What is Search Engine Optimization?
It is surprising to us that this many years after the start of the internet there is still a disagreement as to what exactly entails Search Engine Optimization. Every month there is a new tip or trick or fad that is the “future of internet marketing” but here at the Alan Morgan Group we still think that focusing on the basics will get the best results. But lets not get ahead of ourselves. SEO is comprised of tons of different pieces so whether you talk to a content guy or a “black hat” guy the bottom line is that SEO is attempting to increase a website’s position in the search engines for a specified term. Unfortunately the only real manual for this is making sure to stay within Google’s Terms of Service, but outside of that every single agency has a different method of trying to increase rankings. And regardless of how someone tries to rank a website, everyone can agree that the importance of search engine optimization is only going to continue to increase for the foreseeable future.
What is Success in SEO?
With so many different definitions of what SEO is you are probably wondering how we know if we are successful in delivering our premium SEO services. Although most SEO consultants consider reaching page 1 to be satisfactory, our goal is always to reach the top 3 positions for our clients. SEO is a process that takes time and it is impossible to force it. If someone says they can get your brand new website on page 1 of Google in 30 days or less run for the hills. There are occasional loopholes but if you try to take advantage of these short lived cheat codes then you are setting yourself up for a penalty down the road.
Why Focus on Local Search Results?
When someone in Duncanville is looking for your business services they are going to look online. Google has adjusted the results they display and now they tend to favor local businesses for most local services. This is a huge opportunity for DFW businesses to utilize the internet and is helping to even the playing field for smaller companies.
On Page Before Off Page
No matter what people tell you, backlinks are not the heart of good Search Engine Optimization. Although off page factors are definitely important and play a role in rankings, they are not the secret sauce that most gurus want it to be. Unfortunately, SEO used to be all about who could get the most links and there are still some industry leaders who continue to spread misinformation. Things have changed and too many of the wrong backlinks WILL get a penalty. (*to be clear, any action done with the pure intent of getting a backlink to your site is against Google’s ToS so it should avoided).
Although it is not as sexy and takes a lot more work that getting a great link to your site, the team here at the Alan Morgan Group understands that proper on page setup is the foundation that all future rankings will be based upon. It is actually much easier to rank and takes way fewer links when a website is set up properly. Some of the things we focus on include Titles, URLs, meta Description, image titles, interlinking, functionality, schema markup and user experience.
Google actually tells people what they want to see from websites and we use this information as our guidelines for on page optimization. This includes setting up a website with proper markup including Titles, Descriptions, URLs, and relevant headings. This does two things that several web designers overlook: first it helps users to identify if they are going to select a relevant result and second, it helps the search engines to better understand what the website is about so it can best position it in the search results. We can’t count the number of times we encountered beautiful websites that had never had a single visitor besides the owner because if was not built correctly.
Another important part of ranking her is schema markup. This is using code for the search engines that users do not see. There won’t be any different for the design or user experience but it helps the search engines to understand what a website is about. As a result, there is often a boost in the search results page because the search engines are able to understand what queries relate to the website.
Wed Design & User Experience
Perhaps the single biggest factor that is still overlooked in user experience is mobile functionality. Google made an announcement in 2015 that it would be placing an increased emphasis on mobile compatibility. With more than half of local searches taking place on a mobile device, Google has evolved and there are even different search results for mobile and desktop searches. Even with different search results a website that is not mobile friendly can lose its desktop rankings in addition to its mobile rankings.
Most SEO Companies think a site is good as long as it passes the mobile friendly test according to Google. Here at AMG, we fine tune our clients sites based on user interaction in an effort to increase conversions and make our client more profitable. The results are often massive. Sometimes by simply moving an opt-in form or push to call button in a different location based on where the majority of users are moving their cursor we are able to drastically increase the conversion rate for our clients.