What is SEO (Search Engine Optimization) And How it Works

SEO – a marketing tool to gain visibility in organic (natural) search engine results. It uses both technical & creative wording required to improve rankings, drive traffic, increase exposure of your brand and website.

You have landed on this page, our site and found us here because you either typed our address in manually or clicked on a link on Google after doing a Google search using words. TrendStrategics is a Topeka Kansas SEO company.

The words you typed are called keywords in the SEO realm.  SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization.

TrendStrategics can help you be found the same way by using keywords and phrases that your target market may be typing in and engaging in a competitive search engine optimization campaign.

The first thing we do for you is to determine what keywords your business needs to use to be found on the search. 

An SEO Tip that will save you money

The better your SEO, the less you will need to spend on Google Ads!  Search Engine Optimization Topeka Kansas

Google Indexing

Google uses words and word phrases to index pages.  When you type a word or words in a Google search window, Google looks through it’s indexed pages (millions upon millions of pages) to find pages that have relevant content to what you are searching for.  In a matter of a second of less, Google will bring up a list of pages that have met the criteria that matches.  You know view the Title tag and the Description tag to make decisions on which page(s) may offer you what you are searching for.  Maybe a plumber in your town or a particular brand of dress or a how to do something or fix something.

What brought those pages to the front of the list is the relevance of your search to the closest match to the pages Google has in their indexed database.  Google wants to provide the best user experience and they have tons of tools that are used in their process to analyze which sites best match the word(s) being searched.

Google Metrics

Google uses lots of metrics to analyze and rank your site based on the information they have collected about your site.  They take into consideration Time on Site (Dwell Time), Bounce Rate (people landing and clicking on the back button), How many pages on your site each visitor views, Loading Time of your site and pages.  They

Google Scoring

Google scores each site based on a number of criteria.  Quality of site, Relevance of Content (content matches tags), backlinking (how many other sites link to you) (again, the quality and relevance of those links), trust factor (based on positive mentions or reviews) are a few of the criteria that Google will rank your page for.

The more and better and relevance of the above, the better your page will rank and the higher in the search results it will attain to.

Links and Link Building

Another good way to jump up in the rankings is to have links from other sites that mention your site/page as a valid place to go for (whatever you do).  However, Google will penalize you if those links come from spammy sites and sites that engage in link exchange and are only there for that purpose.  The links need to be valid. They should come from authoritative sites or review sites that offer that type of service.  The more links (commonly called back links or backlinking) that point back to your site (have your clickable URL posted) from valid blogs for instance, the more domain authority you will have.  Domain Authority is covered elsewhere on this page.

Schema Markup

Have you ever shipped an item by truck?  If you have, you are aware of freight class.  Freight class is based on quite a few criteria, and is broken down into a seamless unending list of categories that are so confusing you want to just give up.  All you want to do is ship a box from A to B.  Should be easy right?  But it’s not, it’s confusing at least.  Finally you choose one and hope your box gets to it’s destination.

Well schema markup is similar in it’s complexity.  But basically, it is code that is placed inside your website and pages to further explain to the Search Engines what your page is about.  Schema was developed by Google, Bing and Yahoo in collaboration with each other to help them evaluate what each page is about.

Most web designers ignore schema because of it’s complexity.  Unfortunately, your site will suffer if schema isn’t used.  When I say suffer, I mean you are giving up a very powerful resource that can help your page rank higher than your competition.  And that is what you are trying to do with SEO.

The average company hires a company who is really good with graphics.  They can build a web site that on the surface will knock your socks off.  B E A utiful!  But is lacking on the backside.  In the coding and only touches on SEO.  SEO has become the buzz word of the decade!  But most web designers are designers with little knowledge of coding.  They can use readily available tools to make really pretty websites.  The average company thinks they did a great job.  Why?  Because you do not have the knowledge of what makes a website work.  All you see is the beauty on the front end, what people see.  As long as you can drive traffic to your site through other means, it doesn’t matter.  You have a pretty site.  But if you want organic traffic, then you need to have someone who knows how to get traffic to your site organically and that takes a lot of work and a lot of coding.  And the use of tools that the average web designer doesn’t utilize.  One of the more in-depth tools that we would use if your site could benefit from it.  Ok, all sites can benefit from it, but it may not be necessary for all sites.  But if your goal is ranking, then you will need schema.

Snippets and Rich Snippets

A Snippet is what Google displays when a search is conducted.  It is your search results.  It includes your Title, Description.  A Rich Snippet includes more information like reviews, Rating, perhaps an image and other data.  These are coded in the backend of your pages and targets certain words that are important to convey to others.  In other words, what you want people to know about you or what you do.

Long Tail Keywords (LTK)

You may have heard the term Long Tail Keywords.  These are a combination of words that describe what your target may key in the search engines to find what they are looking for.  This may include a detailed description.  An example would be if you typed in Google or Bing “red ladies sweater topeka”.  It is three words, it is descriptive and it includes a geographical area that they want to find this item in.  If you sold red ladies sweaters and had a store in Topeka,  if this keyword phrase was part of your SEO then your page would be on top of the Google search results or at least very close to the top.  Long Tail keywords are also less expensive to rank for than shorter less descriptive keywords like “red sweater”.  My guess is that red sweater would be really expensive to have to pay for in your marketing efforts.  But, your page could come up organically if there wasn’t a lot of competition for that item.  So the more descriptive and creative, yet relevant your LTK’s are, the more likely your page will show up high on the search page list.

Put Keywords on the beginning sections of your page

Google puts more weight on keywords being closer to the top of a page than on the bottom.  Also, don’t keyword spam.  Back in the day, way before the algos were so sophisticated, people would put almost every word in the dictionary in hidden html code so that whatever someone would type in, their site would rank.  Then Google changed it’s algo to penalize any site that had “x” amount of keywords and also would penalize a site if the keyword was used in the meta tags over 13 times.  And every day, Google changes it’s algorithm to give their viewers a positive experience by presenting the most relevant pages on the top of the search results.

Click Through Rate (CTR)

Optimize title and description tags for click through rate.  Best practice is to have each page have it’s own unique title and description.  This is done in the meta-tag section in the back end (coding) end of your website.  Don’t worry, this is something we take care of for you.  It is important to know that this is a huge part of your page being “found” on searches.  If done properly, optimizing these will significantly increase your likelihood of moving up the search chain as you gain more domain authority.

Dwell Time (Time on Page)

The amount of time that a person stays on your page(s) is called dwell time.  The longer a visitor stays on a page, the higher Google will rank your page.  Their algorithms figure that if a person stays on a page for awhile, that it’s content is relevant and valuable.  Google wants to make sure that the user experience is good so if a person stays on the page, Google figures the visitor is getting value by staying on it, perhaps reading or even just admiring a photo.  Obviously Google doesn’t know exactly why the visitor is there, they only know that the visitor is there and for how long before they click off.  If they click off quickly after displaying the page, Google will determine that the content wasn’t what the visitor thought it was and left immediately.  This action will reduce the ranking score.  One of the easiest ways to increase dwell time is to make sure that your content matches your title and description tags about that page.

LSI Keywords

While there is mixed sentiment about the use of Latent Semantic Indexed Keywords, they do serve a purpose.  Basically what an LSI Keyword is, are keywords that are contextually used together.  Such as if you type in “Bread”, Google may think you are wanting to learn about dough or baking or even money.  It will make all sorts of assumptions about what they think you are looking for.  So if we use words in our pages like bread and butter, google now knows what we are wanting.  So in short, LSI Keywords are words that are generally used in context with each other.

You can find LSI Keywords or LSI Keyword Phrases at the bottom of Google.  When you do a word or phrase search on Google, on the bottom of each page Google suggests other keyword phrases that may be relevant to what you looking for.  So if you didn’t find a page that matched your criteria in their first page list, they have suggestions on the bottom that may serve you.

What is and how to get Domain Authority

Domain Authority is a scale created by a company called MOZ.  It uses a scale from 0-100 with 100 being best.  It uses Link profile or back links as mentioned above as one of their metrics.  Google used to have page authority but no longer publishes this data.  So we look to companies like MOZ to provide this information.

Then they use MOZ Rank and MOZ Trust.  Here is a video directly from MOZ if you want to know more.

They also have Page Authority which is similar, but dissected down to individual pages.

Another way to increase your ranking is to build your fan base on Social Media sites.  Get people to mention your site and what you offer (links to your URL).  When people link to you that shows Google that you are trustworthy and authoritive.

Heading Tags

Heading Tags are the headings you assign to a page or a subject paragraph.  It tells the search engines what your post/page is about.  They are an integral part of your SEO endeavors, but according to Google, only serves to tell them what your page is about.  Some people go heavy on Headings thinking it will boost their score, but it does little to help them in that way.  They do help with page structure and helping the viewer scan quickly through your page (especially long winded pages) so they can get to the topic they are looking for.

As you can see, there are a lot of elements that make up your sites SEO profile.  No one item is going to sling you to the moon (or first page), but used in conjunction with each other, you can see your site or webpage(s) climb the ladder to the top.

Getting to the first page in a Google search is a very good goal, but your ultimate goal is going to be more on the basis of sales or recognition/brand awareness. 

Keep in mind that getting to the top is important.  And there are lots of ways to get there.  SEO is a basic need, but it is also a science that needs to be applied in order to gain domain authority.

If you marketing by other means, then SEO and your ranking is really only another tool in your marketing arsenal.  You should view it as such and not be so focused on achieving the top spot that you loose traction in other areas of marketing.  High Google rankings may be necessary for some businesses, but may not be so important to others.

As you can see from the information above, there are lots of sophisticated tools that are in use today.  Each has it’s merits and use.  Your site can benefit from all of them, but all of them may be over the top for what you need to accomplish.

If what we offer and what you need we are a good match and we both decide we can be helpful to each other, than we can help you navigate through your marketing needs.  I look forward to hearing from you.

Lots of people can build a website with the tools available today.  The question is – will it ever be found in organic search?  Or will you need to consistently pay for advertising to rank?

TrendStrategics is a Kansas based company that builds websites utilizing SEO so your site won’t be on the 300th page of a search!

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