SEO is an inherently creative and collaborative process, but people don’t always treat it that way. Countless folks treat search engine optimization as a checklist of things that need to be done, and nothing more; like a formulaic, repetitious task that isn’t unique to each individual project. At Steadfast, we fundamentally disagree with that.
So, we decided to speak into our SEO philosophy.
SEO is pretty dope. I oftentimes equate it to solving a puzzle, but one where every page of a website requires a different formula to solve that puzzle. Sure, you can slap together some page titles and page descriptions, but there is so much more to SEO than a checklist.
At Steadfast, we seize every opportunity to utilize our collective skill-sets to strategize a successful SEO plan for our clients, pulling design, marketing, content, and development into the process.
For those of you who are new to SEO and digital marketing, Google changes its search engine algorithm two times a year. And for those who are new to search engine algorithms, that means Google works very hard to ensure that the search queries you make return the most accurate results. These two changes a year are where SEO gets really exciting. Google constantly keeps marketers on their toes, and it’s all for the benefit of the user. Updates like this are exactly why SEO has to be a fluid, creative, and collaborative process.
Google makes changes to this algorithm twice a year because it takes some people about 6 months to figure out the black hat ways around the search algorithm.
This means that some people don’t care what you’re searching for, they just want their site at the top of the search results list, regardless of your intent. Some marketers will use unethical strategies like keyword stuffing or buying links. Which means that someone will stuff their website with keywords that really have nothing to do with the product, service, or information that they have on their site. This typically will drive a lot of traffic, but return a very high bounce rate. People get to the site and see that the content is not relevant to them and leave.
This is one area in which I lean on our content strategist to help me make sure the title tags and page descriptions I write reflect what the user will be getting when they click through. Making sure the content on the landing page matches the page title, and description in a search result is why Google has these updates. This is all a mechanism to continue to build that trust between the users making searches and Google as a search engine.All of these elements, at their core, are aspects of the greater user experience, which is what we’re in this business to do as well.
When writing meta data (page title and page descriptions), I like to pull in design, content, development, my friends, my mom, pretty much everyone. Nearly all of us use Google on a daily basis, with an estimated 3 billion searches made a day.
After that, I like to pull in design & content to strategize a plan that utilizes those search terms people are using, and construct descriptive page titles and page descriptions that reflect the content on the page we are directing them to. We discover a solution to write meta data so the reader can understand what they are about to click on, but it also speaks to the search engines in the most efficient way.
It’s about being concise, compelling, and creative.
Landing page user experience also plays a very important roll in SEO. If your keywords and landing page content passes Google’s algorithm, but the bounce rate for organic traffic (traffic that came from a search engine) is still crazy high, Google sees that as a negative experience, and it will hurt your rank in search results.
This is where it is important that design, content, and development have created an excellent experience on the site. By measuring bounce rate, pages/session, and average session duration, you will be able to see if your landing page and SEO are performing well. This is also where the whole team gets together to analyze the data of what is working and what isn’t. Following that analysis, we optimize and problem solve.
If Google sees that other people find your site easy to use, then it will consider your site more qualified than others, and award you with a better organic search rank.
Search engine optimization has to be a creative, collaborative process.
Everyone is utilizing SEO in their digital marketing strategies these days. It is as essential to marketing as dough is to making pizza. So in order to stand out in a crowded search results page, you need to have a unique approach.
Bringing in a creative perspective along with an analytical perspective can really create an awesome and unique strategy that not only creates a flawless user experience, but also gets page one ranks for those search terms you’re targeting.