What is an SEO expert?

Looking for an SEO Expert, Phoenix Business Owners?  Know you need one, but not sure what SEO really is, how you’ll measure productivity and what you can expect from an SEO Campaign?

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization is the process of improving factors that lead to more exposure and better rankings in the search engines.  Each search engine has their own algorithm.  Each of those algorithms collect data and determine with web content will fit best with the search terms that people type in the search boxes and serve them up in a “ranked” structure.  Along with what are referred to as “organic” listings, there are also paid ads that appear on other locations on the page and this is the main way that Google and Bing and Youtube make their money.  People who specialize in spending ad money effectively will focus on paid advertising, or SEM.  The general concept of determining which websites are best to offer to searchers is pretty straight forward.  There are tons of factors that all weigh in on how a website will be ranked, but they fall into 3 general categories, on page, off page and visitor interaction.

On Page SEO Factors

On page SEO factors are things that are on your actual money site or home page.  These include your keyword density, meta tags, your url, the alt tags on photos, embedded videos and how well your web site is linked together for navigation.  Doesn’t sound all that hard, right?  Well, one of the things that makes optimization so in demand is that it really varies depending on what someone types in a search engine.  There may be a difference of a few places between “Plumber Phoenix”, “Plumber in Phoenix”, “Phoenix Plumber” and “Best Phoenix Plumber”.  Here is what those particular results look like at the time of this writing.

Best Phoenix Plumber SEO Rankings Phoenix Plumbers SEO Rankings Plumber Phoenix SEO Rankings Plumbers in Phoenix SEO Rankings

So, as you can see, there are differences in the rankings, but the number one result on each of those four searches is the same website.  That website has SEO that is optimized for those 4 search terms, plus about 16 other search terms that all generate income.  They are what we call, “buyer keywords”.  The first step of any successful SEO campaign is determining what keywords you want to go after.  Sometimes there are keywords with lots of competition and others that have relatively low competition that may be just as valuable.  Any good SEO consultant will be able to help you determine what keywords work for your business or service as well as what the competition is like for those keywords.

Getting all the on page content and elements to work with a single keyword isn’t very difficult.  In fact, most on page isn’t that difficult and can be done by a relatively low level SEO consultant and will help out with your SEO efforts by laying a good foundation to build off.  It is one of the three primary types of factors that lead to SEO rankings, and tells Google, Bing, Yahoo and YouTube what you think your page or site or video is about.  The next factor is off page and is generally termed “link building”.

Off Page SEO

Off page SEO or link building is a way to build up a network or link (arrows) that point back to your site to make it easier to find.  All clickable links on pages through the internet are types of links.  The search engines look at these links to determine how many other people throughout the internet find your site content valuable or how well you are contributing content throughout the internet through authorship or content syndication.  There are actually quite a few factors that come in to play that the SERPS show to calculate the “value” of a link and what it’s keywords are.  There are alt text, title elements, what site the link is on, what page the link is on, what font the link is in, if it is a link from a photo…  Al these elements come in to play and actually, the pool of links is pooled and looked at for randomness, a natural look and feel and some variability.  If all links were identical, the SERPS will likely discount or even penalize a site that has that sort of link profile.

Backlinks Graphic

Another factor that comes in to play is the rate at which the links are built to a site.  If a 1 month old site suddenly has 2000 links pointing to it, all with a lot of variability and such and then nothing for the next 9 months…. even though you’ll initially see a lot of positive movement in your rankings as those links are indexed, over time, because of the massive drop in link velocity or rate, the rankings will slip away and penalties may occur that will leave your site not ranked even as well as it would have been with no link campaigns.

Visitor Experience

Good visitor experience

This is becoming more and more important.  How long does a visitor spend on your site, do they hit the site and “bounce” back off and do they click through to other pages and other content within your site?  These all play an important role in how well your site will rank and how those rankings will improve or degrade over time.  Something else that I’ll throw into this area is interaction with the site through social media.  This area is similar to off page link building, but “social signals” are more like low level interaction that the link building campaigns that most SEO consultants and service providers run.

Other SEO strategies

Many business owners assume that making their business home page show up at the top of Google for their main keyword is going to solve all their marketing problems online.  While it is a huge step in the right direction, you don’t need to stop there.  Building multiple sites, facebook pages, twitter accounts, google authorship pages, submitting YouTube videos… These can lead to a single company with multiple first page listings for hundreds of keywords, even in a local market, and that is what we like to call SEO Domination.  That strategy is how you can carve out a significant market share push competitors off the first page of Google altogether.