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The SEO Race. Are You Winning or Stuck at the Starting line?

Here’s Some Helpful Insight to Give You a Strong Head Start

 
Let’s face it, we all want our website to be first place, winning the coveted number one spot in the SEO race for highly sought after keywords, but adding your site to the web is just the start. Having a website just isn’t enough to reach the finish line. I’m sure you put a lot of work into your site (as you should), creating just the right copy for each page and choosing the photos that best represent your products and brand, but putting up a website is really just the beginning. 
 
seo-race Think of it like a race. At this point, you’ve got the right look (great design), basic mechanics (website), and a solid engine (CMS), so you’ve really prepared yourself to step up to the starting line, but you have no fuel to make the car go anywhere (SEO), tools for maintenance (social media, SEM, advertising) or a team to manage your pit stops (marketing professionals). Before you can even think about the finish line, you need to qualify for pole position, showing the search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo.) that you deserve to start up top and the best way to do this is understanding how to make the cut. In this article, we’ll focus on what will get you off the starting block to gain some traction using search engine optimization (SEO).
 

Understanding SEO Basics

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of improving your site to increase appearance in organic search results. When using digital marketing to boost visibility, SEO (search engine optimization) is a long-term content strategy that helps your brand positioning in Google’s organic search results. By presenting credible and relevant content with strategic keywords, you’ll drive more traffic to the site, increasing the potential for more conversions and a higher position on the SERP (search engine results page). (Hint: SEO is not just a lap around the track, it’s more like the Indy 500 – be prepared to invest for the long haul)

Keep in Mind

  • SEO takes more time to see benefits but may provide long-lasting results
  • Things like page titles, keywords, page load speeds and relevant content, all impact SEO
  • Searchers tend to trust organic listings over sponsored links (SEM)

Tips to Remember Before Starting the SEO Race

  1. Do your keyword research in advance before starting anything
  2. Fix broken links on your site
  3. Select relevant, low to medium ranking keywords
  4. Increase your site speed
  5. Add alt-text to images and optimize file size
  6. Utilize SEO tools to give you a leg up
  7. Actively participate in social media channels regularly
  8. Track your progress and adjust course as needed
  9. Include inbound/outbound and backlinks in your content
  10. Optimize each page for best results


Tools to Get You Moving

 

Choose Your Words Wisely

Understand your target audience in advance and choose your words wisely. You want to find keywords that are relevant to the content on the page and relative to your business. The more common the keyword phrase, typically the harder it is to rank. Do your research before you begin. I suggest using a tool to help you in the planning process and personally prefer to use the Key Search tool. It’s great for identifying the difficulty of the word, provides valuable insight on who is currently ranking for it, and lets you know how much the CPC and PCP are, an important note for your paid media strategy. SEM Rush is equally as helpful as Key Search, however, expect to pay more. Other free tools include Google Keyword Planner, Moz Keyword Explorer and if your site is built on WordPress, Yoast SEO is a must. 

It’s not only about choosing the right keywords, but it’s also the placement of them, the context in which they’re used as well as the frequency. One factor search engines use for ranking content is authority. They are looking for relevant and accurate information to serve up the reader, so the more authoritative you are on a topic, the greater your chances for ranking in a higher position.

Educate Yourself

This will save you both time and money. I highly recommend downloading the 50 point checklist found on the Alexa website, “The Ultimate SEO Checklist“. It has a comprehensive list of on-page/off-page and technical SEO tactics you can employ to drive your efforts. Hubspot Academy also offers free training. I suggest taking a few moments to review their site for a crash course in marketing. There is also a mountain of articles and free downloads on Dr. Google that will give you a leg up in the SEO race. If you don’t feel equipped to tackle this on your own, reach out to the professionals for assistance. Details Creative is a boutique agency designed to support businesses looking to go to the next level, featuring marketing & website services that showcase your brand. Connect with us online to set up a free consultation to discuss your needs. 

SEM

What is the difference between SEO and SEM? To cut to the chase, it boils down to free (organic) vs. paid. SEO is great for optimizing your website, but SEM takes it to the next level. SEM (search engine marketing) is a short-term paid strategy that boosts your presence and complements your SEO efforts. Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is advertising online to increase traffic back to your site. Essentially you’re paying to be at the top, but readers are also very well aware of this and are generally more inclined to trust organic listings over sponsored posts.

  • Results for SEM are instant, but last only as long as the campaign is active
  • Pay Per Click (PPC) Ads, Google Ads, and Bing Ads are all examples of SEM
  • SEM allows you the ability to target the exact customer you want

 

sem-race-results  seo-race-google-serp   

 

For more information or to discuss recommendations for your website, contact Details Creative at info@detailscreative.com.