Search engine optimization, or SEO, is one of the most important areas of marketing in the digital age — and it only seems to be becoming more important with time. Not so long ago, a web page was something optional for most businesses and organizations. Today, it’s essential. After all, a website is only as useful as the number of people who see it.
Without SEO and related marketing services, an organization’s website can languish in relative obscurity. It can all too easily fail to show up in the search results for relevant queries on major search engines and be cut off from the customers, clients, supporters, readers, and others that it needs to survive.
But what makes great SEO? That’s something that the experts at SEO firms like LinkGraph have spent a lot of time thinking about. Here’s what the pros say their clients need in order to succeed in SEO.
Clear and Measurable Goals
SEO is about showing up on search engines. But “getting higher up on Google” isn’t a goal — not a useful one, anyway. To get far in SEO, you need to have better ones.
The hallmarks of good goals are specificity and measurability. That’s true in all areas, and it’s particularly true in SEO, where vague goals of “getting high up there on Google” will get you nowhere. Instead of dreaming about high spots on the search engine results page (or “SERP”), experts at SEO companies like Link Graph focus on specific goals that address individual factors like external links. Setting a goal for a number of links is a simple and objective way to track progress. Gaining link equity with external links will meaningfully improve a website’s authority with search engines like Google and Bing.
Of course, it’s not just about getting an ever-greater number of links. It’s also about the quality of those external links. Gaining links back from small-time WordPress blogs is very different from landing external links from outlets like The New York Times or Buzzfeed. So experts at companies like Link Graph choose even more specific goals. They’ll aim to get a certain number of external links from websites of a certain domain authority by a certain time. And these are just the goals in one category. Other goals may include extending the amount of time that visitors from SERPs stay on the site (improving the “bounce rate.”) Or there may be deadlines and goals related to visitor counts or — yes — even ranks on Google.
Sound complicated? Don’t worry. A good SEO partner can help you develop your goals more wisely.
The trickiest thing about SEO is the way that it constantly changes. Search engines like Google aren’t here to help SEO pros, after all, so they think very little of suddenly changing their algorithms and rendering years’ worth of SEO strategies out of date.
Creating the shortest path from a user’s query to your website is about fine-tuning your strategy in light of the most recent research into search engine algorithms. What’s the right keyword density? How much do high-quality external links help? Do low-quality external links hurt? These things are vital to know, and they are subject to change. Fortunately, you don’t have to know them yourself — you just have to find an SEO partner that does.
In the end, one thing in SEO matters most of all, and that’s the firm that you partner with. SEO is a full-time job, which is why organizations like Link Graph focus on around the clock. Sitting around in Github or Stackoverflow, testing and re-testing successive paths and new strategies, and constantly re-educating themselves based on the latest and greatest information, pros at Link Graph and similar organizations make sure that they’re on top of your SEO needs. That way, you don’t have to be.