When you walk into a new house and get the grand tour from the proud new homeowners, you see the gleaming kitchen and bathroom countertops and faucet fixtures… you see the hi-tech home entertainment center and the dazzling array of lighting features… and you feel the relaxing comfort of a climate controlled indoor environment.
Of course, what you don’t see is just as important as what you do see. The plumbing pipes and water supply lines behind the walls and floors are what give the fancy faucets their purpose for being there. Electrical wiring and optical cables within the walls bring to life all the electronic devices, big screens, lighting and sound systems. And the ductwork, burners, blowers, and air conditioners of the heating and cooling system are hidden in the basement, between the floor joists, and behind the walls.
Without this hidden infrastructure, the house would be little more than a beautiful shell, not useful for much besides a simple shelter from the elements.
SEO Is More Than Skin Deep
The same principles can be applied to a website. The surface elements of the visual design, which attract all the attention at first glance, won’t do much good if they are not supported by a network of hidden systems that bring the whole thing to life. These hidden systems are the special domain of the search engine optimizer, the SEO architect and installer.
These systems give a website its purpose as they are required to attract users to the site and engage them with that purpose when they get there. There are many technical elements involved in these systems (Google search uses close to 200 search evaluation criteria) but the primary components include:
- the appropriate use of keywords and key phrases, and the distribution of these terms on the site.
- correctly engineered page structures and connections between page content and function.
- consistent creation and publication of useful, engaging content that reflects the purpose intended by the user.
- developing a pattern of links from external sites with well-established authority in the subject area of the site.
These four main areas of SEO management are the keys to the visibility and ‘attractiveness’ of the website to search engines and to the users who do the searching.
Strategic Deployment of Keywords and Phrases
Development of a keyword strategy is the crucial first step in optimizing a website for search results. Strategic keywords will reflect the service or product offerings of the business, and they should reflect the full range of ways that potential customers describe the service or product when they search for it online.
Purposeful Website Architecture and Infrastructure
Carrying the language of customer search queries into the language of HTML and beyond, the mechanical system of site structure and function is governed by detailed and specific technicalities. These include proper wording of page titles and tags for specific on-page elements, and descriptive markup schemes for search engine ‘eyes’ only.
Similar coding-related hidden components determine page-load speed and mobile device responsiveness, which are essential factors in the spectrum of Google’s search result rankings.
From Keywords to Content Marketing
Keywords tend to be quite specific, and keyword phrases only slightly more expansive. But the content that populates the pages of a website should explore as many different aspects of the keyword subject area as possible. The only limit to the range of topics and coverage that can be produced is that users need to find the material helpful, interesting, or entertaining enough to explore and engage with the site. Time on site and number of pages visited are 2 of Google’s primary ranking measures.
Building the Right Profile of Incoming Links
Also known as backlinks, these links from other websites back to your site are a fundamental part of Google’s search algorithm. The care and attention that should go into this part of the SEO process can’t be overstated, as this excellent critique of automated link-building systems points out. Effective link-building is the jet fuel that can power your search results rankings to new heights.
Working With the Right SEO Subcontractor
When it comes to mission-critical systems within the finished walls of a beautiful new home, it’s essential that those systems have been correctly designed, installed, and tested before the drywall and paint goes on. Homeowner satisfaction depends on the ongoing integrity of those systems.
The same goes for a beautiful new business website. The reliability and efficiency of the hidden systems will determine the ongoing effectiveness of the site and the satisfaction of the business objectives it is meant to achieve.
Don’t leave those mission-critical SEO aspects of your website to chance with an unproven service provider. Go with the best SEO consultant who has a track record of client success and works to the highest standards of strategy and implementation. Talk with Paul about your unique needs and objectives, and see how easy it can be to feel at home with the basics of SEO.