Today, search engine optimization comes in two flavors: onsite and offsite.
Onsite SEO involves making sure your website pages, titles, tags, content and overall structure are optimized for your target keywords. You also need to make sure that you have a significant of inbound links from highly respected external websites – that’s called offsite SEO.
You need to have both to be successful, and finding the right mix has everything to do with analytics and tracking.
Keep in mind that you MUST be using the right keywords or run the risk of spending time and money driving the wrong people to your website. This is a big mistake a lot of clients make before we start working with them. They are optimizing their sites based on the keywords they think people are using, not the keywords people are actually searching. That’s a big mistake.
It’s not hard to do a little research and find out exactly how your prospects are searching for businesses like yours. Google offers some rudimentary keyword research tools but for more robust solutions you need to turn to a marketing software solution like Hubspot or Marketo.
After you know what your keywords should be, you can get started applying your keyword research to your SEO efforts. Onsite SEO is fairly straightforward. After you’ve identified the most relevant keywords for each page of your site and weighted search volume vs. competition/difficulty, it’s time to start crafting your content around those keywords.
You have to make sure that you are using the keywords appropriately all throughout the copy on your website. It’s also important to use those keywords in the headlines and titles on each of those pages. Don’t forget to use your target keywords in the meta tags, meta descriptions, image tags and actual URLs for those pages.
Once that initial onsite SEO work is completed, there is very little you can do to further optimize your website beyond revisiting and adjusting your keyword strategy on a regular basis. In the meantime, you have to sit back and wait for Google, Yahoo and Bing to index your site. You can proactively push a site map to Google and request indexing (which we do for our clients) but reindexing may take up to 3 months.
One way to improve rankings with onsite SEO is to add more pages to your site. This is where blogging comes into play. Every time you publish a new blog post, you are giving your site an new indexable and searchable page. It’s relatively easy to add a blog post, on, say, onsite and offsite search engine optimization.
Offsite SEO is a little trickier and also requires an ongoing effort. The major search engines are all looking for other sites that link back to your site as an indicator of good content.
If a lot of sites want to link to your site,then you must have good content. At least that’s what they think. This has been the source for many black-hat SEO tactics.