Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of optimizing your website so Google (and other search engines) list your web pages in their results for searches related to your business.
If your company builds chairs, you want Google to list your site when someone searches for “furniture manufacturer” and any other relevant phrases. So how do you assure this happens? The concept is actually pretty simple. Google competes against Yahoo and Bing. Google wants you to conduct your searches on its search engine — not theirs. So in order to keep you coming back, Google needs to consistently feed you better, more relevant search results than the other engines. They need to help you quickly find what you’re looking for or you’ll get fed up and try Yahoo or Bing instead.
Google and these other search engines refine their algorithms thousands of times each day to identify the best content related to any conceivable keyword or phrase someone might search. Simultaneously, marketers try to crack these secret algorithms to achieve better search results. But Google always strikes back and even punishes those who try to game the system. So that leads to the big question — How do you get on Google’s Good Side?
How we approach SEO at Coblestone
From the beginning, we’ve operated under a firm belief that great content will always win. When you become a valuable resource for your audience, Google will reward you. We’ve stuck by this belief and haven’t been let down yet. But we’re also very strategic in our approach. After all, great content won’t serve you well if no one ever discovers it. Here’s how we do it.
1. Identify your audience’s needs and form a content strategy
We first learn about the problems our clients solve for their audience (customer base), and what questions their audience consistently asks. Solutions to these problems and answers to these questions form the foundation of a content strategy.
2. Conduct keyword research
Next we use hard data to validate what we think we know. Our clients may describe their offerings one way, but their audience might search for those offerings using entirely different words and phrases. And that’s what we’re after. We gather real data on what keywords are being searched, how often they’re searched and how difficult it will be to rank for those keywords.
3. Develop high quality, keyword-driven content
Using the best opportunity keywords, we develop content (blog posts, website pages, case studies, white papers and more) that help our clients’ audiences answer questions and take steps to solve business problems. As prospects search for our targeted keywords in Google, Yahoo, Bing and other search engines, our clients’ content begins to populate those searches and, in turn, drives relevant visitors to their websites.
4. Create exposure
When a small, local industry organization references your company and links to your website from theirs, Google counts that link as a “vote” for your website. In other words, a reputable, relevant member of your business community has said, “This company has something to offer.” When a big, national industry organization links to your website, Google counts that link as an even more important “vote.” So, the network of reputable links pointing back to your site matters to Google.
As your site gains more exposure and more people share your content on their own websites, blogs and social media networks, links to your website grow. And your site gains credibility. At Coblestone, we work to naturally expose our clients’ content to relevant audiences by promoting it through social networks like LinkedIn and building relationships with industry organizations, websites and trade journals.
Let’s talk about gaining more exposure for your company through search engine optimization.