What is SEO?

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is the practice of making a webpage more visible to search engines and, in turn, to users.  This involves establishing a strategy to increase website traffic from search engine results pages.  Such a strategy employs a distinctive marketing approach to leverage a company’s strengths while taking advantage of their competitor’s weaknesses.

Digital Marketing Research

Our SEO research centers around two core concepts: competitive analysis and keyword research.  The strategies of competitors indicates where they are receiving value and ranking as well as showing where they have holes in their online marketing approach.  Keyword research is discovering the important terms or phrases that a prospective searcher will be typing into the search engine.  Keyword research helps evaluate which keywords or phrases will be the most relevant and help your business succeed.

Website Content Development

The key is making sure that your content is useful, engaging, clear and concise.  Webpage titles and descriptions should be unique for each page and contain keywords for that particular page.  To strengthen your SEO plan, the initial heading of a page should include your best keywords.  Adding what is known as ‘ALT’ text to your images makes their content understandable to search engines as well as blind people.  The ‘ALT’ attribute of images is an option that allows you to specifically describe an image to the blind and also search engines which do not physically see images the way people do.  It is important to make sure every image has its own specific ‘ALT’ text and also include keywords for the particular page they are on.  Updating and creating new content for your site, like writing frequent blog articles, improves page ranking as well.

Internal Link Structure

Internal linking is the most overlooked and undervalued search engine optimization tactic.  Many people don’t realize that you get just as much SEO value from internal links placed on high-value pages of your own website as you’ll be able to gain from external links.  Internal linking promotes genuine link value flow throughout a website, allows you to focus links on landing pages, lifts deep pages to a higher place within the website, and increases usability and visibility to search engines and users alike.  Links within a site should reflect keywords or phrases that are being utilized.  For example, a website blog article targeting the keywords ‘automotive repair’ should have the URL like: www.example.com/blog/automotive-repair-in-tucson-since-1976 instead of the URL: www.example.com/blog/post-id?=534.  The key here is developing an internal linking strategy such as implementing a blog with articles that link to sales, services and/or products, and contact pages.  Finally, developing what is known as a ‘sitemap’ helps search engines discover your website more efficiently and also aids users to navigate the various pages of your site.

External Links

External links (backlinks) are links to your website from other trusted sources and websites such as social media sites, blogs, forums and local listings.  Also called back-links, these help broaden your reach on the web.  An unspoken courtesy of back-link building is to never ask someone for a back-link to your website, but rather earn one.  This can be a challenge, but becoming known in your local community will help.  Things like sponsoring a local charity organization or hosting an educational event can help build credibility within the community and may lead to natural online referrals (links) to your business. Websites that have directories of local companies are definitely worth engaging in. These are sites like Yahoo Local, Bing Local, Google Places, Yelp, Angie’s List, Merchant Circle and Yellowbook. There is a comprehensive list in the following Ultimate List of 50 Local Business Directories.  A very valuable external link is one from the Better Business Bureau, so joining the BBB and remaining in good standing has value.

Why SEO?

Simply having a webpage doesn’t mean your site will bring visitors.  To gain a valuable audience, your company needs a strategic search engine optimization plan that will make your site more accessible to search engines and users alike.

The web development team at West Press is here to discuss an SEO plan that fits your digital marketing needs.  Contact West Press or your Account Executive at 520-624-4939.