Seattle SEO
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Seattle SEO

How to Decide Where Your Site Needs SEO Investment The Most

Engaging Websites, on-page SEO, off-page SEO, or all of these

Most successful businesses may already be on the ball for SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategies. But are they effectively investing in the right SEO strategies? Maybe there is too much focus on social media marketing and not enough on the website itself? There are many web-related tips online, but only a few dive deep into what can be effective.

When it comes to building a site for business or professional, there are so many little things behind the scenes that the average person would not necessarily think about—one of those being Google ranking factors. Google is the top search engine, and landing a spot on its first page of listings can be competitive but not impossible. For example, when a user enters a search query, Google returns the best possible results. At this point, the potential customer or website visitor will decide if the search is valid or not. With that said, online marketing specialists, SEO gurus, and web developers always consider how best to rank high, drive traffic, and engage visitors. These are all part of SEO investments. After all, these factors can make a huge difference in whether a website or marketing campaign serves its purpose.

So how do you decide where the SEO focus should be? Some of the areas all businesses should consider when being competitive in their fields should include:

  • Backlinks
  • On-Site Linking
  • Topical authority
  • Quality and accurate content
  • Local SEO

Backlinks

First, let’s take a look at backlinks. Backlinks are also known as “inbound links” or what SEO experts may call “off-page SEO.” Basically, placing a link back to your site from a third-party website. This allows visitors to other sites the opportunity to visit your site and search engines to understand the relevance better. Simply put, backlinks are links between sites. If someone links to information on your site, you have a backlink, and it serves as a sort of citation for their statements on their site. If you link to information on someone else’s site, you are creating a backlink, and it serves to drive traffic to your web page.

Importance of Backlinks

Backlinks imply that you find the information valuable to the topic that you are presenting. Therefore, when someone creates a backlink to your site, it lends credibility to the information at hand. They make your site more discoverable. If you start getting many sites creating links to your site, it lets search engines know that you have something worth looking at on a specific topic. An example of backlinks would be:

“advertise your website on a blog.” links to https://www.rankwatch.com/learning/content/31-what-is-off-page-optimisation. This provides the reader an opportunity to understand off-page optimization from another credible posting better.

Types of Backlinks

There are two types of backlinks: internal and external. We are looking at the external backlinks since that is what counts the most between the two. A good backlink shows relevance and authority. Relevance would be regarding how your backlink relates to the topic at hand. If a site that creates a backlink to your page is filled with spam and loosely relates to the subject, that would be a bad backlink. Should your backlink come from a site working towards legitimate and quality information, that would be a good backlink. Good external backlinks suggest that your information on the topic is worth looking into and the more sites that link to good quality content results in better authority.

Link Building vs. Link Earning

Backlinks can be either built or earned. Link building is associated with low-quality backlinks and is frowned upon by search engine companies like Google. Some backlink building practices make you look like a spammer. Think of the times that you have looked at the comments section of an article on some forum you follow. When you see someone dropping links in the comments section and advertising the link, it looks like your site looks untrustworthy. However, if you are mentioned in an article and a backlink is created to your site, that lends authority to your site. Here is a great example of an inappropriate link building posted on MOZ.

Another example is on Quora, a site where questions, answers, and knowledge are shared. For example, a question by an SEO specialist in Seattle is answered.

https://www.quora.com/Do-backlinks-still-matter-for-SEO-in-2020-as-it-was-earlier/answer/Rob-Singer-12

On-Site Linking

With so much content on a website, webmasters and online marketers pay great attention to duplicating the content. In fact, they cross-link to related content, thus allowing the reader to explore if they require it. Duplicate content not only has an impact on ranking but can be frustrating for website visitors. Also, two identical web pages with similar to identical content will start to compete with each other. This makes it hard for Google to decide which page to rank.

For example, we have a “Seattle Small Business Website Design” page. There is only so much we can put on this web page when it comes to various web-related and online marketing services. Hence, why we have a list of services for visitors to click on and further explore. Rather than navigating on a single page and finding the right content, this layout makes it intuitive and easier to browse.

Topical Authority

Being an authority and being able to pass and share knowledge with the public matters greatly. In fact, becoming an authority on a subject involves having plenty of content based on that subject. Not just any content but good, quality content that has supported data and/or research. An example of a site with topical authority would be St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital who presents itself as a world-renowned cancer research institute. If you were looking for information on pediatric cancers, you would not be going to the likes of the American Kennel Club for information. You would look for a site that is established and has authority.

Importance of Topical Authority

So, what makes topical authority important to Google? The more your site is perceived as having topical authority on a subject, the more likely it will land on the first page. To show what I am talking about, think of a subject and do a Google search. Let’s say we do a Google search on the topic of a specific breed of dog, a German shepherd. I would expect to see sites such as the American Kennel Club (AKC) at or near the top. The AKC is a recognized leader in information regarding many different breeds of dogs, including German shepherds. Topical authority represents a site you expect to have the information you are seeking on the given topic.

Another example is finding a “Seattle SEO Expert,” you will see that the top local SEO agencies/experts will be displayed at the top due to what Google finds relevant to your search.

Content Accuracy

Content Accuracy is a big factor for Google. After all, Google built its search index on the premise to organize web content and make it available as efficiently and as accurately as possible. Think about it, why is Google found to be reputable by many? You wouldn’t trust a search engine if you searched for something only to find out that it didn’t give you good options with good information on it. If Google wants to continue to be the “go-to” for web searches then, the content that ranks the highest needs to be delivering trusted information, especially as the likes of Google are trending to more natural results and ironing about black hat SEO techniques.

Importance of Content Accuracy

Your Money or Your Life (YMYL) pages are pages that impact the quality or happiness of your life or your future. Google has a stricter content accuracy for these types of pages due to their effect on a person or those around them if they provide bad information. These sites include financial institutions such as Bank of America and informational health sites, such as WebMD, pages that offer advice and information on major life decisions, and those that solicit personal information. If you were to use Google to find and access one of the pages and get bad information, you would seriously wonder why Google’s search engine would list them as an option for reliable information?

Google would have never gotten as far as it has if the algorithm for its search engine allowed sites that fed bad information to the user. One area where online marketing agencies focus on when it comes to helping businesses succeed online is by providing quality and relevant information.

A good example where content writers provide relevant content would be when promoting and helping a dentist rank high.

All the information regarding your dental practices should be carefully placed on the website.

Local SEO

Most businesses will serve local customers or customers close to physical proximity. Hence why local SEO and marketing to the local customer base must not be ruled out.

In fact, if your site is not optimized for local SEO, you are missing out on many potential customers since four out of five consumers find information on local businesses through local searches.

Some key areas to include when it comes to local SEO should be:

  • Set up Google My Business
  • Have a consistent NAP (Name, Address, and Phone Number)
  • Optimize content based on local keywords
  • Get local customer reviews

Takeaway on SEO Investment

The SEO strategies covered are not a comprehensive list of all the different factors Google considers the higher search results and more website traffic. But these are a great start when it comes to what you should be doing for your business to succeed online and get the ROI. Many more factors go into determining what pages should appear at the top of the list. If you're unsure where or how to start, it's always a good idea to get top SEO help from a reputable online marketing agency.

These strategies help any stakeholder in achieving a chance of being on the first page of Google search results.

Visualwebz is a Seattle Web Design and Online Marketing Agency that serves all businesses to gain competitive advantages online.

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