Everyone is concerned about their website’s ability to rank well in Google. So when you have a new website developed, does it arrive optimized for search engines? Your web developer says “yes.” But here is what they didn’t tell you…
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Transcription via SpeechPad.
Hello everyone, my name is Brandon Shoupe with Strategy6 and welcome to a Strategy6 SEO strategy session.
Today we’re going to be talking about what sort of SEO services typically are included as part of a website development project, not only projects done by Strategy6 but also projects done by many reputable website developers across the world.
Typically, the number one concern that people have when they approach me about me developing them a new website is, how much is it going to cost? Sometimes, though, and it’s getting to be more so recently, here lately, the number one concern, but most of the time, still, the number two concern is, “When someone does a search on Google, is my website going to come up?” That’s a great question.
Everybody knows about Google and everybody knows that if you’re going to look for a plumber or a new camera, the first thing you’re going to do is go to Google and start researching.
So, business owners know that it’s important to rank for important keywords. So, that’s usually a very big concern. Really, what the question is, and sometimes they come out directly and ask it, “Are SEO services part of your website development service?”
In other words, “Are you going to perform search engine optimization on my website, so that when I put it up, and someone does a search, is my website going to come up?” The answer to that question is “yes.” The longer answer is “yes but.” And today, we’re going to mainly be talking about the “but” part of that answer.
Let’s go back. Let’s say you’re the client and you come to me and you say, “Brandon, I want to do a great website and you do a great job. Is SEO part of what you do? Can you help me rank in Google?”
And I’m going to say “yes” like many web developers, but the services I’m going to be providing as part of the website development project is what’s called “on-site optimization.” On-site optimization is essentially, taking the key words, and most of the time, the key words are the key words that you supply me, and using them strategically in your website.
Let’s give an example of your home page. You’re a blue widget manufacturer. So we use those keywords strategically on your website, essentially, giving you a chance to come up for that keyword in Google. I could use, “blue widget.” I could use that key word in the title tag.
If you have an old version of Internet Explorer, it’s the blue bar at the top. I could use “blue widget” in the H1 tag, which is usually the big bold headline on any webpage.
I could use it strategically in the copy, just throw out a different variation of it, “big blue widgets.” I could have “big blue widgets” and bold that, making sure that Google knows that that’s really important. So I’m going to bold that text and, that way, it’s going to help me rank little bit better.
I could do something funny down here in the footer, “We love big blue widgets,” and I can use different variations of the key word, “small blue widgets,” “medium blue widgets” over here on the sidebar.
There’s a lot of things I could do to influence Google and essentially give Google a better idea of what this page is all about. Hopefully, it will rank for “blue widgets.”
But, sometimes, and this is mainly a bigger deal in more competitive verticals on the Internet, that’s not enough. In fact, it’s getting to be, these days, most of the time, that’s not enough. If you’re really going to be number one on Google and everybody wants to be number one, then you’ve got to put a little more into it.
Typically, these services that you really need are not included as part of a web development project. Keyword research is incredibly important, just spending a few hours getting to know what people are searching for on the Internet.
If you’re squeezing your web developer on costs or they really don’t know what they’re talking about, then keyword research never really enters into part of the project.
To give you a little more information about how important that can be, I can look at and tell you, blue widgets are extremely competitive. We’ve got a brand-new website, Big Blue Widget Manufacturing Company out of Boston has been manufacturing blue widgets since the 1800s.
They’ve had a website since before Al Gore even created the Internet. So, we’re really behind when it comes this keyword. It’s going to be really tough to rank. A lot of companies out there all across the world are making blue widgets. It’s going to be tough for us to rank.
So, I do a little research and I find that, yes, there is a market for blue widgets that are made in America and nobody is really going after that keyword. Maybe that is a tactic that we should do on our website. Maybe we should go after the “made in America,” patriotic crowd of blue widget buyers.
Maybe I could look for “Southern blue widgets,” or “blue widgets made in the Northeast” or “blue widgets made in Vermont.” I don’t know. Maybe there is enough search volume for those longer tail key words, and maybe there’s not enough people competing for those keywords, that we could put them on our webpage and we won’t be getting as much traffic as there aren’t as many people searching for blue widgets.
There’s not that many searches for “made in America blue widgets,” but there are still some search volume and maybe we can be number one in that. Maybe we can get some traffic coming to our website and maybe we can convince people to buy.
Competitive analysis, is almost never part of, especially, a very tight budget web developer project. What are your competitors doing and how are they promoting their website? How are they promoting blue widgets? Where are they getting links from?
Content creation. This is always an ongoing aspect of search engine optimization. Essentially, great content, at its very core, is SEO. That’s what it’s all about. Google has an incentive. They want to supply their customers, which are the people performing searches on Google with great content.
If you go to Google and you can’t find anything worth reading or worth looking at, eventually you’re going to start going to Bing, and that’s a last thing Google wants. So Google wants to send you to great content.
So is your content epic? Do you have epic content on your website? If not, then you really need to beef this up. This is something that, even if you do have epic content, you have to keep working at everyday. So, this is an ongoing marketing expense. That’s what it’s all about.
Social media. Do you have a social media marketing campaign? I could demonstrate for you if I have to but Google looks for social signals, how many links you’re getting from Twitter.
I had a pretty prominent person on Twitter tweet about a blog post I wrote, couple of months ago. I think it was number three for this keyword, for a couple of days. I’ve since fallen off the first page, but I still get a trickle of traffic.
But, just having that tweet from an important person on Twitter can really boost your search ranking. So, if you don’t have an ongoing social media campaign, you’re not doing everything you need to do when it comes to SEO.
Link building, this is huge. If you get one or two great links from a really quality, authoritative website, it can boost your search rankings incredibly. You could go from not even being ranked to being on the first page, overnight.
So, link building is something that takes time. You have to build relationships with people. You have to write a guest blog posts. It takes a lot of work. So, that’s not going to be included as part of your basic website package.
So, that really explains what you get. Typically, when you’re getting on-site optimization, you’re not getting all of this. So, that gives you something to think about when you’re talking to your web developer about what you are going to get.
It gives you something to think about, the right frame of mind to approach the website. It’s not a one and done. It’s something you’ve got to work at, day in and day out. The companies that do get the highest rankings and, thus, get the most traffic from search engines, and thus get the most sales. So that’s what it’s all about.