sites like Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Pinterest. Social media also provides real-time interaction with interested users about business products and services.