What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
Search Engine Optimization is a series of steps to help ensure the website can be properly indexed by search engines. A properly indexed site has a better opportunity to appear on page One of a search page. SEO is important because 94% of people who are searching don’t go beyond page one.
Search Engine Optimization depends on more than 200 algorithms – including main headlines (H1), title tags, meta descriptions. Check out some of Google’s upcoming algorithm updates in June 2021. Some of these changes are page experience including load time, mobile experience and securing your site with https. To learn more about Google algorithm updates: https://developers.google.com/search/blog/2021/04/more-details-page-experience.
What is SEO’s Role in Lead Generation?
SEO’s role in lead generation is to help your target audience find you quickly and easily learn what it is you have to offer therefore recognizing your business as one that can potentially satisfy their needs.
People rarely land on a website the first time and convert to a sale. They usually visit multiple websites, multiple times seeking more and different information. A useful SEO can help you figure out the information they’re likely looking for and present it in a way that is easy to find, digest, and be useful.
What is Local Search Optimization (LSO)?
Local Search Optimization (LSO) boosts the probability of bringing local prospects to your site. It depends on many of the same tactics of SEO – including main headlines (H1), title tags, and meta descriptions.
Local SEO requires an optimized Google Business Profile page, and Google Map be setup to support “near me” search results.
How Do I Optimize Website Copy for SEO?
First and foremost, your copy must satisfy the searcher’s information intent – the goal of the person visiting your website.
How do you do that?
- Your copy must be structured so visitors can quickly scan and get a sense of whether it is relevant, credible and useful.
- Use a headline and sub-headings to organize the copy on the page to make for easy readability, as website pages are often scanned
- Use lists where practical
- Whitespace is your friend for readability
- Use short paragraphs
- Enhance understanding with visuals
- If applicable, employ an introduction at the beginning and a summary at the end
- Relevance is determined by the use of keywords.
- Keywords are the words and phrases people type into search engines
- Use the words and phrases that your intended audience also uses and was looking for when they landed on the website
- Keywords (keyword phrases) should be in your opening paragraph, headings, and wherever it makes sense throughout
- Highlight the author’s bio to help generate trust and demonstrate subject matter expertise.
- Use Blogging to add copy frequently, to keep the search engine coming back for more.
- Think beyond copy for content strategy.
- Add video, Infographics, etc. to create a richer experience that keeps visitors on the page.
- Lastly, your content should end with a Call-To-Action to either build trust or generate a lead.
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What Do I Need to know about SEO for Website Structure?
(P) Author, Date
(H2) Snippet Copy (short answer to question)
(P) Body Copy (full article)
Incorporate thumbnail photo in text block
(H4) About the Author
(P) Author Bio (3 or 4 sentences)
How Do I Structure my website Navigation for SEO?
Website navigation and corresponding page structure have to do with the way files are organized on your website.
A good website page structure makes it easy for:
- Search engines to find, understand, and assign importance to your content; and
- Website visitors to quickly and easily navigate your content to find what they’re looking for
The ideal website structure is pyramid-shaped with the most important information at the top. The home page should be your starting point. It appears at the very top. Below that should be the topics or categories most important to your business and below that, sub-categories (like the table of contents at the beginning of a book), pages and posts.
Here’s how an Engineering Company’s website might be structured. (Think of a pyramid). First there’s the Home Page. Then there are tabs that represent the categories, in this case they would be:
Category/Tab 1: About Category/Tab 2: Services Category/Tab 3: Projects Category/Tab 4: Contact
Beneath the Categories there are sub-categories providing more extensive information regarding the Categories. In the case of the Engineering Company:
About could be followed by sub-categories:
Executive Team and History;
Environmental Compliance, Civil/Municipal, Geospacial/GIS, Stormwater/MS4;
ABC,Llc; BLT, Inc.; XYZ, Ltd.
Locations, Telephone Numbers, Maps, Contact Us Form.
*Notice how the bulk of pages appear at the lowest level and are grouped according to topic or category giving Google (and site visitors) context.
In addition to the above structure, also consider the this question. Is it better to have lots of main topic categories for the navigation or is it better to minimize the number of navigation elements. The answer…it depends!
- From a user experience perspective the ideal navigation structure is flat, where at a glance you can see every page that is on the website. For the search engine this is a very inefficient structure because the content is not grouped or logically organized by content type.
- The opposite is to have a single navigation button with sub-menu structure listing every page. From a search engine perspective the single button is efficient for the search engine but would create a terrible user experience.
- When thinking about the navigation structure it is better to put the important content about your services and products under a single navigation button, and to please the lower level less important content into another umbrella button, e.g., Resources, About, etc.
Don’t shortchange the effort that goes into structuring your site. It’s very important and difficult to change once your website is launched.