Trying to wrap SEO (search engine optimization) into a neat package and tuck it away, not to be thought about for months, is a disservice to your business and your bottom line.
As a team of web developers and software nerds, we would love nothing more than to push a button and magically watch our web pages rank first on Google’s SERP (search engine results page). However, ranking on Google takes time, commitment, and the willingness to accept it won’t happen overnight.
Aside from that, it’s likely you’re going to need some professional help. From your content management system (CMS) and the third-party tools you use to your off-site authority directory listings (ahem, GravityHub) and the quality of your content, trust us when we say this isn’t for the faint of heart.
Setting You Up For Success
At Gravity Junction, website development is our expertise. We are strikingly different from other web development shops, as we develop each site with a great foundation to support SEO.
We also offer enhanced packages to increase your SEO value in the development process. Your sales representative can provide further information on packages that may more aptly fit your needs.
Whether you are a web dev novice or you’re fairly fluent in SEO, we’re confident you’ll benefit from understanding how we can support you in the SEO game.
THE FOUNDATION : Pre-Launch
Right out of the gate, before development starts, we recommend you register your domain name for at least two years. Doing so will send a signal to Google that you are a “serious” business owner. If your domain name is registered for less than two years, your site will be punished by Google and pushed to the bottom of the search results.
Your hosting company and package matter A LOT. Relying on GoDaddy or other budget-friendly options can and will come back to haunt you. For the best performance, it’s highly recommended you have a dedicated hosting service with Gravity Junction. You can be confident in our expertise and commitment to standing behind and alongside your website’s performance when you host with us.
WordPress CMS & Google
Your site will be built on Google’s #1 preferred CMS, WordPress.
On-Site Page Optimization
During the design of your site, we ensure that each page has the base level required SEO structure to support future SEO efforts, which includes:
- Optimization: Page titles, header tags, meta descriptions, featured image file names.
- Tools we use to make this happen: YOAST for WordPress and WordPress native backend functionality.
After you approve the desktop version of your website, we’ll begin optimizing your mobile device. Using our inspector tools, we can identify areas of concern that need to be addressed to appease Google.
Using internal software, we compress media (photos, videos, downloads, etc.) that may slow your site down. We want your site to run as fast as humanly possible to get in Google’s good graces.
We will install an SSL certificate. This secure socket layer not only adds security to your site but sends a signal to users and Google alike that you are doing your best to keep your customers’ information safe. Savvy customers will not purchase on a site without an SSL certificate.
How does a savvy buyer know if you have an SSL?
Sites without an SSL would display as the domain name HTTP:// versus HTTPS://. All websites hosted with Gravity Junction have an SSL certificate with quarterly registration included in your hosting package.
LEARN MORE about SSL Certificates Here: Power of Protection: SSL Certificates Boost SEO Value
THE FOUNDATION : Post Launch
Should your new site be replacing an old/existing site, our team will create 303 redirects from the previous site. This will allow Google and website visitors alike to seamlessly access pages that may have new permalink structures. It would also prevent users and Google from receiving 404 errors, all of which would penalize your SEO rankings.
Google Search Console (Also known as Google Webmaster Tools)
We use this tool to scan your entire site for any performance errors that need addressing, along with examining hindrances that slow the site down. Instead of waiting days, weeks, or months for Google to recognize your site is live, we create and submit your sitemap, requesting Google to begin crawling your site.
We use several other pieces of software to report on performance errors and less than optimal on-site optimization. Beyond nerd talk, of what we may do in the back end of your site to continue with optimization clean up, what’s important to note is that we release sites that load in 2-3 seconds. This is the time frame in which Google will even consider ranking your site in it’s search engine.
Your Site is Live Now What?
Now that your site has a good foundation set, it’s time for an on-going SEO/Marketing strategy. Your site can and will become a paperweight if no marketing plan is in place. Google doesn’t rank sites with zero marketing efforts in place.
So what could an SEO strategy look like?
Trends & Competitors
You may have a perfectly optimized site, but dedicating yourself to an ongoing competitor and trend analysis will help you stay in the game. Things move quickly online, so it’s critical you are constantly staying abreast of the latest trends and updates. Using tools like Google Analytics can help you assess where you need to be and what adjustments need to be made.
- Keyword Gap Research
Keyword Gap Research: This is an SEO analysis between you and your top competitors. Keyword gap research reveals the top opportunities, total keyword overlap, common keywords shared, etc. This information is super beneficial to planning an SEO campaign as you can see exactly where the best opportunities lie in your niche.
- Keyword Research
This helps you determine your target keywords. During your keyword research, you’ll monitor the search volume (national and global levels), CPC (cost per click), competition levels, volume trends, and more.
- Keyword Gap Research
Consider creating a series of landing pages or a sales funnel to support specific promotions, sales, or paid ads. Funnels are meant to take someone on a journey by isolating the information to the exact message or product you are marketing. Funnels clear through the clutter and help customers focus on what you are trying to sell. It’s like putting a race car on the speedway. There’s only one path, and it’s hard to get off course once you’re on course. Your customers are more likely to see and be driven to take the actions you want them to take.
Content is KING
Commit to regularly adding new and trustworthy content to your site. You could do this by enhancing existing content or publishing new pages or blog posts. Consistency is key, and striving for 900+ words for any given page or post is the goal.
- Add target keywords to content. Make sure your target keywords are in the URL, the first 100 words of content, the H1, titles/tags, and meta descriptions.
- Include your target keyword in at least one subheading (H2 Tag).
- Keyword Frequency – use your keywords throughout the body text. It will enhance your authority on the subject matter, and Google will be more confident about that page’s topics. You’re likely to rank higher for that subject.
Link it Up
Assuming the content you have on your site is valuable, trustworthy, and engaging, you would hope that visitors would stay on your website for hours. Sometimes though, you have to direct this kind of behavior. Google is looking to see how long a person stays on your site to increase its SEO value. You can make an effort to increase this time (called stickiness) by instituting internal links. These links allow for a visitor to continue clicking on relevant articles, driving them deeper into your site, and therefore increasing the amount of time they are there and boosting your SEO value at the same time.
- Use External (OUTBOUND) Links
External links to related pages help Google figure out your page’s topic. It also shows Google that your page is a hub of quality info.
- Use Backlinks (INBOUND) Links
Backlinks are one of the major ranking factors. Google looks at the quantity of high-quality inbound links to a webpage when they crawl. Having links from high authority sites will increase your ranking. Think of links as votes. The more you have, the higher your website authority is.
- Use External (OUTBOUND) Links
Upgrade your SEO tool, Yoast, to a paid service. This will allow you to build out additional keywords to target any given page or post.
Social media is a force to be reckoned with, and it’s hard to avoid social media in the digital ecosystem we are surrounded by. The good news is, setting up a cohesive social media presence can help with your ongoing SEO efforts.Be sure to include your domain name in your profile’s bio section. As you interact on social, always link back to your site when possible to drive traffic back to your site.
Google is constantly searching authority websites to see if your website is backlinked on any of them. It’s hard to trick Google, so obtaining backlinks on some fly by night website will hurt you more than help. Be selective. You are looking for sites with high domain authority. Moz offers a free tool so you can identify which sites to go after for a backlink and which sites you should avoid. Remember, the higher the score, the more authority a site has in the eyes of Google.
You know the ads you see at the top of the SERP whenever you perform a Google search? Those are examples of paid search. Unlike traditional SEO, where you have to wait, revise, and say a prayer to the Google gods to bless you with a high ranking, paid SEO allows you to reach the top of the search page much more quickly. The downside? This method can get quite expensive, especially if you aren’t skilled in Google Adwords. We recommend using paid SEO in conjunction with your organic SEO strategy and outsourcing help from professionals.
Syndicated Press Releases
A standard rule of thumb at Gravity Junction; never underestimate the power of a press release. A press release is a newsworthy statement or announcement that is delivered to members of the media.
Press releases usually have a compelling headline and introduction, as you may only have a few seconds to grab a reporter’s attention. If you’re wondering ‘what does this have to do with SEO?’ we’ll explain. As previously mentioned, getting authority sites to share your content and backlink to your website helps strengthen your SEO. Putting out a press release creates the opportunity for your information to be picked up by dozens, potentially hundreds, of authority sites. Not sure what to do with your press release after you’ve written it? We recommend using the following websites to distribute your press releases:
Authority Directory Sites
There are about 100+ directory websites that Google considers the authorities in the marketplace. Having your business profile on those websites will give you an insane leg up against your competitors, should they not be on those same directories. Not to mention, being on the directory websites will give you 100+ new places to be found on the world wide web by your potential customers.
Not sure if you are on those directories? We can help.
Get a your FREE Scan HERE to see how you show up in the eyes of Google.
Here some friendly tips if you do decide to become listed on those authority sites.
- If you are on a budget it will be important to see which directories are free and which are not.
- You will need a safe password program to ensure all login credentials are saved for future use. (Recommendation to use LastPass)
- You will need to make sure that all of your profiles on every single directory are EXACTLY the same. Should you accidentally have slightly different names for your business, like Gravity Junction vs. Gravity Junction, LLC, you will be penalized. To obtain the status of PowerListing in the eyes of Google, your profiles must all be identical.
- This process can be SUPER time-consuming. To save you time and money, we would suggest looking into our GravityHub™ services.
Learn More about SEO here: SEO TIPS
As previously stated, SEO isn’t for the faint of heart. However, we hope we were able to provide some clarity, a greater level of understanding, and the confidence necessary to tackle your website’s SEO like a boss. And if you’re too busy being the boss of everything else, we’d love to help set you up for SEO success.