Is Your Old SEO Dragging Down Your Website?
By Chris Getman, Vital Design’s Director of Interactive Strategy
The job of an SEO has changed significantly over the past 12 months. While many have been working on SEO strategy for years, all that experience might be irrelevant if you haven’t kept up with what’s happened in the last three months.
So what’s changed? Well, everything. It all comes down to Google’s search algorithm. Long ago, when search engines were a dime a dozen, they crawled your site looking for specific markers to determine the rank of site for a specific keyword phrase. In the beginning, it was extremely simple “meta” tags that brought search spiders to your site. Later, it was on page content mixed with inbound links. In fact, this model has been the most consistently used, and for the longest period of time. But now, search engines, and more specifically, Google, are getting very specific with what they are looking for. This includes how your on-page targeting of keywords is done, what links you are actually getting, click through rates, bounce rates, page load time, unique coding, and about 500 other markers that indicate which sites pass the test, and which ones get banned.
“Get banned you say?!”
Yeah, it’s true. If you had some shoddy SEO work done a year or two ago, it could very well get your site removed from Google’s index altogether. That’s bad news because it’s difficult to get a site re-indexed. If you can’t, you need to start all over.
How We Make Our Websites Rock
A solid SEO strategy starts with a solid brand strategy, and a well thought out marketing strategy. The key is user engagement. We want people to buy into the ideas you have, and we want to give them something to do to help them do that. A lot of the time, it’s as simple as giving your user some compelling copy, a few nice pictures, and a way to convert. With a well thought out SEO strategy, we’re thinking well beyond getting the user to the page from a search engine. We’re thinking in terms of site metrics.
Here are some things we think about when building an SEO strategy.
- How can we get the user to the site? What is the page about? What’s the page title the user sees? Is the page description compelling? Does the page itself utilize the keyword we want to rank for?
- How can we get the user to navigate to another page? Does the site have a clear call-to-action strategy? Are there calls that are more likely to have users click them (“try our neat fun thing” instead of “buy now”, for example)
- Does the page look like every other page? We want unique code across the site if possible. Sometimes, this isn’t always easy, like with an ecommerce site. But if we have specific pages outside of the dynamic parts of a site, we can code these however we like.
- How does the link profile for the site look? Are there relevant links to the site? Are there high power links? How many links do you have compared to your competitors?
Need help answering these questions and more? Our SEO team can help. Talk to us today to learn more about how an SEO strategy can drive conversions for your business.
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