As a business owner looking to gain traction from Internet marketing, you may hear lots of jargon phrases being thrown around, namely SEO friendly and SEO strategy.
These are two key parts of getting noticed online, and while the two may sound similar, they are different things that work together to bring your website in front of your customer’s eyes.
Below, we break down the key differences, why they matter and how to execute.
SEO Friendly: Easy for the Search Engines to Read
What you and your website visitors see is completely different than what a search engine bot sees, so your website structure needs to be written accordingly, to ensure it features indexable content.
The most important content needs to be written in HTML text format.
Even though we have made technological advances in crawling, the bots still have issues with reading things like Flash and Java applets.
These things can be devalued, so, it’s important to provide alt text for all images, supplement Flash and Java with text on the page, and provide transcripts for any audio and video content on the page.
Fortunately for you, if all of this is over your head, your web designer will know how to handle it. And, the most popular content management system (CMS) on the web today, WordPress, is (with a few tweaks) built as an SEO friendly structure.
It works so well, 50 percent of the entire Internet is built with it.
According to SEO Royals CEO Dwayne Doe, “Businesses can succeed in getting ranked with an SEO friendly site structure, but it’s not enough to get where they want to be. It’s going above and beyond to craft a unique strategy that makes the difference.”
SEO Strategy: How You Plan to Rank Ahead of Competitors
An SEO strategy is a clear plan about how your website will continue to evolve to increase ranking. SEO strategy can involve myriad of elements, from blog content and promotion, to pay per click (PPC) advertising, social media presence and advertising, email marketing, content marketing, and outreach.
Your SEO strategy should include multiple search engines, for a well-rounded approach because even though Google has a large market share, they aren't the only place your customers could be looking for you.
Content marketing, for instance, in one case study showed an 2,000 percent increase in traffic, which translated to a 40 percent increase in revenue. Companies who blog get 97 percent more links than companies who don’t, and generate leads that cost 62 percent less.
What goes into a SEO strategy?
First, know your target audience and what they do online. Don’t waste time and money on trying to be everywhere online, and instead focus on where you know your audience is. Set objectives based on your audience.
What do you want them to do when they get your website? What’s the best way to get there? This helps you create a clear path so you can work on what you know will yield results.
Next, use the audience information and objectives when you do keyword research. Research keywords for each of your target customers, factoring in the keywords and their search volume.
Focus on Your On-Page SEO and Website Structure
This is what we talked about above with SEO friendly.
From there, you’ll move into cultivating relationships with your audience and key influencers, and building links to your website, using methods like blogging, content marketing, and social media.
All of this means nothing unless you have the tools to track the data and see the results. It’s only through knowing what’s working and what’s not that you’ll be able to adjust your strategy accordingly.
One thing that’s important to note: an SEO strategy is not a set it and forget it approach. As algorithms change and new websites continue to pop up, SEO is always on-going.
Rely on that analytics data to keep you headed in the right direction.
Web designers aren’t necessarily SEO strategy experts, so if you’re looking for help with strategy, it’s best to find an individual or agency who can handle both.
Consult with multiple companies before choosing which one to hire. Ask to see portfolios and case studies which prove they know what they’re doing.
When searching for companies, pay close attention to their own rank, as it can demonstrate skill.
And remember, you get what you pay for, so if something seems too good to be true, like being promised #1 rankings, or “fixed” SEO in a month, it probably is.