Want Your SEO Strategy To Work? Do These Things First
The blogosphere is full of no shortage of SEO tips, tricks, and hacks. But the best strategy in the world won’t make a difference if you don’t do foundational SEO work beforehand.
What is foundational SEO? It’s basically the idea that, before you implement a strategy, you should do some homework.
At IntuitSolutions, we break SEO down into phases. Before we create and implement a strategy, we do preliminary work, such as ensuring that your site can be accessed by Google, researching your existing SEO standing, and doing a technical tuneup of your site.
It’s the less glamorous parts of SEO that nonetheless get big results. Ultimately, laying a good foundation will help you rank higher when you start higher level initiatives like creating content or making UX changes.
Phase One: Manage Your Accounts
Get Indexed by Google
Does Google actually know your site exists? The search engine giant is powerful but not omniscient. Before you do anything else, you need to get set up on the Google Search Console. Before we start any SEO initiative, our specialists head over to the Console to ensure:
- the URL is correct
- a sitemap has been submitted
- the site has been indexed
- there are no crawl errors
Set Up Google Analytics
Once you’re certain Google’s bots are actually crawling your site, you need to set up analytics so you can collect data. Installing Google Analytics isn’t hard but it’s also important to do things like filter out internal traffic and test the data that’s coming in to make sure it’s accurate.
Your analytics software is what tells you whether your future strategy is actually working, so it’s crucial that everything is properly set up and working.
Phase Two: SEO Research
Once you’ve ensured that your site is ready to be crawled by Google’s bots, it’s time to do some homework. Every website is different and there’s no “one-size-fits-all” solutions for SEO. Before getting started on creating a strategy, you need to do a little research about your specific needs.
Keywords are the foundation of SEO copywriting. They are words or phrases that people enter into search engines. Keyword research entails using tools to analyze how frequently-searched a keyword is and what sites a keyword is currently pointing users towards. Preliminary keyword research for SEO involves finding out:
- What keywords are you already ranking for?
- What keywords do you want to rank for?
- What keywords are your competitors ranking for?
Preliminary keyword research can set you up for success for years to come. By identifying opportunities of low-cost keywords with high conversion potential (think “women’s red Nikes size seven” rather than “shoes”), you can give yourself attainable goals that actually support your bottom line.
Backlink Research and Redirection
When many different sites link to a single page, Google takes notice – it’s basically a “vote of confidence” for the original website. If a website has many other credible websites linking to it, it will rise in Google’s rankings. This is called having a strong backlink profile.
There are many ways to get backlinks, both legitimate and illegitimate. But in the SEO research stage, we do an investigation into your existing backlink profile. We check to see what backlinks you have (or used to have) and see if any were lost in a migration or for some other reason. We then create any necessary 301 redirects in order to recapture any lost traffic or SEO backlink value. And, just like keyword research, we also dig into how your backlink profile compares to your competitors’.
Company Congruence Review
This is one of the last bits of cleanup before we get started on making changes to your site structure. Basically it means making sure the contact information for your site is the same across your website and any third-party listings such as social media or directories.
For example, if your website lists one phone number but your Facebook page lists another, Google would interpret that as a red flag. This is a crucial but often overlooked way of building search engine trust.
Phrase Three: Technical SEO Foundations
Once research is done, it’s time to lay that foundations for a better site with some technical SEO work. Before implementing big changes to user experience or content, our marketing team makes changes to the structure of your website to ensure that Google’s bots are able to successfully crawl it.
SEO Site Audit: Running an overall “site audit” gives us insight into errors and areas of opportunity.
Relevant H1s and Meta Content: We write unique meta content and H1s for each page of the site, ensuring that each targets at least one keyword.
Improve Page Speed: Page speed (both mobile and desktop) is a major ranking factor for Google. We run our Page Speed Optimization service on your site, taking aim at excess redirects, uncompressed code, and oversized images.
Custom 404 Pages: If your user does happen to navigate to a dead link, we don’t want them to exit the site. We customize the 404 page with your branding and suggestions of what to do next so customers don’t abandon.
Rich Snippets: We add in schema so that the most relevant business information (even a search bar!) shows up right on the results page, before a user even clicks.
Want To Rank Higher? Call Us Today!
We know these strategies work because we use them with our SEO clients. When you work with IntuitSolution, you’re working with experts who know how to give you an SEO strategy that works for you: your business, your goals, your website platform. We don’t give you a quick fix – we take a deep dive into your site to support it at all levels, from code to content.
So if you want to work with marketers that get real results, call us today at (866) 590-4650!