What is SEO?
SEO, which refers to “search engine optimization”, is the process of increasing the amount of free organic traffic a website generates on search engines such as Google and Bing. While there are over 200 factors that determine how search engine algorithms rank web pages for specific keywords, they can be broken down into the following categories:
- Website content.
- Website architecture.
- HTML & other coding factors.
- Trust & authority.
- Backlinks & brand citations.
Beyond Straight SEO Services
We understand that SEO has evolved significantly over the past several years due to the continuous and rigorous refinement of search engine algorithms. While search engine optimization strategies used to focus heavily on keyword optimization in the past, Google & Bing (among other search engines) take far more factors into account when assessing web pages. Mobile usability, web content, technical components, and the overall user experience are other elements to optimize beyond some of the basics.
We’ll guide your SEO strategy in the right direction by optimizing content for semantic searches. Long gone are the days where the tactic of using the same focus keyword multiple times within web copy is enough to rank on the first page. While root keywords will be the focal point of our strategies, we’ll analyze search behaviour from all angles to develop a list of phrases, semantic matches, and long-tail phrases to help maximize visibility for your target audience.
Google’s Evolution of Interpretation & How to SEO your Website
At the same time, search engines are becoming more and more intelligent creatures capable of learning and observing how people interact with the sites they visit. The post-click activity of each person visiting your site can be tracked and understood, which is why our desire is to help you truly satisfy your users’ intent. One way to achieve this is by understanding Google’s ever-evolving ability to interpret meaning. Here are some recent Google algorithm changes of note that inform our approaches to phenomenal user experiences and strong SEO strategies.
- Panda, launched in early 2011, was a significant update from Google that aimed to improve search visibility for high-quality sites, while lessening visibility or even penalizing sites that were discerned as low quality. Quality here was defined in terms of a site’s content-grade based on factors like the presence of duplicate content versus original content, the relevance of content, and other elements affecting user experience, like how intense a site’s ad presence is.
- In 2012, Google unveiled Penguin. Also known as the “Webspam Update,” this major update targeted websites that rely on “over-optimization” tactics that violate Google’s Webmaster Guidelines. More specifically, this update targeted the use of black-hat strategies like misleading content, excessive linking, overuse of keywords, and hidden text.
- 2013 saw Google’s launch a very significant update with Hummingbird, aimed at completely revamping its search algorithm. This was when Google introduced the concept of semantic searches, focusing more on user intent and the context of searches. As a result, regular keyword strategies had to become more holistic, encompassing a blend of terms related to a direct keyword. For example, rather than using “SEO” multiple times within a page, Google expects various alternative terms such as organic search, web optimization, search engine marketing, and so on. They achieved this in part by adjusting organic search strategies to cater content towards search queries that answer specific questions.
- Google’s Pigeon spread its wings in 2014. Essentially a local search algorithm update that gave preference to local search results, its goal was to provide a more relevant and customized experience for those searching for local products and services, and better results to users whose searches relate to neighbourhoods. It was also more beneficial for websites that took steps to optimize for local search.
- Mobilegeddon in 2015 was a long time coming and saw Google decisively rewarding sites that were optimizing their user experience on all device types. This update made mobile usability a significant consideration for search rankings, especially on desktops and tablets.
- The fact that that 15 out of every 100 searches on Google is related to something the world’s most popular search engine has never processed, inspired RankBrain, which went live early in 2016. It was developed to help process search queries, better interpret them, and effectively translate them, in order to provide the most accurate results possible to users.
Our Approach to Strategic SEO
Our experts make it their profession to stay on top of all the changes affecting SEO strategies, continually optimizing our own approaches. Ultimately, strengthening content gives you better quality views, and we help make that a palpable reality. By investing more in content and putting conversion optimization ahead of traffic, your business can and will experience incredible results like a significant increase in brand awareness, and tangibly higher rankings.
And when it comes to actually developing content, the key is audience-focused over brand-focused. As an SEO company, our team is well positioned to make this happen by making moves to ensure that no matter what your level of traffic, your audience is happy with their experience. Because let’s face it: high rank doesn’t matter if they’re not happy.
We guide you through the process of creating original, high-quality content that includes unique images, videos, and social media content—ever more important on SERPs (also known as “Search Engine Results Pages”). We help you create longer, quality articles that perform better in searches, whether we’re talking desktop, laptop, mobile, voice, or any other type of search out there! By helping you to display the outcomes they want to imagine, tell the stories they want to hear, and share the words that speak to their motivations, we help you give your customers, your guests, and your users exactly what it is they want, so everyone’s happy.
On the technical side, our adept team will audit your existing website or assist you in developing a new site that is built to please both search engines and web traffic. While our audits can be extensive, we dig through every nook and cranny of your website to ensure that we resolve any outstanding issues that may be impeding your web property from reaching its full potential organically.
While optimizing your content and site’s technical structure are both equally important, our team will also dedicate resources to building a reputation for your brand around the web. The old link building tactics that existed in 2007 are obsolete and can harm your site’s ability to rank on search engines. Rather than employing an outdated approach, we’ll work on developing relationships with publishers and authorities in your niche/local market to build links in accordance with current webmaster guidelines. On a local level, we’ll also work on optimizing all of your local listings to ensure maximum visibility for searches in your neighbourhood.
Most important of all, we help you keep up with unrelenting change. And we help you do it with organic style.
It may seem tedious and overwhelming to deal with a seemingly endless influx of SEO information that creates a constant need to tweak, adjust, optimize, and re-optimize in order not to be left behind and overrun by competition. But it’s not as complex as it may seem and Rank is well practiced at making it look and feel easy to get and stay ahead and fulfill your brand’s optimal potential. Ask us about our organic search strategy and find out even more about the things we can do that are paramount to increasing your influence and authority where it matters most.
Still not a believer in SEO? Check out these stats that reinforce the power of an organic search strategy:
- 72% of marketers worldwide said relevant content creation was the most effective SEO tactic. Source: MarketingProfs
- The average word count on pages in the top 10 search results has increased by around a quarter – rising from 975 in 2014 to 1,285 words in 2015. Source: SearchMetrics
- As of May 2015 more Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 countries including the US and Japan. Source: Google
- 86% of B2B marketers and 77% of B2C marketers use content marketing. Source: Content Marketing Institute
Getting Ready to Dominate Search in 2017
Search engine optimization has evolved quite a bit over the past couple of years. Note that while some of the basic tenets of optimization remain intact, there are new, emerging trends that your business can leverage to bolster your organic traffic.
- Schema markup implementation: by structuring your data and submitting rich information to search engines, you increase the chance of having “rich snippets” appear within organic results. The potential for websites is immense: not only can you increase the amount of information shown within organic listings, you increase the chance of capturing clicks over competitors.
- Google AMP: Accelerated Mobile Pages, and open-source initiative launched by Google and other digital entities, is quickly being adopted by numerous content publishers and company websites. These pages load quicker on mobile devices and can help give you an edge over the competition.