Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one of the most crucial online marketing strategies in 2019. However it can be a really hectic and challenging process without proper preparations. Below is our top picked SEO checklist for launching a successful website in 2019.
The importance of SEO can be determined in terms of discoverability and Goodwill. Given the cut-throat competition these days, it has become a necessity to stay current in every aspect of business to increase your brand’s goodwill and gain a competitive advantage over other businesses in the industry. It is very effective when it comes to boosting your organic revenue since it drives more potential customers towards your brands via search results.
Check out our detailed article on basics of Search Engine Optimization for more on SEO or best free and paid SEO tools for a list of tools and services to help boost SEO ranking after launching your site.
Google Search Console (formerly Google Webmaster tools) allows users to check indexing status and optimize visibility of their websites. It measures your site’s search and ranking performance and suggests methods to improve these metrics.
Google Analytics is Google’s free reporting marketing tool that monitors and reports in-depth data about the traffic on your website. It measures things like age, gender, interest, device and location of your audience. It also provides reports on bounce rate (the rate that measures the percentage of people leaving your website after visiting one page) and suggests ways to address the issues leading potential customers to leave the site.
Landing pages are the pages that show up on Google’s search results when someone conducts a search. A landing page is the first page a user visits on your site, so it needs to lead the user toward your desired page or action.
In the previous point I talked about bounce rate. Google lists it as one of the most important ranking factors, among other things. It is very important to have an interactive and user-friendly UI (User Interface) to keep users your website for a longer period of time. It's also important to link your pages to create a web of connections that lead your users throughout your website to increase the time on site.
Perhaps the biggest factor when it comes to bounce rate is loading time. Studies have shown that people do not wait more than 10 seconds for a web page to load before leaving a website. Moreover, data released by Google shows that 53% of mobile users leave the site if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. Therefore, it is important to reduce loading time by methods such as image optimization, removal of leftover code, cutting down on external scripts, making use of caching systems, etc.
Approximately 60% of all Google searches are conducted on mobile devices. Google also claims to place mobile compatibility as one of the major SEO ranking factors. The length of time users wait for a page to load is reduced on mobile devices compared to computers, hence it is necessary for a website to be compatible for mobile devices and maintain an attractive mobile interface.
In response to the growing numbers of users searching on mobile devices, Google recently announced that new websites will be indexed primarily through their mobile version. Over time, Google will be migrating most websites to mobile-first indexing. This means reducing the load time and optimizing for mobile will be that much more important.
Every search consists of keywords that (hopefully) link the user to relevant information. For new websites it is advised to focus on more specific keyword strings (also called long tail keywords). These are the strings of words that direct users who are looking for something very specific to your website. This ensures improved targeting and is cost efficient.
For example, an article about your product could include terms like "Where to buy..." or "...in Seattle" to rank higher in searches using those specific keywords.
Check out our list of best free and paid SEO tools to learn how and where to conduct keyword research.
Backlinking is still one of the most important ranking factors in 2019. Adding relevant links to your own and other websites not only makes it easier for crawlers to discover your site, but it also boosts the credibility of your website.
On page optimization includes factors such optimization of title tag, meta description, image optimization, URL optimization, keyword optimization, and Backlinking.
For a website interested primarily in local targeting, local targeting factors such as long-tail SEO, local link-building, Google reviews, locality based bounce rate, etc. should be given priority.
Neilsen MyBestSegments is a brilliant and creative tool for medium and small scale enterprises. You can analyze a local area’s consumption habits and demographic details, along with shift in consumption habits and trends as well. It is good for launching a targeted marketing campaign locally. It can also be helpful for competitor analysis to a great extent.
Robots.txt file is how Google crawler finds and lists a site. It tells crawlers what to list and what not to list. Google ranks web pages and not just websites. XML sitemap becomes relevant here because it is essentially a directory of all the pages on a site. It makes it much easier for crawlers to find out your website and rank your pages accordingly.
Now that you have managed achieved a click to your landing page, the next important step is to keep the user there to improve your bounce rate. Even if the user doesn't make a purchase, their time on page is valuable and could result in higher search engine ranking.
To keep a user on your page you must offer them superior value via your blogs, offers, etc. A user isn't going to stay on a page for very long if it isn't offering something of value.
Especially if you are blogging and/or producing content, it is necessary that the keywords that lead to your site are relevant to the actual search queries of your audience and are not simply a case of keyword stuffing. In any case, Black Hat SEO is not recommended since Google is vigilant about SEO tactics that try to cheat the system and will penalize your site if need be.
Google claims to have hundreds of factors when it comes to ranking. However the above listed SEO strategies and tools have proven to be repeatedly effective. It is important to stay dynamic and optimize your content as fresher ranking factors are introduced.
Search Engine Optimization is a lengthy process that never really ends. However with expert guidance it can be used to the best of your interests.
Symphysis maximizes the number of times you appear in organic search queries. Our SEO team begins by reducing loading time, improving image quality, removing leftover template code, implementing analytics, all while improving keyword ranking. For more information and a free initial consultation, call or text @ +1 (425) 390-4738.
We have talked about Search Engine Optimization in our previous blogs, but SEO is simply a part of the bigger Search Engine Marketing (SEM), which includes direct paid methods to increase search ranking. This article goes through the various components of Search Engine Marketing and also differentiates it with Search Engine Optimization.
What is Search Engine Marketing?
In our previous blogs we have covered the basics of Search Engine Optimization and various SEO tools to help increase your Search Engine Result Page (SERP) ranking. However, SEO stands merely as a part of the greater Search Engine Marketing.
Search Engine Marketing aims to increase your search engine ranking by organic and paid methods. This is in hopes of increasing traffic to a specific website or web page, depending on the search result and/or the parts of the website advertised on the search engine.
Pay Per Click (PPC) is the most popular method of Search Engine Marketing. Under this, search engine marketing tactics like Google Ads target specific pre-selected search queries. For example, if you search ‘ipad’ on Google, the top results often have an ‘Ad’ tag along them. Those are websites targeting the search ‘ipad’ from Google Ads(1). Now, under PPC method, a part of the advertiser’s budget will be cut every time the link advertised is clicked, corresponding to that particular search query.
Difference between Search Engine Marketing and Search Engine Optimization (SEO vs SEM).
While SEO aims at increasing organic traffic by unpaid or indirectly paid methods and strategies (such as SEO tools(2)), Search Engine Marketing is mainly about researching, budgeting, and managing Search Ad campaigns which aims at driving paid traffic to your website. This difference between the nature of traffic (organic vs paid) stands as the main point of differentiation between the two. Some other differences are:
Tips for an successful Search Engine Marketing plan.
Search Engine Marketing campaigns require a comprehensive, well-researched, budgeted, and formulated plan to be successful and generate adequate traffic. Here are some of our tips for an optimal SEM campaign:
Search Engine Marketing strategies are of great importance since maintaining a dynamic online presence has become a competitive necessity these days. With such high competition, it can be really challenging to work through. However with proper planning, strategies, and guidance it can surely be achieved.
We Can help!
Search Engine Optimization and Marketing can be a tricky concept to understand and even trickier to tackle. Symphysis maximizes the number of times you appear in organic search queries. Our SEO team begins by reducing loading time, improving image quality, removing leftover template code, implementing analytics, all while improving keyword ranking. For more information and a free initial consultation, call or text @ +1 (425) 390-4738.
Online discoverability is one of the most important marketing requirements in 2020. Not only does it help build goodwill of the firm, but maintaining an online presence has become a survival necessity for any business in 2020. Search Engine Optimization is one of the most popular marketing strategies for generating organic audience for your online content, but it is useless unless done correctly with the right tools.
Search Engine Optimization increases search rankings. When a user does a search on any online search engine like Google or Bing, search rankings dictate which website’s content will be shown first (relevant to the search keywords). Search Engine Optimization helps increase such ranking with methods such as backlinking and Keyword Optimization so that content from your website is placed before your competitors.
The importance of SEO can be determined in terms of discoverability and Best Practices. Given the cut-throat competition these days, it has become a necessity to stay current and competitive in every aspect of business to increase your brand’s goodwill and gain a competitive advantage over other businesses in the industry.
For more about types of SEO strategies (Black Hat vs White Hat and On-page vs Off-Page, SEO tips, and other fundamentals of Search Engine Optimization) click here
While paid options are often superior, for anyone starting out with Search Engine Optimization or working on a low budget, free SEO tools can be a very effective route for improving discoverability and increasing impressions. Here are our picks for the best Free SEO tools worth your time:
One of the most popular SEO tools in 2020, Answer the Public is a great tool for commercial blogging and generating traffic towards your blog via keywords optimization. It can be described as a 100 times more efficient version of Google suggestions. It lists the most popular searches about a particular topic and is a great tool for blog keyword optimization.
Check it out here
Forget about international competition, small and medium businesses often require a locality-based search ranking check among its competitors. Moz Local Listing Score does so by checking your businesses’ search ranking in comparison to other businesses in a particular area. It searches sites like Foursquare, Facebook, and Google. It also shows actionable fixes for issues and problems regarding your listing.
Check it out here
Google claims page loading speeds are one of the biggest factors in its search rankings. They have claimed to use mobile version of the website to determine its ranking, which is where the loading issue often occurs. This tool shows you loading issues with your website, along with suggesting remedies and measures to increase loading speeds.
Check it out here
SEMrush offers three main plans, Pro, Guru, and Business. However there is also a free alternative, which offers limited access to almost all of its services. While it is suggested to choose from one of the above plans for medium and large businesses, its free plan can be very helpful to small businesses as well.
Check it out here
While SEObility is a paid tool, it offers its services for limited use for free. It is mainly comprised of analysis services. These include SEO check, keyword check, Ranking check, and SEO compare.
Check it out here
One of the Google's Webmaster Tools, Google Search Console tools and reports help you measure your site's Search traffic and performance, fix issues, and make your site shine in Google Search results.
Check it out here
Probably the most popular free SEO analysis tool, Google analytics offers you the power to monitor every kind of traffic you can imagine on your website. It also offers feedback on which keywords visitors use to reach your web pages. It is done by a unique tracking code that Google provides to you, which can be used by pasting it into your webpages. Google can track visitor traffic and provide the metrics to you.
Check it out here
Moz offers over fifty SEO tools under Moz Free SEO services. These include backlinking and keyword recommendations. It is a great place to start Search Engine Optimization for beginners.
Check it out here
Other than Moz’s range of free SEO tools, there are a number of other free SEO tools and sites online that offer great SEO support and boost. Some of our favorite free tools include:
Keywords Everywhere is an effective keywords analysis and management tool which can be used as an extension for Chrome and Firefox browsers that shows search volume, CPC, and competition on multiple websites for every keyword in the searchbox. Keywords Everywhere is also compatible with many other valuable sources such as Google Trends and Answer the Public.
Check it out here
While there are a lot of free SEO strategy options to choose from, those looking to focus on search engine rankings with a more serious and professional approach often prefer paid or ‘pro’ SEO tools. Here are our top picks from the paid SEO options that are worth the cost:
Ahrefs is great for analysing your competitors’ backlinks. It is the world's second largest crawler, only succeeded by Google Crawler. It is a great platform to determine where to start linkbuilding by analysing your competitors and potentially gaining a competitive advantage over them.
Check it out here
Raven Tools works as a culmination of various SEO services, taking metrics from tools like Majestic SEO, SEMoz, Google Analytics, Google Webmaster Tools, and Google Adwords to provide a comprehensive search ranking result.
Raven Tools also offers over two dozen SEO services including link building, content/campaign management, competitors’ link analysis, etc. It is a great tool for those looking to start getting into professional Search Engine Optimization.
Check it out here.
As suggested by the name, Wordtracker is probably the best keyword research tools with data on over 250 million keywords in partnership with SEMrush. It has now included a ‘linkbuilder tool’ as well, which helps you find best backlinking prospects for you. It also shows competition data on how many pages are competing for each keyword and what it’s potential value is, giving a good push for competitor analysis as well.
SEO PowerSuite, like Moz, is a comprehensive SEO tool that has its services divided mainly into four branches, namely Rank Tracker, WebSite Auditor, LinkAssistant, and SEO SpyGlass. You have the option to either go for services individually or opt for an all-in-one plan as per your needs.
Supports over 300 search engines internationally. It shows website ranks from individual or grouped keywords and also suggests best keywords for optimization.
lets you run an audit on your whole website or individual pages as per your needs. It shows errors such as broken links, duplicate content, and missing HTML elements as well as suggesting methods to fix such issues.
finds and suggests relevant and valuable link-building partners along with their contact info. It also lets to create and manage your own cloud linking directory.
lets you spy on your competitors’ ranking and backlinking tactics. It shows their Google PageRank and Alexa Traffic Rank, along with their anchor and title keyword density.
Check it out here
We have discussed its free version, but SEMrush Pro packs various advantages over its free version. It is a great tool for systematic management and observation on search rankings, especially for analytics reports about your own website’s search data, traffic, and the same about your competitors’ websites as well. It also is a great tool for comparing keywords and domains.
Check it out here
Buzzstream’s primary purpose is Backlinking and Link-management. It is a great tool for CRM, Link building, and Social Media management. It lets you bookmark websites, search pages for contact info, collect metrics, track Twitter conversations, and overall help with online presence management.
Check it out here
SEOmoz offers free service such as an Open Site Explorer to find backlinks. However, like most SEO tools it offers its premium services such as tracking ranks, analyzing social media activity, comparing backlinks among different URLS, testing a website for crawl errors, and performing keyword analysis under a pro package. It is one of the most respectable SEO tools due to its convenient and user-friendly design and effectiveness.
Check it out here
Quicksprout connects to Google analytics and analyzes SEO data, social mentions, pagespeed and provides recommendations for improvement based on the inputs and results generated by it.
Check it out here
Majestic SEO tool is a backlinking tool which lets you check a website’s citation flow, keywords, anchor text, and backlink history. It also lets you analyze you and your competitors’ backlinking background to building a better link-base.
Check it out here
There are a lot of other effective paid SEO strategies and tools which can be used according to your business' needs. We recommend established SEO tools such as Whitespark (another comprehensive SEO toolkit) and Advanced Web ranking which can help you grow your search ranking.
Check it out here
Your SEO needs truly depend on your business’ needs and requirements, its unique variables, and SEO strategies required in the particular industry. While such tools can be really effective, professional help is often recommended if you are looking to gain a competitive advantage in the industry.
Search Engine Optimization can be a tricky concept to understand and even trickier to tackle. Symphysis maximizes the number of times you appear in organic search queries. Our SEO team begins by reducing loading time, improving image quality, removing leftover template code, implementing analytics, all while improving keyword ranking. For more information and a free initial consultation, call or text @ +1 (425) 390-4738.
Marketing these days is heavily reliant on social media, networking, and the internet. One of its popular aspects is Search Engine Optimization, which is governed by its own tactics and strategies. One of the most important aspects of SEO is Link Building. For a more details on SEO, visit our Search Engine Optimization article.
What is Search Engine Optimization?
The main objective of any website is to drive traffic toward its content. There are two primary ways to inrease web traffic. The first option is advertisement: paying websites with decent traffic to make your content discoverable to their users. But the obvious flaw with this is the fact that the audience attracted is often temporary, and that new startups and small organizations cannot invest a great deal in such advertisement.
The second and more effective way of generating long-term organic audience for your content is Search Engine Optimization. Search Engine Optimization is the process of customizing your website in a manner that when a user does a generic or specific search, your website with relevant content shows up first. Generally, users click on the first website they see therefore increasing the traffic on your website.
What is Backlinking?
Backlinking is the most effective white hat(1) (though it can be of Black Hat(2) nature as well), Off-page(3) Search Engine Optimization technique. It basically works by linking (or referencing) one page on the internet to another. SEO preference is given to pages with greater credibility, and if your site has been featured in other websites of relevant content, SEO bots such as Google Crawler(3) find their way from that website to yours, ranking your website (with more links) above the rest.
For easier explanation think of it as a web. Google crawler crawls all the way from the edges to the center. The more the edges, the stronger its center will be according to Google Crawler, and it will feature the website in the center (that has been linked to on other relevant sites) higher on search results.
Another factor playing a key role in Backlinking is Keyword Optimization. To rank higher, the web page must feature repetitive (but not spammed) usage of relevant keywords that users are using to find information.
Backlinking and its relevance in 2019.
According to Linkresearchtools.com Google confirmed that link-building or backlinking is still its #1 ranking factor along with quality content. However Google has also been valiant in identifying spam building and can penalize websites for cheating the system by banning its ranking forever.
According to moz.com, a study conducted by Perficient Digital which took in consideration over 26,000 queries (an increase by 9,000 queries in comparison to its previous year’s study) showed a strong increase in correlation between link building and SEO ranking. Under the study, a scale of -1 to 1 was chosen. Digits in negative representing an inverse or opposite correlation, 0 representing no correlation at all, and anything above zero showing a positive relationship.
Keeping in mind that Google claims to use over 100 ranking factors, any score above 0.2 should be considered of heavy value. The study showed a high correlation of 0.293. Read the Moz report for more information here.
Conclusively, according to research and Google reports, link building is still one of the most important, if not the most important, factor involved in search ranking. It is one of the best methods to gain credibility about the content and gaining traffic as well. By increasing the number of reference there is a strong chance of gaining visitors from such links.
The Problem with Backlinking Spams (Tiered Backlinking)
As mentioned above, search engines reserve the right to reduce the ranking, or even completely remove the website listing if they see foulplay. These ranking dynamics are ever evolving and are actively vigilant in finding such spam. One popular variant of this is Tiered Backlinking. Under tiered backlinking a person with multiple websites links them through one another tier wise. For example, suppose you have nine websites (A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I) and A is your primary site. In tiered backlinking you would reference website B in D, E and F; and website C in G, H, and I. And then you’d link site A to B and C, which are more credible and relevant to your main site. Google Crawler will eventually find its way from site I to A, assigning it multiple backlinks. And hence greater ranking.
However this does little in building any organic audience for your website, as there is usually limited traffic on secondary sites in the first place..
We Can help!
Search Engine Optimization can be a tricky concept to understand and even trickier to tackle. Symphysis maximizes the number of times you appear in organic search queries. Our SEO team begins by reducing loading time, improving image quality, removing leftover template code, implementing analytics, all while improving keyword ranking. For more information, call or text @ +1 (425) 390-4738.
In a society where markets are driven primarily by customer convenience and online discoverability, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an important brick in building a successful brand and driving traffic to your website. This brief article from our "Marketing How To" series takes a beginner’s in-depth look at the basics of SEO and tips on how you can you use it most to your own advantage.
The following queries are tackled in this article.
What is SEO (Search Engine Optimization)?
When you post content online, the main objective for the post is to make it discoverable to your target audience. There are two primary ways to do that. The first way is advertisement: paying websites with decent traffic to drive their users to your content. But the obvious flaws with this tactic is the audience attracted is often temporary and new startups and small businesses or organizations cannot invest a great deal in such advertisement.
The second and more effective way of generating long-term organic audience for your content is Search Engine Optimization (SEO.) Search Engine Optimization is the process of customizing your website to appeal to search engines. This can be accomplished by having relevant keywords to the topic of your site, a layout that Google (or another search engine) thinks is organized, and fast load speed. Google wants to show it's customers the best and fastest results that relate to their search queries. When someone does a generic or specific search on Google relating to the topics on your website, your pages with relevant content show up higher in search results. Generally, people will click on the first result they see, therefore increasing the traffic on your website.
How is SEO an integral marketing strategy?
In a dynamic online marketing environment, discoverability is one of the most important factors to staying ahead of the competitors. During a time of home delivery and on-call services, customer convenience is very important. Search Engine Optimization targets that precisely, along with building goodwill(1) for your brand, by attracting more and more people to your website. By increasing organic visits to your website, SEO ensures a dynamic buying cycle(2) for the products and services offered.
Black Hat vs White Hat SEO.
Black Hat SEO refers to the techniques and hacks for generating short-term audience for your website. These techniques include keyword stuffing (Including repetitive chosen keywords in your content), content scraping (Republishing your RSS links to different sites for backlink generation), comment spams (on different comment-enabled websites with links backing to your own website), cloaking (Showing different content to visitors and search engines), etc. Search engines bots, such as Google Crawler(3) do not appreciate Black Hat SEO methods, and upon identification, websites using them can be penalized or even banned.
White Hat SEO, on the other hand, emphasizes primarily on the content of your website. Methods such as better UI (User Interface), Keyword Research and Optimization, Speeding up the load time, and attracting backlinks from reputable websites are the main methods of white-hat SEO. Contrary to Black Hat SEO, it is a long-term marketing tool which focuses on generating organic audience and building an organization’s goodwill.
On Page vs Off Page SEO.
On Page SEO is essentially optimization based on what is actually on your webpages. This is altering and modifying the content on your website to increase discoverability. A simple SEO checklist for On Page SEO is:
The contents of the page should be relevant to the desired search results. Relevant content increases the chances of appearing in organic search results and reduces bounce rate(4).
The content should be inclusive of various relevant keywords (the actual words that users type in search engines) with a recommended ratio of 2-5:100 words. These words/phrases should be mentioned at least a few times in the content. Although it must be made sure that these are not spammed.
Behind every page there is coding and structure, with important factors such as Title Tags, Heading Tags, and Meta Data. Title Tag is the clickable link that shows up on the ‘Search results’ page of a search engine. Heading Tags are the particular heads of the page (for example ‘Black Hat vs White Hat SEO’, ‘What NOT to do’, etc. headings in this article). Metadata is the part of code that describes other parts of the code.
Off Page SEO is basically your online reputation based on other relevant websites. It is a long-term optimization method. There are no direct alterations to the content of your website involved. Our simple SEO checklist for Off Page SEO is:
Social activity is increasingly becoming an important factor for SEO. Google Crawler checks all relevant sources eventually backlinking to your main content. And although its exact algorithm is unknown, various trial-and-error experiments have shown significant direct impact of social media popularity and search engine ranking.
Acquiring backlinks from reputable and relevant websites for your content is the most important Off-page SEO factor. Links between websites create a web that search engine crawlers can follow to determine the quality and relevance of websites within the web. Bots like Google Crawler recognize both quality and quantity of backlinks.
Guest blogging is an effective way of getting
backlinks from popular websites. As a guest blogger, you submit blogs to other
more popular and relevant websites with backlinks to your own content. Upon
acceptance, such blogs and content creates a decent backlink base for search
SEO Backlinks and the Credibility Spam
Backlinks are off-site links pointing at your website. They play a significant role in Search Engine Optimization. Due to the popular misuse of such backlinks, search bots have become highly vigilant in identifying spam (such as Tiered Backlinking(5)). That means backlinking from your own secondary WordPress or Wix or any other suspected spam sites does little to harvest organic audience. On the other hand, backlinking from more popular and credible sites helps way more in increasing search ranking.
SEO Tips for Increasing Ranking and Discoverability.
What NOT to do.
I have mentioned it before and would again, don't get banned trying to gain search priority. Spamming of any kind could easily be detected by search bots and will penalize your whole site. Tiered Backlinking was considered a hack to this, but Google’s algorithm is perpetually changing, and even that is an unsafe bet.
We Can help!
Search Engine Optimization can be a tricky concept to understand and even trickier to tackle. Symphysis maximizes the number of times you appear in organic search queries. Our SEO team begins by reducing loading time, improving image quality, removing leftover template code, implementing analytics, all while improving keyword ranking. For more information, call or text +1 (425) 390-4738.