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Where The Bulk of Your SEO Impact Comes From

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Understanding Where the Bulk of Your SEO Impact Comes From

As a small business owner or entrepreneur, you’re likely aware that having a well-designed, functional website is crucial. But a great website alone isn’t enough– you need people to find it. That’s where SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, comes in. SEO is a powerful tool that can drive traffic to your site, improve your visibility on search engines like Google, and ultimately help your business grow by leading to more site visitors, more inquiries, and more clients. But where does the bulk of your SEO impact come from? Let’s break it down.

1. High-Quality Content

The foundation of any effective SEO strategy is high-quality content. This means content that is original, informative, and valuable to your audience. Search engines prioritize content that answers users’ questions and provides useful information. According to HubSpot, companies that blog see 97% more links to their website and blogging is the third most common content marketing strategy for businesses.

Here are some key aspects to keep in mind when blogging:

  • Relevance and Value: Your content should address the needs and interests of your audience. This means creating blog posts, articles, and pages that provide genuine value and answer common questions in your industry.

  • Keywords: Using the right keywords is essential. These are the terms and phrases your potential customers are typing into search engines. Use tools like Google Keyword Planner to find relevant keywords and incorporate them naturally into your content.

  • Length and Depth: Longer, in-depth content tends to rank better. Aim for comprehensive articles that thoroughly cover a topic. According to Backlinko, the average first-page result on Google contains 1,890 words. So this is why I am always telling my clients and my audience that content matters. I know you don't want to overwhelm visitors, but there is a way to strategically have a sufficient amount of content, laid out in a way that doesn't overwhelm, but instead keeps interest!

2. On-Page Optimization

On-page optimization refers to all the elements you can control directly on your website to improve its search engine rankings. These include:

  • Title Tags: The title of your page is one of the first things search engines look at. It should be concise, descriptive, and include your primary keyword. You should never have duplicates of your title tags across your site- each should be unique to that page and its content.

  • Meta Descriptions: These are short summaries of your page content. They don’t directly impact rankings, but they do influence click-through rates, meaning the more intriguing and captivating you make your meta description, the more likely someone will click on it in search results over someone else's, which can impact your SEO performance.

  • Headings (H1, H2, H3): Proper use of headings on each page of your site helps search engines understand the structure and hierarchy of your content. Your primary keyword should appear in at least one heading. Each page should have just one H1 heading per page, but can have multiple H2s, H3s, H4s, and so on, appropriately, as the content on that page is broken down into smaller sections and sub-sections!

  • URL Structure: Clean, descriptive URLs that include keywords are preferred. Avoid long, complex URLs with random strings of numbers, letters, or symbols. Short and sweet is best!

  • Internal Linking: Linking to other relevant pages on your site helps search engines understand the structure of your site and discover new content.

3. Backlinks

Backlinks are links from other websites to yours. They are a significant factor in how search engines determine the authority and relevance of your site. Here’s why they matter:

  • Authority and Trust: When reputable sites link to your content, it signals to search engines that your site is trustworthy and authoritative. Think of it as a vote of confidence from other websites, letting Google know that you know what you're talking about, and that more people should see your content.

  • Traffic: Backlinks can also drive direct traffic to your site. If a popular site links to your content, their readers might click through to learn more. Some great opportunities for this are collaborating with other small business owners on blogs (guest blogging), projects, marketing campaigns, and other ways that can mutually benefit you both. Bonus points if you share the same audience! (ie: a web designer and a social media manager might share the same audience!)

  • Quality Over Quantity: It’s better to have a few high-quality backlinks from authoritative sites than a lot low-quality links. Focus on earning links from sites that are relevant to your industry. Moz states that backlinks are still one of the most important ranking factors.

4. User Experience (UX)

Search engines want to provide the best possible results for their users, so they prioritize websites that offer a good user experience. This includes:

  • Mobile-Friendliness: More people are using mobile devices to browse the internet than ever before. In fact, mobile devices accounted for 54.8% of global website traffic in the first quarter of 2021. Your site must be mobile-friendly to rank well. This means, when someone visits your site from their phone or tablet, it should be the same seamless experience that they get when browsing your site on a desktop.

  • Page Speed: Slow-loading pages can frustrate visitors and lead to higher bounce rates, due to people not wanting to wait for your site to load and just clicking off immediately. According to Google, 53% of mobile site visits are abandoned if a page takes longer than three seconds to load. Tools like Google PageSpeed Insights can help you identify and fix issues. Some ways you can help keep your site's speed up are by compressing all of your images before uploading them to your site so the large file sizes don't bog it down, using free tools like image compressor. Some other ways to keep your site speed fast are to not add too many animations and special effects, keep your code clean, and try to minimize the amount of CSS and Javascript you use on your site when you can.

  • Easy Navigation: Your site should be easy to navigate, with a clear structure and intuitive design. This helps users find what they’re looking for quickly and easily. Your menu should be intuitive, with categories and sub-categories that make sense.

5. Technical SEO

Technical SEO involves optimizing your site’s backend structure and foundation. Key elements include:

  • Site Architecture: A well-organized site structure helps search engines crawl and index your content more efficiently. When your site has a clear, logical structure, search engines can crawl (explore) and index (record) your pages more effectively, improving your visibility in search results. Good site architecture means making sure that important pages are easily accessible from the homepage, enhancing user experience, and helping search engines find and understand your content. Using categories, subcategories, and internal links helps maintain this structure, making your site more user-friendly and search engine-friendly.

  • Sitemaps: An XML sitemap helps search engines understand the layout of your site and find new content. With Wix, when you publish your site and connect to Google Search Console from your Dashboard, Wix will automatically submit your sitemap to Google for you! A sitemap isn't 100% necessary for your content to be seen, but it is absolutely highly recommended to make things faster, easier, and smoother for Google to crawl and index your content in a timely manner.

  • Robots.txt: This file tells search engines which pages they can or cannot crawl. In Wix, you can turn these settings on and off for individual pages of your site through your page settings. But try not to make too many pages of your site blocked in search engines.

  • Secure Website (HTTPS): Security is a ranking factor. Ensure your site uses HTTPS instead of HTTP. According to Google, HTTPS is a ranking signal and helps ensure a secure connection for users. You can check this by looking at your site's address in your browser. Luckily, if you have your site built on Wix or Squarespace, you should automatically get an SSL certificate.

Some Final Thoughts

SEO can seem complex, but focusing on these core areas— high-quality content, on-page optimization, backlinks, user experience, and technical SEO, can make a significant impact on your search engine rankings. Remember, SEO is an ongoing process. Regularly update your content, keep an eye on your site’s performance, and stay informed about the latest SEO trends and best practices.

Investing in a professional SEO strategy can help you maximize your site’s potential and ensure it works as hard as you do for your business. If you’re ready to take your website to the next level, let's talk about how we can make that happen together. Reach out today, and let's start boosting your online presence.

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