Search engine optimization (SEO) can seem like a daunting and overcomplicated task, but it’s really not as painful as it may seem. If you can focus on four main aspects of SEO, your journey to the number one position on a search engine will be much easier.
The four main aspects of SEO are technical SEO, content optimization, on-site SEO, and off-site SEO. These four topics can be complex and sometimes overlap with each other, but they are all stepping stones to help you start and maintain a great SEO strategy.
Essentially, what we want to do with technical SEO is ensure that a search engine, such as Bing or Google, can read your content. For the most part, technical SEO will be handled by whatever content management system you or your company chooses to use. Tools like Screaming Frog, DeepCrawl, and Ahrefs can explore your site and highlight what pages need maintenance. These programs will flag different pages on your website that have technical issues so you can tend to them before they start to hurt your site’s rankings.
The main aspects to focus on include:
- Indexing – which pages Google should index and return?
- Speed – is your site fast enough?
- Crawl – can a search engine explore your site easily?
- Mobile – is your site compatible with mobile devices?
- Hierarchy – how well is your content structured?
Something to take note of when starting your SEO campaign is the overall size of your business’s website. If you are using a small website with not a huge amount of pages, technical SEO can be checked off your to-do list pretty quickly. However, if your website has millions of pages, it’ll take some time to comb through them all.
Your content is the voice of your site. It tells people what you do, how you do it, and why someone should use your company. If you’re staying ahead of the game, your content should go deeper than just the basics. Focusing on service-type content is really what helps build a good SEO strategy. Also, adding blogs relating to what you do can help improve overall site content and even help you rank for certain search queries.
A really great way to ensure you get the most out of your SEO strategy is to really play up your content marketing strategy. It’s the easiest way to promote your business and typically has the best ROI since there’s no cost per click. This sort of strategy isn’t always a silver bullet, but when it works, it really works.
On-site SEO somewhat overlaps with content and technical SEO. Typically, a website should be optimized as a whole and should maintain a well-structured hierarchy for your content. Having a well-structured hierarchy will ultimately make the user experience that much better due to how easy it is to navigate your site.
The main aspects of on-site SEO that will help your site rank well are:
- Keywords – understand what your audience is looking for and include them in content.
- URLs – simple and descriptive URLs will help significantly.
- Titles – having keywords in your title will help improve your chances of ranking.
- User Experience (UX) – a good UX will improve your rankings and help bounce rate.
When you start optimizing your site, keep your customers in mind. Tailor the content towards them and what their needs are. If your site is optimized for relative keywords, your audience will find your business much quicker.
The main idea of this SEO aspect is to improve your site’s authority by generating links to other pieces of content. For instance, if you were to write an informative 1000-word blog about keyword ranking factors, someone could read it and use your link as a source for their blog.
Having other sites link back to yours helps improve your site’s domain authority and prove that your company is reliable in its field. An example of good off-site SEO is Wikipedia. As of January 2020, Ahrefs reports that Wikipedia has nearly 4 million referring links. That’s 4 million different pages of content that link back to Wikipedia. Having different pages link back to your content will not only improve your site’s notability but will also lead to more site traffic.
These four main aspects of SEO all work hand in hand to either make or break your website. Keeping track of your site’s overall health and updating it with strong, relevant content can lead to a very healthy SEO campaign.
If you or your business is in need of help setting up a top-notch SEO campaign, look no further. Astute Communications can help set up, run, and improve all aspects of SEO. To hear more about what we do at Astute, check out our services page or contact us.
-Written by Jonah Ericksen