SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, refers to the process of affecting the visibility of a website or web page in a search engine’s unpaid results (also known as “organic", "natural”, or “earned” results).
The SERP, or Search Engine Results page, is what is seen after entering a specific query/search from within a search engine. In Google the SERP typically consists of:
- The Query
- PPC or Advertising Results
- SEO or the organic search results
- Shopping results and Knowledge Graph Card (if applicable)
How does Google and other search engines know what content to show?
- Your location (found by using your IP address)
- How you searched, including phrasing and what device you are using
- Previous search and browsing history
- Related information collected and categorized via a graph database (e.g. Google’s Knowledge Graph database project)
So how do brands and companies maximize their SERP presence?
- SEO (pure search rankings)
- Paid Search (such as AdWords and AdSense)
- Social Media sharing and participation
- Optimizing Images for Google Image search
- For retail specifically, Google Shopping or “Google for Retail”
On-Page vs Off-Page SEO:
- On-Page SEO refers to the process of optimizing different parts of your website that affect search engine ranking. Examples of this include:
- HTML Meta Title, Meta Description and H1 tags (most CMS’s will give you the ability to add in meta descriptions or tags.)
- URL structure (does the URL have keywords built in?)
- Page load speed
- Alt text
- Internal linking to other pages on your website
- Off-Page (or Technical) SEO focuses on increasing the authority of your site by utilizing links from other sites. Examples of off-page SEO use include:
But how do you measure success in SEO? Using Google Analytics we can look at the following to get a gauge of how SEO is influencing a site (positively and negatively):
- Organic search traffic - % change month-to-month and/or year-to-year
- Organic search landing pages
- Organic search engagement metrics
- Google Analytics GOALS – e.g. how many form fills are happening from organic search traffic and which pages (and, are they the correct pages?)
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