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SEO is more than just links

Brian Petti, Cleveland Website Designer

A successful SEO campaign needs to focused in many areas

SEO, or search engine optimization, is a collective effort to make a website optimal for both users and Google, and how to make a website rank higher in search engine results for key terms. If this is the case, how come there are so many “SEO” companies that concentrate on building links? Below you can find an explanation on why building links is a thing of the past and what steps you need to take to increase your rankings and reach within the SERPS.

Just a few years ago, link building was arguably the key to higher rankings and more traffic within Google’s search results. Although link building is still important today, it needs to be done much differently in addition to many other strategic elements. After the latest Google algorithm update named Penguin, bad links, purchased links, or spammy links can actually hurt your SEO efforts. Links need to be acquired by spreading great content through social channels, networking with industry related blogs and websites, and by separating your brand from the competition.

Aside from just links, optimizing onsite content is very important. Copy and content on all pages need to be unique, engaging, user-friendly, and relevant. Low quality pages written for search engines will bring down the overall authority or value of the website and hurt rankings. Blogs should be updated often with the same type of content too. All of these actions will show Google that the website is a quality site.

One element of SEO that some tend to overlook is conversion analysis. You want visitors to come to your website and eventually navigate to a page where a conversion can occur. Conversion analysis looks at aspects such as the connection between the keywords bringing traffic to the page/website and the content on that page, navigation, calls-to-action or elements that leads users to important pages within the site, and even contact form analysis. For ecommerce websites, conversion analysis can also involve diving into your purchasing process or shopping cart.

Most businesses have realized that social media is a vital piece to success online, but many businesses do not know how to properly set up profiles, engage fans, and make the overall social effort worthwhile. Social media is a great way to generate new followers to a brand, spread that great content that a company is creating, and make a name for the company within the industry. These efforts are taken into consideration by Google (or so we think). Some experts think getting positive social attention can even play a role into the rankings within Google and other search engines. Also, it helps make content available for others to link to or refer to from in their own content.

Obviously there are still many more elements to a successful SEO campaign besides building links. This basic information should give any business a good start to increased traffic and rankings.