Goals are more often challenges in SEO where results take patience, thoughtful strategy, and research that reveals daily changes. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy is not set in stone, however; it’s more like baking – you read the recipe, add the ingredients, put it in the oven, and 45 minutes later it looks nothing like you expected so you have to make changes.
While it can be frustrating to follow directions found online and not get desired results, SEO is not one-size-fits-all; what works for one client or one type of business may not necessarily work for others.
Starting an initial SEO strategy should always begin with knowing the business and their desired audience. A tax law firm, for instance, would reach out to a specific audience that an online-only women’s retail store wouldn’t.
Knowing the target audience helps frame language, influence content, and helps guide the keywords to track in SEO strategy.
Keywords are single words or phrases describing:
1. The business (i.e women’s retail store)
a. Specific products carried, services offered or geographic locations (i.e. law firms in Tampa)
2. Branded keywords tying business descriptions with products or services (i.e. CPY Yoga).
It’s helpful to look at known competitors to see what words they rank for and compare what makes your products or services different or unique. Using a keyword ranking tracking tool such as MOZ can be helpful in seeing your competitors rankings.
SEO in Action
Using research, competitor strategy, and specific goals, create a strategy using different versions of content.
1. Meta Tags and Descriptions
Meta Tags are the titles at the top of a webpage within the tab. This tag is read by search engines and factors into the ranking, so it’s important to include applicable high-traffic keywords, company name, and a brief description of your business if you have enough room.
Most Meta Tags and Descriptions are under a character limit that differs depending on the search engine:
Google. Tags: 50-60 Characters; Descriptions: 300 Characters.
Bing. Tags: 65 Characters (including spaces); Descriptions: 150 (including spaces)
2. Landing Pages
Content on landing pages should always contain tracked keywords used in Meta Tags and Descriptions. Google crawls all pages of a website and counts the keywords in websites to assess expertise in that field. This also contributes to search engine ranking, although it is important to write content for your readers rather than for search engines.
3. Blog Posts
One way to rank higher on search engines is to add relevant content and update the website often, around once a week. An easy way to do this is to start a blog where you talking about favorite products, new arrivals, new services or announcements, or tips for the audience about your specialty. Always include important keywords in these posts as well.
SEO is not a one-time solution to a web traffic problem, and it is not something that to create once and never touch again. Search Engine Optimization should be updated weekly, or often, to continue tracking keywords and reaching the desired audience to get results.
Keep in mind that SEO strategy is supposed to change, especially starting out. It is supposed to adapt and change as algorithm changes roll out, audiences change, and other challenges present themselves.