Before I even spend 1 minute talking about how to do this, let point this out:
Always outsource what you're not good at.
The sheer amount of companies that try to do things on their own and drastically fail at it is staggering. My two cents: focus on your product and your customers, and figure out a way to bring in experts.
But if you insist, I'll at least spend some time outline the basics of what it takes to rank your website on google using search engine optimization (SEO) techniques.
SEO is quite the buzzword these days. It's all the rage. And from what I've seen happen a lot is that things get way too technical way too fast.
Step 1: Properly Setup Your On-Site SEO
On-Site SEO is the term used to describe your own website domain's content setup.
Like anything else with SEO, it can get fairly technical. But in my professional opinion, the best two things you can focus on for on-site SEO are:
- Your website's content
- Your title tags and meta descriptions
First things first, you need to have top-notch content. It needs to read well, have the keywords you want to rank for in it, and it should be organized by classes.
For example, an "H1" class is deemed by Google to be the most important content on the page. So you want just one H1 tag per page to tell Google what it's about. And if you can guess, the H1 tag should be full of the keywords you want that page to rank for.
Title Tags and Meta Descriptions
What the heck are these? You know on Google when you're searching and you see the results as a title in blue that is underlined, followed by some paragraph type text below? Like this:
The blue text is the "Title Tag," and the text below is the "Meta Description.
These are incredibly important for Google to determine what that page is about. Like I mentioned above with the H1 header tag, this tells Google that much more about what this particular page is for.
If you're using Wordpress, my favorite plugin for this is Yoast SEO. On each page, you can edit the title tag and meta description, and even add in a focus keyword.
Link Building, AKA Backlinking
Here is perhaps the holy grail of SEO. Backlinking.
Definition: It's when a website creates a hyperlink from their site to yours.
For example, this link I'm about to show you is a backlink to one of our clients. The real power in a backlink is when you can use the proper anchor text, or the text in the highlighted portion of the link, to fill with keywords. Okay, here is the link: "Auto glass repair in Kansas City."
Not all backlinks are created equal. You want to get links from other powerful websites.
It can be incredibly powerful, yet, at the same time, it's like playing with fire. Let me be the first to tell you that you should NEVER outsource this overseas.
Believe me, you can get great design and development work done in the Philippines, Pakistan, and parts of Asia. But please for all the love of God, don't outsource your SEO. I've heard horror stories of companies who've had to create completely new websites because a foreign SEO company got too many spammy backlinks.
Google does NOT like spam. And foreign SEO companies are notorious for getting way too many links from way too many crappy sources. Just don't do it.
Link building has to be done at a safe pace by using reputable sources. This is probably the main reason for why I'd recommend using an SEO agency for this. Of course I'd say that since I own one 🙂 - but it's the truth. I would never even have my own wife use a foreign company. Heck, I'd rather have her use another agency that isn't mine before she outsourced it!
Social and Website Signals
We've talked about the importance of content on your website, but we also need to talk about the importance of the updated/additional content on your website.
Google wants to see a living breathing organism that is growing and getting stronger.
Static websites often don't grow in the rankings.
That is why blogs are such a big deal in today's world. They send a signal to Google that the domain is being updated with new and fresh content. Google will then crawl it and see how well it was written and see what it's about.
Send as many signals as you can!
The other thing Google likes to see is active social media accounts. The importance of these are definitely lower on the totem pole, but they have grown in importance over the years. If you have the ability to do so, post regularly, and try to include links to your website every 8-10 posts. Don't do it every post, because then it just looks like you're spamming your social media feeds.
For Local Businesses: Google My Business
If you're a local business, I highly recommend reading this article I wrote about how to dominate SEO and your local competition online. It goes into much more detail than I do here.
The importance of your Google My Business page cannot be expressed strong enough. It is practically everything to a local business. It is how a vast majority of your customers will find you.
So first things first here, make sure you stinking get your page setup properly! Secondly, try to get as many authentic reviews from customers that you can. Don't fake this. Google knows. They know everything.
Map citations play a significant role in the Google map rankings as well, so I'd highly suggest getting as many of those as you can.
I do have a special free training course for local businesses to explode their Google My Business map location rankings in 90 days.
Summary: Have good content and link build
If I could summarize SEO in nutshell, it really is just to have top-notch content on your website mixed with a strategic link building plan. And do it right or don't do it at all.
The ramifications of cutting corners just aren't worth it. And if you are wondering if you should hire that company to do $250/mo worth of SEO for you, JUST DON'T. Any reputable SEO company will never charge that little because they know what's involved in ranking your site. Check out this article on How Much Should SEO cost?
Well, it's been real. If you have any questions, please comment below and I'd be happy to answer!
Author: Daniel Segalo, MBA
Founder of Segalo Media
Daniel is a serial entrepreneur and founder of Segalo Media, a digital marketing agency in Kansas City, Missouri that specializes in search engine optimization (SEO). His firm has been helping their clients dominate their competitors on Google for 8+ years and have won multiple awards and accolades for their work.
Daniel founded his first company at 21, and has now consulted for, mentored, or has been on the founding team of 6 different startups.