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Guest Post by Alisa Meggison: SEO 101 – SEO Basics

Guest blog author: Alisa Meggison, Green Sky Development

What is SEO? SEO stands for search engine optimization. It’s a big bucket ‘o stuff that helps make your website more likely to be found when people go to the search engines to search.  SEO helps direct search traffic to your site. SEO does not create search demand (your marketing efforts do this). SEO helps route search traffic. This is an important distinction.

SEO is a combination of “off-page” and “on-page” tactics that are part of a broader strategy to help you build your business.

On-Page

“On-Page” SEO activities may also be described as “following best SEO practices” on your site. These items include: Ensuring that your page titles, page URLs, META descriptions, page content, images, internal links, site navigation, site coding, site navigation are all in tip-top shape. Also, pertinent site information (privacy policy, shipping/returns, guarantees, site map, etc.) need to be present and well written and formatted.

 

Off-Page

“Off-Page” SEO activities include your overall marketing efforts (digital and direct/traditional), links from other external websites, and your social media participation. Other factors include listings/memberships you may have with other companies or organizations, the security, and health of your web server environment, 3rd party review sites, etc.

 

SEO is the handshake.

Together, “on page” and “off-page” SEO connects the audience around you, to your company and what it offers, and helps drive traffic to your website.  SEO’s goal is to ensure that when people go searching for you, your products or services, (they are already looking), they have a better chance of finding you.

The art of tuning-in the elements “on page” and “off-page” to the criteria of the search engines (Let’s face it, Google’s the Big Dog), to what your company has to offer, is a bit complicated. We cannot just say “do these five things,” and you’ll hit a home run.  (Look into some of these items in “SEO is Like Investing.” [LINK])  Suffices to say that a well-tuned SEO is the outreached hand ready to be shaken by searchers looking for what you have to offer.

There are two sides to every handshake.  SEO does not make people search. Your marketing efforts do that. Everywhere and in everything where your marketing conveys your products and services, alignment with the SEO campaign makes the possibility of a handshake between the two more likely, and the SEO efforts bear better results. In other words, strategic alignment between the SEO Campaign and the whole of your marketing communications bolsters one another, giving each a higher chance of success.

 

SEO as a part of the whole

Long ago, in decades past, the keyword ruled supreme. Today, the keyword is a stepping stone in a larger pond.  In your company, you may have a sales team, a management team, an accounting dept., an engineering dept, an operations team, etc. Together, these parts comprise the whole that is your brand. Your brand influences marketing. From your business cards to your proposals, to your website, to your advertising, search engine optimization – all these parts comprise the marketing program. Marketing determines website and SEO strategy. From the code structure of your website to the size of your site images to the content on the page to the site navigation you use, SEO adjusts to and reflects this hierarchy. Today, quality information, trust, authenticity, consistency of message, ease of access is vital. So is mobile usability. Therefore, good SEO integrates every part of your business.

SEO’s goal is to ensure that when people go searching for you, your products or services, they have a better chance of finding you.
(They are already looking, by the way.)

Getting Expert Help

When you find an effective SEO partner, you’ll find someone asking you questions about your company goals and objectives, your budget, your customer profile, and your current marketing efforts.  Putting your “brand” or your company culture at the intersection of marketing, and your website to shake hands with searchers is job #1.

 

See: SEO is Like Investing: It Takes Time and Incremental Adjustments to Build a Portfolio that Yields Results

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