SEO is the abbreviation for Search Engine Optimization. This is a strategy used to make a website perform well within the natural search results that appear in search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing.
Domain Millwork is a professional Miami SEO company that serves a network of successful clients worldwide. The Domain Millwork SEO process has been developed over 10 years in the online business industry. We have created this SEO Guide to provide you with a better understand about search engine optimization. Enjoy and be sure to contact us with questions or comments.
Types of Search Results
There are 2 types of search results, Sponsored and Natural (or Organic).
- Sponsored Search Results receive 20% of all Google search clicks. Each visitor is paid for by the advertiser on a per-click basis.
- Natural Search Results receive 80% of all clicks. These clicks are free and achieved through SEO.
It is important that every business have a website and a strategic SEO plan targeting specific keywords. These keywords should be related to the type of business service provided and if relevant, target the geographic area serviced. It is a fact that 80% of all internet browser sessions being with a search engine. Be sure your business is there when they search!
Step 1 in creating a SEO strategy is to target keywords. It is important to start with just 2-3 keyword terms that relate to your business and would be something a customer would enter in a search engine to find your service. As an example we will start with 3 keywords for “Miami SEO” that is located in Miami and performs search engine optimization. The 3 targeted keyword phrases would be: Miami SEO Services, Miami Search Engine Optimization, Miami SEO Company.
The next step is to start implementing these keywords in an SEO campaign.
In this document we will guide you through the process of creating your own custom SEO strategy.
Tools you will need for SEO
The primary tool list for SEO includes:
- Domain name
- Friendly page structure
The domain name is the foundation of your website. It is the URL customers and search engines will use in referring to your website. If natural search engine traffic is important to your business, it is important to select a domain name that contains the keywords your SEO campaign will target. For example, “Miami SEO” service located in Miami would want to pick the domain name MiamiSEO.com or TheMiamiSEO.com. The keywords in the domain name will help the search engines understand what your site is about and what terms the site should appear for during natural search. This is only 1 part and not required, but helpful in SEO.
The website should be well developed and free of crawl errors. This makes sure that search engines will be able to successfully crawl all pages of the website and understand what your business is advertising.
Be sure that your site is W3C compliant by running it through the W3 Validator at: http://validator.w3.org/. A compliant website is best for search engine indexing and is a factor in natural search results.
The importance of referral links is based on the popularity theory. In the eyes of a search engine, the more inbound links your website has, the more important it is to the online community. Basically, each inbound link is a vote saying “I recommend this site”. Building a website that naturally receives referral links will improve the natural search engine results of your website.
Links that are relevant to your business services are most important.
There are four main types of links.
- Inbound links to your website.
- Outbound links from your website.
- Reciprocal links, a link trade to and from your site.
- Internal page links within your website that link to each other.
Each one of the link types carries a certain weight and importance with search engines.
Not all inbound links are created equal. The quality of each inbound link is of extreme importance and should meet key requirements for maximum impact.
Outbound links are links on your website that link out to another website and do not link back to you. This type of link should only be used when linking to highly relevant sources that will help the site visitor learn more about a subject.
Reciprocal links are a link exchange between two or more sites. Basically if you link to a site, they will link back to you. This type of link brings some value, however limited due to the outbound link you are required to provide in exchange. Overall reciprocal links bring your website within a network or relevant link sources and generate referral traffic.
Internal Page Links
Internal page links are within your website. These links are usually used within text and link the site visitor to another page on your site that is relevant to linked keyword. These links also help with site usability and create a better browsing experience for the site visitor. Although this link type is not a major factor, it has an impact and is part of building a good experience for the site visitor, allowing them to find the information they need.
Content on your website has a major impact on search engine ranking. The quality, quantity and freshness of the content are all considered by the search engines. Another factor to consider in the content are the topics and keywords used.
Quality of Content
Quality content is original, easy to read and keyword relevant. Duplicate content is a no-no with SEO. Search engines pick up on duplicated content, which may count against your site. If using duplicate content, be sure to reference the source. Easy to read content has a well developed structure, is logical and is easy for a site visitor to read and understand. Developing easy to read content that is also SEO optimized may be difficult but important. Just ask yourself, “Would I enjoy reading this?”. Your website should contribute to making the web a better place for quality information.
Quantity of Content
When producing content, quality is better than quantity. According to Google Content Guidelines the article should provide a complete or comprehensive description of the topic and not be short, unsubstantial, or otherwise lacking in helpful specifics.
If is important to update the content on your site at least once a month, although it is best to update it one a week. An update is adding new content. The content can be a blog post, article relevant to your keyword targets, inspection story or other relevant content source. The search engines like websites that post fresh relevant content, so they know your site will always have something new and they should return often to your site to crawl it and find out what is going on. The more relevant original content you have, the more opportunities your site has to appear in natural search results.
Keyword density is the percentage of your content that is the actual targeted keyword. For example, if you have a 1000 word article and the targeted keyword phrase “home inspector” is listed 40 times, then then keyword density of “home inspector” within the article is 4%. It is recommended to maintain a 3-4% keyword density in your SEO campaign content.
Google Webmaster Central Post about Building High Quality Content
One other specific piece of guidance we’ve offered is that low-quality content on some parts of a website can impact the whole site’s rankings, and thus removing low quality pages, merging or improving the content of individual shallow pages into more useful pages, or moving low quality pages to a different domain could eventually help the rankings of your higher-quality content.
- Would you trust the information presented in this article?
- Is this article written by an expert or enthusiast who knows the topic well, or is it more shallow in nature?
- Does the site have duplicate, overlapping, or redundant articles on the same or similar topics with slightly different keyword variations?
- Would you be comfortable giving your credit card information to this site?
- Does this article have spelling, stylistic, or factual errors?
- Are the topics driven by genuine interests of readers of the site, or does the site generate content by attempting to guess what might rank well in search engines?
- Does the article provide original content or information, original reporting, original research, or original analysis?
- Does the page provide substantial value when compared to other pages in search results?
- How much quality control is done on content?
- Does the article describe both sides of a story?
- Is the site a recognized authority on its topic?
- Is the content mass-produced by or outsourced to a large number of creators, or spread across a large network of sites, so that individual pages or sites don’t get as much attention or care?
- Was the article edited well, or does it appear sloppy or hastily produced?
- For a health related query, would you trust information from this site?
- Would you recognize this site as an authoritative source when mentioned by name?
- Does this article provide a complete or comprehensive description of the topic?
- Does this article contain insightful analysis or interesting information that is beyond obvious?
- Is this the sort of page you’d want to bookmark, share with a friend, or recommend?
- Does this article have an excessive amount of ads that distract from or interfere with the main content?
- Would you expect to see this article in a printed magazine, encyclopedia or book?
- Are the articles short, unsubstantial, or otherwise lacking in helpful specifics?
- Are the pages produced with great care and attention to detail vs. less attention to detail?
- Would users complain when they see pages from this site?
SEO Friendly Page Structure
Friendly page structure directly relates to the URL name and Meta Descriptions. The URL and Meta Descriptions is what search engines read first when indexing your website pages and this information is displayed on the search engine results page.
The URL is a key element to search engines, as it acts as an address for the page. Search engines also use the URL to identify the keyword phrase relevant to the page. When selecting a domain name, if you have the opportunity, pick a user-friendly URL and be sure to use the primary keyword phrase in your SEO campaign. For example, “Miami SEO” is targeting the keyword phrase “miami seo”, so a good domain would be SEOMiami.biz.
The Meta Descriptions consist of 3 elements, Page Title, Description and Keywords. These are important for 2 main reasons. First, the search engines use this data to categorize your website and identify keywords. The second reason is that this information is what is displayed to customers in the search engine results and plays a key part in wether or not a customer clicks on your listing.
This should be 1 clearly defined sentence about the page and contain the keyword phrase being targeted. As an example for “Miami SEO”, the page title would be “Miami SEO Services by Domain Millwork”.
The meta description is displayed underneath the page title on the search engine results page. This description should briefly describe the page contents. As a rule of thumb, the description should be 2 sentences, totaling 150 characters. As an example for “Miami SEO”, the meta description would be “Contact Domain Millwork for Miami SEO services. Located in Miami, out SEO consulting can help your busienss target valuable customer traffic.
The keyword section is used to identify the keywords that relate to content on the page and words that a customer may use to search when wanting to find your service. Keywords can be single words or phrases. As a rule, you should list 5 to 7 keywords.
Overall SEO Campaign Summary
Making sure customers can find your website is key to online marketing success. In order to have your website appear for specific keywords in the natural listings of search engines a strategic SEO campaign is required. Using a tool like search engine optimization is a great way to help improve your website SEO and search engine performance.