SEO can be a deceptively long process.
Some of our clients feel like success is right there for the taking – just a few magical tricks away.
They can picture their content ranking at the top of Google for even the most competitive keywords in extremely competitive industries.
But, in reality, they’re a long way away from realizing your goal.
Because they love the promise more than the process.
Understanding the SEO Process
Kaspar Szymanski once compared SEO to fitness – and it’s a great analogy.
There are no shortcuts to game the system (i.e., your body) unless you’re OK with taking serious health risks.
You need to have a plan and stick to it. That means exercising, eating right, and pushing yourself to continuously improve naturally.
So I was quite surprised recently on a monthly call to learn that one of my large clients was impatient with the SEO process.
How does someone so successful – and one who typically follows a process for the promise of more clients and cases – not understand and love and respect the SEO process?
You can’t get to the promise without going through the process.
SEO (and most forms of digital marketing) is a process that, with patience and strategy, will bring you the promise of new traffic, leads, clients, revenue, and growth.
To understand the process you have to create a plan, have a strategy, and know all the steps in the process.
Our process always begins with a technical and/or a content audit.
A technical audit looks at absolutely every element on the site that can impact your SEO performance.
One of the most important of all these elements is speed.
I’ve seen so many websites put a large video introduction on the homepage that takes far too long to load.
You have a high bounce rate and have lost a potential client or customer.
If only they did a smaller version of the video, or moved more relevant content above the fold, their speed and conversions would be much better.
A technical audit should be in depth and take weeks to complete, depending on what’s wrong with the site.
If you have a large website with thousands of pages of content, then it’s definitely worth doing a content audit.
It’s during this process when you can identify whether you need to eliminate, repurpose, or rewrite your content to get the biggest benefit.
We’ve worked on websites that we reduced by 50 percent and it’s highly beneficial to the site.
You will likely see a drop in traffic, but that’s the idea – to eliminate non-relevant traffic.
Over time, you’ve likely written about topics that drive traffic, but those visitors don’t actually convert into clients or customers.
A content audit makes sure all your content is relevant to your target audience. And once Google indexes all your new and improved content, you should see more conversions.
By going through the process of a technical audit, content audit, or both, you will have a complete understanding of everything that needs to be fixed in order to rank well in organic search.
It is just the first step. But the first step can sometimes be the hardest.
Now it’s time to build upon that momentum.
2. Technical SEO
When it comes to technical SEO, there’s a lot to think about, including:
- Index status.
- Crawl budget.
- Crawl errors.
- Internal links.
- Site/page speed.
- Broken links.
Fixing any one individual thing on this list won’t help any more than choosing another.
You must improve everything!
Everything must work together.
A house needs a foundation, electrical, plumbing, walls, and a roof. If you don’t have all these things, you don’t have a house. You have a shell.
The same is true of technical SEO. You need to get all of these elements right to have an optimized website.
If you increase the speed and functionality of your website and webpages, then you’ll also likely increase the number of conversions.
Based on the findings of a technical SEO audit, we recently made fixes to a site in the brewing industry.
After fixing all the errors, this company saw a 1,100 percent increase in traffic.
That’s the promise of technical SEO!