It’s all very well creating a website, but you can’t just build it and hope people will come. You are competing with millions of other websites, so you can’t expect your posts and pages to jump straight to the top of Google. Instead, you could consider hiring somebody to provide you with the types of SEO services your site needs to have a chance of surviving online.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. It is a range of techniques that you carry out that are likely to improve your position in the search results for important phrases.
So what types of SEO services could improve your site’s performance in Google and the other search engines?
Keyword research is the heart of any SEO approach. How can you rank for search terms if you don’t actually try to? You might still rank for some terms in Google if you don’t do keyword research, but they may well be random and probably irrelevant.
Keyword research is the process of going through and deciding which terms you should focus on ranking for.
Building a website is like any other form of business activity. You need to plan for it.
Ideally, you should begin by determining your most important keywords. These will be relatively high-level terms, which will be difficult to rank for. It may take a considerable time for you to rank on Page 1 for these terms, perhaps years. But if you build enough surrounding content and carry out the rest of your SEO techniques correctly, you should in time rise to a healthy position. These pages are your Cornerstone Content pages. They have the most critical information about your business that people want to return to again and again.
Once you have decided on your Cornerstone Content terms, you then need to come up with a long list of long-tail keyword terms as support. You should optimise the bulk of your posts around these long-tail keyword terms. These will be longer terms of two to six words, which attract fewer searches. But there will also be fewer competing websites.
The two types of pages/posts go together, of course. Many of your long-tail keyword terms will be an extension of your Cornerstone Content terms. For instance, you may set “swimming pools” as a Cornerstone Content key term. A long-tail term may be “in-ground swimming pools” or “salt-water swimming pools”. You need to think like your customers. What will they be searching for where you can provide the answer?
Many of the posts you write will be about facets of your Cornerstone Content. It makes sense that you regularly link from your regular posts to your Cornerstone Content.
Building Pages and Posts around Your Keywords
Another example of SEO services is when you contract an expert to write content based on your keywords.
This includes Cornerstone Content, less important pages and your regularly changing posts.
Your Cornerstone Content should be the best and most important content on your site. These pages rarely date. People will visit these pages on a daily basis.
Some pages are less important for SEO purposes, although they are still vital for a quality user experience. These include your Contact page and your About page. Did you know that the About page is one of the most visited pages on a typical website? People clearly like to know the people behind the websites they visit.
One of Google’s expectations is that your website shows evidence of regular change. This is one of the major advantages of operating a blog.
If you operate a shop from your website you may have to regularly change your stock items. Google will recognize this. But, if you simply use your website to showcase your business, and don’t operate a blog, your site is in danger of sitting there unloved and forgotten. When you operate a blog you create new posts at regular intervals. This will give an SEO boost to your site. I recently discussed blogging in Why I Enjoy Providing Blogging Services for Small Businesses.
Your blog should target your ideal customer, and the posts should focus on topics that would interest your customers. If the person who carries out different types of SEO services for your site does his research well, he will identify a range of relevant keywords as a base for your blog posts. These long-tail keywords will be quite specific and complement the keywords on your Cornerstone Content pages.
Google has improved its search engine in recent years and now analyses web pages holistically. But it is still a computer algorithm. Thus, the best way to ensure that Google takes notice of your site is to technically optimise your pages and posts. A good SEO consultant can optimise your site for you, to ensure that you have structured it in a search engine-friendly way.
This is not a one-off activity though. Ideally, your SEO consultant will tinker with and update your site on a regular basis. This means that you should expect to pay for this SEO service on an hourly or per page basis.
Some of the types of SEO services that your SEO consultant could optimize include:
- Ensuring that every page and post has suitable headlines, tags, categories and images
- Making sure that you have included your keyword terms, along with synonyms in your body copy
- Ensuring that you have optimised the anchor text for your links
- Checking that your images contain the correct descriptions and that they are not so large that they slow down your page loading speed
- Checking that you have high-quality content, making suggestions on how you can improve any areas of weakness
Carrying Out a Technical Audit
Unless you are starting to build a new site, you will have built up a range of posts and pages for your website. In some cases, you may have thousands of pages worth of content.
Unless you have consistently followed SEO principles you may have a few issues that will harm your search engine rankings.
Amongst the typical types of SEO services offered is carrying out a technical audit. Google helps website here, and have created some technical tools to help webmasters optimise their sites.
A technical audit looks at your whole domain, looking for any issues that affect your rankings. These include crawl errors, where Google strikes problems crawling through your site. It will find any links to “dead” pages you need to redirect.
Nobody can promise that they will take you to the top of the search engine rankings. There are too many variables involved, and many of them are out of your control. You may be able to improve your website, but you have no ability to affect the performance of others. If your competitor carries out spotless SEO there is little you can do but match them with an SEO-perfect website.
But, SEO is important. You need to build every website with SEO in mind. That doesn’t mean that you try keyword stuffing, though – sticking as many keywords in as possible. Google also penalises for this – it expects you to use your keywords in a natural way.
As Andrew Loader, a Reinvented Freelance Writer, SEO comes as second nature to me. I write with SEO in mind every time I approach the keyboard – natural SEO that makes the copy as relevant to humans as it is to computers.
Contact me today on firstname.lastname@example.org to see what types of SEO services I can provide that will benefit your site.
If you are somebody who wishes to learn more about earning your living online, keep reading these posts. Over the next few months and years, Larry and I – The Reinvention Men – will build up a library of resources to help to survive, and then thrive, online.