Search Engine Optimization

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Search engine optimization or SEO has always been a confusing topic for most business owners. Usually when I say that I do SEO services for businesses I get a strange look as if I had just spoke a foreign language. In this article I will try to make this common but confusing topic a little easier to understand. My own expertise in this field has allowed me to hire and train brilliant young minds that are capable of ranking sites efficiently and cost effectively.

The Two Parts of SEO That Matter

This subject can be easily split into two major components of ranking factors. The first factor involves everything on your website that you have 100% control over. The second factor is everything that happens off of your website which you do not have 100% control over. If you have an SEO agency working for you then controlling the off-page ranking factors is high on their list of things to manage. If you have never heard of off-page, then you probably have quite a few things that need sorted out and improved upon in order to get your site in the top of Google search results.

On-Page Optimization

As mentioned above, on-page optimization includes everything on your website. This covers everything from the words and headings down to the pictures, videos, links, and URL structure of the site. It is very important to have this component of your SEO strategy completely figured out and up to par with industry standards. If your on-page optimization is off it will throw off all of your efforts to rank on Google. You will be not only wasting time but missing out on leads that could be the new customer you need. As a business owner, you could take care of this yourself, with in-house staff, or you could hire a specialist like myself to handle it for you. Any way that you choose needs to be done just right if you are trying to generate new business from the internet.

Common Vocabulary Used In On-Page Optimization

  • Algorithm – A computer program designed to deliver the best search results for users. These change often and makes SEO necessary.
  • Alt Text – A description that is usually not visible to the end user unless they are using a special browser or the image is not available. Search engines cannot tell the difference between photos unless the alt text is used. This can affect what keywords rank for your website.
  • Analytics – A program that gathers information about how a website is being used. Google analytics is a common and free platform that helps webmasters determine what is going on with a website based on the data collected.
  • Anchor Text – This is the user-visible wording that describes a link to another page. Search engines will use this to determine the topic and relevancy of another page based on what the link says.
  • Authority – This is the amount of trust that Google assigns to a website based on the number of links from other sites to its unique content.
  • Blog – Writers use blogs to focus on content that is often times chronological or time sensitive. In SEO this is a great way to rank for new keywords and build authority to your site on particular subjects.
  • Bounce rate – When users leave a site witout looking at it it is called a bounce. The bounce rate is the percentage of total users that bounce before looking at other pages.
  • Content – anything that is of particular value to the end user is considered content. This includes text, pictures, videos, downloads, etc.
  • Conversion – Best described as a qauntifiable completion of a goal such as a click, call, subscribe, or share.
  • HTML – “Hyper Text Markup Language” is the “code” that gives plain text its struture and functionality on the internet. This is the language that search engines use to understand everything and should be strictly adhered to.
  • Impression – When a user views a page, that is an impression.
  • Keyword – aka keyphrase is the word or term that a user will enter into a search engine in order to find results based on that entry.
  • Landing Page – The page that a user lands on when they click on a specific link. Often times landing pages have specific functions that will assist the user in buying or signing up for something.
  • Long Tail – a large set of very specific keywords. For example a serch for balloons will yield a broad amount of results but a search for “red balloons with blue strings” will yield very specific results.
  • Meta Tags – Information that is kept in the head of the HTML document. This information gives the search results a title and description and is believed to be one of the very first and most important ways a search engine ranks a page.
  • Redirect – Either a temporary or a permanent redirection of traffic from one address to another. Most commonly used when replacing a webpage with a newer page.
  • SEM – Search Engine Marketing is the all encompassing term of every that can be done with search engines in order to improve your traffic and rankings. From adwords to research and content writing SEM is the lifeblood of being found on the internet.
  • SEO – Search engine optimization is the art of making a website show up at the top of the search results. It is common knowledge that most people do not look at results past the first page. If you want to increase your visitors, leads, and online customers you will need to achieve first page rankings with SEO.
  • SERP – Search Engine Results Page
  • Sitemap – A page or series of pages tthat link to all of the pages in a website and helpo the user understand the structure of the site for navigation purposes. An XML sitempa is usually held in the root directory of a site to help search engines understand the site.
  • Spider – A program often referred to as a bot that crawls from link to link on the internet and creates an index of websites and the way they are lnked to each other.
  • Stickiness – Changes to the website that allow for less bounce and more navigation through the site.
  • URL Structure – Uniform Resource Locatior aka the web address. This is basically set up like a file system with pages organized by topic. The URL structure is very imortant for SEO and high rankings. Keywords can be used in the URL but should not be overused if they are already present on a page.

Off-Page Optimization

Off-page optimization is equally important to on-page optimization and is often times where many SEO techniques differ from one another. The main Idea for off page optimization is to acquire links from other reputable websites in your niche that will pass their own trust from Google to your site. When you have high quality back links it is easier to rank for keywords that have a lot of competition. 

There are several ways to earn backlinks for your website. One of the easiest ways for a local business to gain trust in the form of backlinks is through business directories. This type of backlink is referred to as a citation. A citation contains a business’s name, address, phone number (NAP) and a link back to the business web page. 

Another solid way to further legitimize your brand in Google’s eyes is to have active social media handles created on all of the main platforms. When Google sees this network of websites with your information all pointing back to your business then it is more likely to consider you a trustworthy brand and start associating your business name with the niche that you operate in.

Do You Want To Know More About SEO?

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