Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is the process of effecting the visibility of a website or web page in a search engine's "natural" or unpaid search results. As an Internet marketing strategy, SEO considers how search engines work, how people use search engines, the actual search terms or keywords entered into search engines and which search engines are preferred by the desired audience.
Keyword Research is Key
Keyword research provides the basis for any serious SEO strategy. Keyword research arms one with insight and analysis as to how many searches are performed for any given keyword or phrase and then compares those numbers to the level of competition for the same keyword or phrase. The goal is to find keywords that meet three criteria:
- Highly relevant to your products and/or services.
- Have a relatively large number of people searching for the specific keywords.
- Have relatively low competition, or other websites attempting to optimize for the same keywords.
Keywords that fit these three criteria are known as “keyword gems”, and are worth many times their weight in the richest of rubies. The best place to start with your own keyword research is Google’s free keyword tool, which can be found here:
Google’s keyword tool is an AdWords branded service (Google’s advertising program), but if you use “Exact” match types, it is very useful for SEO keyword research as well.
Gauging Levels of Competition
To determine levels of competition, use advanced search operators such as:
Keeping the quotes around your keywords in a Google search. The number of results will tell you how many other websites Google has indexed with those exact keywords in their Page Titles - a very good indicator they are interested in those keywords as well. Generally speaking, a number less than 1,000 would be considered low competition. If it’s above 5,000 - you should be more specific with the keywords. For example, try adding your city or state if location is relevant to your business goals.
Implementing Keyword Research
After you have found your keyword gems, now it is time to put this information to use. The first concept to understand is there are two forms of SEO, on-site and off-site. As the names imply, on-site SEO deals with enhancements made directly on your website and off-site SEO deals with everything outside of your website’s domain.
Cascading Media can help with both on-site and off-site SEO. Every website we construct includes a solid SEO foundation for you to build on plus individualized training to make the most of this SEO foundation. XML Site Maps are a critical component in getting the major search engines to index your site and they are also included with all website packages we offer.
Link Building is one of the most effective off-site SEO strategies available. This is because search engines take into account how many other relevant websites link to yours, essentially casting a vote for your site’s importance. Cascading Media provides consultation on how best to go about link building yourself, or we can do it on your behalf - Whichever best fits your goals and budget. Please contact us to learn more about our SEO services.