SEO. It’s the lifeblood of the internet. Consumers trust businesses that are found in Google, and companies who are found in Google dominate their markets.
The downside, however, is that SEO is massively understood by the marketing industry and business owners alike. For a long time, the basics of what SEO is has been clouded behind dodgy agencies and shady organisations who have preyed on disabled clients ignorance.
That is why today I’m going to share with you the core basics that every SEO campaign needs, as well as how they work together to get you incredible results.
The 5 Legs of SEO
There are five core legs to SEO in 2016. On their own, each leg is just as useless as a table with one leg. However, when combined, they provide an incredibly robust and fruitful campaign to build your business off of. And, it’s these five legs that we’ll be covering in more detail in this post.
These legs are:
- Site Architecture
- On-Site Optimization
- Local SEO
- Backlink Profile
- Social & Engagement
1. SEO Site Architecture
The site architecture is the complete and total foundation to your websites success and your technical SEO. It’s essential that your site works on the core level and that it is ok for Google to read. This includes…
- Well optimized sitemap
- Speed optimized pages and code structure to enable quick loading
- HTTPS secure connection
- No 404 errors on your site
- Canonical tags used where necessary to direct GoogleBot to the original content if it appears more than once on your site.
- Schematic markup following Googles recommended JSNode standards.
- Robots.txt file that blogs any directories that you don’t want Google to index and make public.
If all of these points are properly optimized, your first leg is ready to go.
2. On-Site Optimization
The second leg is on-page optimization. Where the first leg is about making sure GoogleBot can ready your site effectively, and your on-site optimization is telling Google what to read.
There are two parts to this.
The first is your sites Metadata. This is information that is embedded in your site’s architecture which tells Google about specific elements of your site. The most commonly known of these are your Meta title, meta description, image metadata (Including alt text), and geo-tagged information that is embedded within your image files.
The second part of on-site optimization is that of your content. Most studies have found that longer content is better, with the average length of a page 1 ranking page being 1,890 words long!
On top of making sure this content is well written, provides value and is engaging, you also need to use what are known as LSI keywords throughout it to give Google with the most relevance possible.
3. Local SEO
Local SEO encompasses anything that helps your website get found in Googles ‘snack pack’ or maps results. This incorporates two parts.
The first is your Google My Business page. This is your profile in Google which contains information about your business. It will need to be verified through postcard to prevent spam. On this page, it’s important that you fully optimize your profile with your hours, services, service location, etc.
The second part is your Local Citations. These are local directories which mention your business using the NAP formula. NAP stands for Name, Address, and Phone number. When combined this gives google a reference to your firm being real and widespread. The more citations and mentions of your NAP that are online, the higher you’ll rank in the Maps results.
4. Backlink Profile
Backlinks have long been the backbone of SEO. Every year the ranking factors results from MOZ have concluded that the number and quality of referring domains are the single most important aspect of SEO.
Because backlinks operate as a ‘vote’ of popularity for your website on the internet as a whole. It shows Google what sort of sites believe you worthy of their visitors seeing by who is linking to you, and as a result, Google combines this data to help you climb through the search results.
Backlinks come in all shapes, and sizes and not all are created equal, so when you discuss a link building campaign with an SEO company make sure that you check out what their processes are.
5. Social & Engagement
In the last 12 months, we’ve seen a rise in the importance of Social and engagement metrics within how Google ranks websites. Today many studies have linked the number of ‘social signals‘ that a site has, with the ranking in Google.
The same goes for engagement. If visitors are finding your site and are staying around to read your content, then your chances of ranking highly are directly improved as well. So when you are getting your site built is important that you consider usability and customer satisfaction during the design process.
So there you have it, the basics of SEO. If you ensure that these five legs are all implemented in your SEO campaign, then you’re almost guaranteed to see incredible results from your SEO.