What is SEO?
For starters, it’s an acronym for search engine optimization. SEO is also the process of enhancing your website and any mention of your business/brand name outside of your website, to help you rank higher in search engine results. Search engine optimization is an all-encompassing process that includes all forms of Internet marketing and can include offline marketing efforts as well. Our approach is divided into three categories that focus on specific areas including on-page optimization, off-page optimization and technical SEO.
About Our SEO Services
What is On-Page Optimization?
On-Page Optimization is the process of organizing your website structure and content as well as adding web page indicators to help search engines understand your site. Having a well organized website with engaging content is the first step towards a strong SEO strategy. The best way to gauge the structure and flow of your website content is to draw a sitemap. A sitemap is a visual representation of your site (similar to blueprints), that can help you understand how each page is connected and can show you how evenly content is distributed into each section. Below is an example of a sitemap we created for a previous web development project.
Once you have a good grasp on the structure of your website, the next step is to optimize all of the content, to make it easy for the search engines to interpret your site for search results. At Plush we go through the content (text, pictures, graphics and videos) on each web page of site and optimize them with specific keywords that you would like those pages to rank. We have an extensive checklist we use to make sure we’ve optimized each page the best it can be, without going too far. It’s important not to over optimize a web page as that can harm search engine rankings. The goal is to optimize a site for the best user experience as well as formatting the site in a way that search engines prefer based on guidelines. Below are some of our on-page optimization questions we address for each web page we optimize.
On-Page SEO Checklist:
1) Does an image appear on the web page?
2) What is the word count of the web copy?
3) Is this topic’s content useful for readers?
4) Is there a heading and subheading tag on the web page?
5) Does the keyword / phrase appear in the URL for this page?
6) Is the web copy organized and attractive to the reader?
7) Does the web page have outbound links?
8) Does the page title contain the keyword / phrase?
9) Does the page have the correct SEO title with your primary keyword?
10) Does the page have the correct SEO description contain the primary keyword / phrase?
What is Off Page Optimization?
Off page optimization is the hardest part of the three categories because it focuses on improving the visibility of your business/brand name outside of your website. In the early 2000s SEO was a lot of deception and now it’s all about trust. Search engines use mentions of your website throughout to web to gauge its value and trustworthiness. The more often a search engine index’s a mention of your website or even better an interaction, the better ranking your site will receive in a search results.
The focus of our off page optimization is with online business listings (such as Merchant Circle, MapQuest, Yellow Pages and Google Plus), online reviews (such as Yelp and Google Reviews), quality link building (we call it link earning) with industry related websites, social media marketing and paid per click (PPC) advertising. Each is an important part of this process and requires detailed attention to provide a quality consistent presence that search engines deem authoritative in their ranking algorithms. Below is a link to our online listing grader tool that will evaluate how well your business listings are displayed in prominent directories online.
What is Technical SEO?
Technical SEO is the tedious part of the process, where the goal is to make it easy for search engines to crawl your website and find all of the content. Crawling your website means, Google (for example) can access your website to read and save each page in their search engine index. If a search engine is unable to crawl your website, that means there is no way to save the information in their index and therefore your website won’t be ranked. Below are three common causes that obstruct a website from being crawled correctly.
1) Noindex tags are blocking search engines – these can be used on certain pages that you would like search engines NOT to add to their index.
2) The robots.txt file is blocking the URL – this is a small file that specifies which sections of your site should be blocked.
3) The wrong canonical has been created – this means you have two pages with the same content (AKA duplicate content) and one needs to be identified as the official page and the other needs to give credit to the official page as the true source of that content.
It can be very complicated to perform technical SEO on your website if you’re not familiar with website development. If you are unfamiliar with the information above or how to accomplish it, then it’s best to have a SEO specialist or web developer do this for you.
For more information on search engine optimization and our process, please send us a message or call us at 202-683-6881.