Many of our customers come to us not knowing what Search Engine Optimization, SEO or SEO Maintenance, means or why it’s important. Once we explain its purpose—optimizing a website to increase the likelihood that it will be found and maintaining that optimization —our customers embrace the concept.
It’s also important to note that SEO is a process and that certain aspects of website SEO must also be maintained over time. A handy analogy is a new car purchase. When you drive your new car off the lot, that’s not the end of it—it must be maintained. The oil must be regularly changed, air must be put in the tires, and brake pads must be replaced, etc. In essence, if the car isn’t properly maintained, it will not run well or may not run at all.
The same principle applies to a website. We look at optimizing a website and working with Google’s algorithms as an art. Beginning with the content, creating compelling content that includes using the right keywords and writing title tags and meta data is an art because there are guidelines to follow when writing. The algorithms come into play because Google changes its algorithm over 500 times a year. Most of the time the changes are minor so that your organic search results aren’t truly affected. However, Google has been known to throw in some big changes where if the site doesn’t adhere to those changes, it will be penalized in the search results.
A great example of this is what became known in our industry as Mobilegeddon. In early 2015, Google announced it would penalize a site if it wasn’t mobile responsive, meaning the site had to adapt to different mobile devices (phones and tablets) so the user experience wouldn’t be compromised. This change stemmed from the growth in web traffic from mobile devices so that those mobiles users could have a better online experience. Google recognized that if the mobile experience isn’t positive, users are 5x more likely to abandon the site.
While completely sensible, Google’s change impacted many company websites; according to a late 2014 study conducted by content delivery network and cloud services provider Akamai, only 11.8% of the top 100 websites and only 18.7% of the top 10,000 sites were mobile responsive (Click here for entire article).
This is just one example of the ongoing and dynamic process at Google. We at Voncor Communications keep a close watch on Google’s plans and algorithms to make sure that your website adheres to these hanging guidelines.
But this is only a small part of our SEO process. It all begins with a baseline assessment that includes checking the overall health of the website—making sure that it is mobile friendly, loads quickly, and that it is showing up in the search results based on chosen keywords. In addition, we will check the title tags and meta data, make sure that a sitemap has been submitted to Google, and that Google Analytics (including goals) and Google Search Console have been set up correctly. We will also review all directory listings and fix any discrepancies that we come across.
Our SEO experts collaborate closely with our web developers during this process to address some of the issues that crop up in the web audit or in Google’s tests. They also recognize that sometimes Google’s tests, in particular PageSpeed Insights, don’t reflect the content management system (CMS) that was used to build the website. For example, if a recommended change is made, it could actually hurt the site.
As we dive deep into the site, we will further review content for freshness, relevancy, and robustness. Is the content telling your visitors what they need to know? Are they leaving right away because they are not finding the right information, or have they been misled? When was the last time the content was updated and shared to social media? Is there rich enough content that contains the right keywords? We will review keywords, make adjustments as necessary, and edit content to help drive the search results. Social media sites will be audited to see if they are being utilized to their full potential, and backlinks will be reviewed and sought after.
All of our work will be reviewed, rechecked, and compared to baseline reports and audits. Keep in mind that although we adhere to a list of guidelines, every website we work on is treated in a unique manner. These are only some of the steps that we will take to improve your website.
If you would like more information about our SEO services, please contact us for a free consultation and audit report. We look forward to getting your site into overdrive.