4 SEO tips for the novice SEO client
When I hear a client ask "What is SOE?" (yes, I hear it mis-spoken often) or say "I need to be at the top of Google now that our site is up" I have to make a split second decision on how I'm going to respond. The things I consider are:
How much time do I have?
How tech-savvy is the client?
How much do they really WANT to know?
How much do they really NEED to know?
Can I explain it in terms that are relatable for them?
Honestly, I can often times get a bit wordy in my responses though I do my best not to. The easiest way to recognize that I need to shut up is when their eyes glaze over and a blank stare comes over their face. At that point it's into damage control mode and trying to do what I should have done to begin with - SIMPLIFY!
I thought it might be a good exercise to actually write an article about 4 high level views of SEO (search engine optimization) and what it's all about. Perhaps you'll find a a nugget of help when it comes to how you approach this discussion with your SEO clients and if all goes well I'll figure out how to better explain it to clients when they ask as well.
How Searches Work
Using Google as an example, when a search is entered Google displays it's results in what they have determined to be the best order of relevancy to that search. How do they determine that? Well that's an entirely separate article, but let's just say they considered hundreds of factors in their algorithms. Google is constantly (24/7) scanning the internet and updating it's database with the information it finds. It is also constantly updating it's ranking structure. So if you're worried about Google noticing the changes on your site, don't. They'll be back soon and you'll be getting "credit" for your improvements in no time.
Your site should be construced in a way that helps Google and the others better understand what your product or service is. Without getting too techy, there are many HTML (web page code) elements that should be present. Terms such as meta tags, alt tags and title tags may sound vaguely familiar but if not, don't worry. Unless you're doing the on-page optimization yourself you only really need to know that these are elements that Google looks for and should be present. I'm sure your internet marketing company will be able to explain in more detail if you are interested in learning about them.
The ideal situation is to have an individual page for each search term you'd like to be found for. This is often difficult to achieve in many cases but do your best. Want to be found for "Family Dentistry"? Have a page dedicated to Family Dentistry.
This all adds up to showing your website is a rich source of content to both Google and, more importantly, your visitors.
A simple way of saying it is that search engines are a popularity contest. Not like American Idol where every vote that comes in has the same weight. It actually gives "weight" to your votes when it determines where you should rank. Other websites that link to your website (inbound links) are very important to ranking well. The more popular the website is that is linking to you, the more weight the link has. Quality over quantity is the key with inbound links.
The methods of acquiring these links is a time-intenstive, patience testing process. Link building is another article in unto itself but some of the more common approaches are:
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There are some red-flags you should be aware of when doing your off-page optimization. Avoid three-way links and links you have to pay for. If your marketing agency is utilizing these techniques you should consider trying another company.
Unique, Quality Content
This one can't be emphasized enough. As Google's algorithms change they are constantly striving to find the best content out there and deliver it when searched for. The bottom line is that if you want to stand out in the rankings, stand out in content. Show your visitors that you have a rich body of quality information and continually add to it.
So this has definitely helped me. Just thinking through it in terms of writing it down has finally given structure to my explanation. If I could just be this consice when I get asked, I think I'd get far fewer distant gazes and people thinking.. "Did I leave the lights on at home?"... or something similar.
I hope this has helped clarify some of the questions you may have had about this subject. Also, if you think we missed something please let us know in the comments.
Till we read again...