Premiere Creative’s Approach To Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization can help smaller businesses compete against larger Fortune 500 companies on the web. It’s noon on a Saturday, and you’re running late for a wedding. You suddenly realize “oh no… I have absolutely no idea how to tie a bow-tie.” What do you do? Simple: you open your MacBook and navigate to Google. You’re driving when you suddenly hit a pothole and blow out your left front tire. You think to yourself “wow, I’ve seen my dad do it a thousand times, but I still don’t know how to change a tire.” So you grab your iPhone and open your Google app.
Recent studies show that 81% of online shoppers and 89% of B2B buyers have the exact same impulse. Like it or not, search engines are an integral part of consumers’ lives. Any new business that fails to leverage search is not likely to survive in today’s digital landscape. This guide highlights Premiere Creative’s comprehensive strategy for building our clients’ presence on search engines like Google and Bing. The strategy is Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and no one in northern New Jersey does it better.
Our approach is simple, comprehensive, and effective. You will learn what SEO is, how it works, and how to position your site effectively on Google’s search engine result pages (SERPs).
Keep reading to learn about SEO and why it’s so important. If you’d like to learn more about how Premiere Creative’s team of SEO experts can help you build and implement a successful SEO strategy, give us a call at (973) 346-8100.
What Is SEO?
SEO is a web of tactics working together to expand a company’s visibility in organic search results. It is the process by which a company makes its website as relevant to as many consumers as possible. It is laser-focused on increasing the volume of organic search traffic to a website, and ultimately on increasing top-line revenue.
Visibility and Ranking are critical concepts to understand in SEO. However, since visibility is more-or-less a function of ranking, we will mostly be focusing on ranking and rank building in this post. Visibility and ranking are defined as:
Visibility is the level of prominence enjoyed by a particular domain on SERPs.
This term is somewhat self-explanatory. A domain’s ranking on a SERP is the position that it holds as measured by its distance from the top of the page. Google and other search engines determine rank using several criteria that we will cover in this article.
By focusing on both these components of an SEO play (but mostly on ranking), companies can make their web properties visible on search engines through every stage of the consumer’s buying journey. Research shows that most consumers begin looking for new products on Google. The same is true of B2B buyers in search of services for their businesses. In fact, B2B buyers typically conduct 12 Google searches before first engaging with a brand. Regardless of the product or service for which they are searching, consumers overwhelmingly prefer to conduct their own research – unmediated by a sales professional – using Google search through every step of their buying process. Any effective SEO play – i.e. any SEO play that maximizes ranking and visibility – guarantees that your company’s website populates on all SERPs in response to relevant searches. Let’s discuss the more critical of the two key SEO components – ranking – in greater detail.
Google’s Method for Determining Page Rank
A search engine’s job is to produce the most relevant web content possible in response to search queries. Google has developed incredibly advanced algorithms that guarantee high quality, highly relevant search results to all consumers. In doing so, it has forever changed the Internet’s usefulness to consumers and businesses alike. Understanding how Google determines rank – i.e. the order in which it displays results on a SERP – is essential when building out an SEO strategy. To put it simply, Google determines display rank on a SERP based on two criteria:
When it comes to Google search ranking, you can think of “authority” as a synonym for “popularity.” Google determines how authoritative a source is based on how much traffic that source receives. It is under the assumption that the more people read the content on a website, the more important that website is to people in general. That’s why building a diversified network of traffic streams to your website – through social media, email marketing, and other sources – will ultimately help improve your organic Google search ranking as well.
Google – and search engines like Google – have programmatic methods for matching searches to web pages that most closely answer the posited query. When you enter a keyword into Google’s search bar, Google crawls the Internet for web pages containing topics and keywords related to or matching your search. The pages that are the most relevant to your search will ultimately rank higher on the SERP.
Search engines all have a secret sauce for optimally producing content in response to queries. Although it’s impossible for marketers to disentangle the web of algorithms Google uses to determine rank, through SEO, we have identified ranking factors that can seriously improve your website’s performance. By understanding how Google ranks its search engine results and optimizing client websites accordingly, Premiere Creative has helped our clients grow thriving businesses online.
The Nuts and Bolts of SEO: Premiere Creative’s Strategy
Implementing an SEO strategy is a considerable undertaking. It requires a substantial investment in time, money, and manpower. But optimizing your website for search can permanently improve the volume and quality of traffic hitting your website. Optimizing your site involves improving 2 key ranking factors.
Although it’s becoming a common trope in the marketing industry, there’s a lot of truth to the phrase “content is king.” It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for a recipe or instructions for changing the oil in your car. If you’re searching for anything on Google, you’re looking for content. Content is information that helps you solve a problem. It can come in the form of a vlog, medical article, listicle, business listing, or product detail page.
The more content your website has, the more visible your website becomes on Google and other search engines. Think of your website as a hub for information around the products/ services you sell. Internet users that are in the market are seeking information online. By maximizing the quantity and quality of information about your products on your website, you are making your website’s content as relevant to as many related searches as possible.
Say, for instance, you own a company that manufactures and distributes high-quality olive oil. What type of content do you post on your website? You may want a product detail page for each product you sell – i.e. plain olive oil, sodium-free olive oil, olive oil with sundried tomato and red pepper flakes, etc. Perhaps a video tour of your farm and facilities would garner some interest. Why not consider a blog where you discuss your philosophy on the production of artisanal olive oil, answer FAQ’s, and otherwise create high-quality written content that may be of interest to potential customers? A Google My Business page (GMB) where you provide contact information, location, hours of operation, ratings, and some engaging content can help drive traffic and improve search visibility. You could run an Instagram account that drives social traffic to the website. You could start an olive oil podcast, or hold a Reddit AMA on a cooking Subreddit. The avenues for content creation are endless.
Anything that either 1) increases your website’s relevancy to as many searches as possible (think blogs, business listings, product pages, etc), or 2) increases the volume, quality, and source diversity of traffic (i.e. authority) hitting your site is going to improve your website’s rank.
Before we get ahead of ourselves, consider the type of content you want to produce. Let’s start with blogging. How do you determine the topics about which to write? You certainly don’t want to pick topics at random; if you’re going through the trouble to draft blogs, you want the right people finding them via search. This is where keyword analysis can come in handy.
SEO is all about increasing qualified traffic to your website. For those who don’t know, “qualified traffic” consists of users that are likely to engage with your site and ultimately convert.
If you want qualified traffic to hit your website from organic search, you have to understand what people search for when they’re looking for your product. Understanding the way high intent users search will help you identify topics to write about and which keywords to target. It will ultimately help zero in on an effective content marketing strategy.
Start by putting yourself in your target customer’s shoes. What relevant topics would a person interested in your product want to read about, and how do you think they search for those topics online? Let’s stick with our olive oil company example. People interested in buying your artisanal olive oil may search the following:
- “Olive oil uses”
- “Olive oil benefits”
- “Is olive oil fattening”
- “Olive oil brands”
- “Best olive oil brands”
- “Extra virgin vs. non-extra virgin olive oil”
- “Best recipes with olive oil”
- “Olive oil smoke point”
Whether you want to use keyword research tools like AdWords, or simply rely on the “Searches related to” feature on a Google SERP, finding relevant high-intent keywords is a straightforward process. Every keyword identified above is a real query commonly asked by users seeking information about olive oil. And every one of them can be easily targeted in blog posts. Let’s start with the search query “is olive oil fattening.” Without thinking particularly hard, anyone can come up with numerous blog topics addressing that one query. To name a few:
- “Is Olive Oil Fattening? The Truth About Olive Oil and Weight Loss”
- “5 Healthy Recipes with That Use Olive Oil”
- “Why Olive Oil is Healthier Than Butter?”
When they contain high-quality blog content around commonly asked questions, company websites become hubs for information that is of interest to high-intent consumers. Each of the blog topics listed above – if written to the length of about 500 words – can be jam-packed with relevant keywords. They can link to other parts of the website. Well-structured content strategies like the one we’ve described here are the backbone of any SEO play.
Creating content for your website is all about improving relevance. The more FAQs, search topics, and keywords that you address in the form of blogs and videos on your website, the more likely your website will rank for high-intent keywords. But remember that relevancy and authority are equally important to improving your rank on search engines. Content is important for relevancy, but it won’t make your website more authoritative on its own.
Authority is a synonym for popularity. When Google’s algorithms search for results to display in response to queries, the highest-ranked websites are frequently visited and referenced online. In other words, the more outside sources that post links to your website online, the higher your authority will be, and the more your rank will improve. SEO experts call these “backlinks” – and you’ll need as many of them as you can get if you want to improve your organic search ranking.
To put it more concisely, backlinks are essentially references to content on your site from other web properties. Let’s say you work for Psychology Today and you’re writing an article about Schizophrenia. You may post backlinks to studies from, say, the Mayo Clinic, that discuss varying rates of occurrence in men and women. Google would count that as a backlink for the Mayo Clinic’s website.
Search engines like Google have metrics that measure both the quality and quantity of backlinks. Quantity is a self-explanatory metric. But a backlink’s quality is a less easily understood concept that requires further investigation.
Google is amazing at sniffing out sketchy, fraudulent, “bad quality” backlinks. Let’s say you own two businesses that each have their own website. If you post content on business A’s website that links only to business B’s website, and vice versa, Google will notice the collusive nature of that backlinking structure and penalize both sites for it.
When you’re courting backlinks to your website, you should seek references from high-quality publications. There are 3 quality considerations when it comes to backlinks:
- The Referencing Website’s Popularity: Say you run a small company that makes high-quality knitwear. You wake up one day and find that Vogue and GQ Men have both written about your brand and linked to your web store from the article. Google assesses the authority of websites that link to your website. The higher the authority of the website that’s linked to your content, the more it will improve your authority and rank online.
- Relevance: Sticking with the knitwear example, let’s say an online magazine about deep-sea oil drilling equipment decides (for whatever reason) to reference your website in an article. Google may consider that a low-quality backlink. Google looks at the domains of websites that link to you and rewards you with authority based on whether or not the source is in a related field. Obviously deep-sea oil drilling equipment and high-quality knitwear are deeply unrelated. As such, Google would recognize that as a weak backlink.
- Domain Trust: A link from trusted sources will always help you more than a link from an unknown or untrustworthy source. For instance, a link to your knitwear store from a NY Times Arts article will improve your authority more than a link from www.very_cool_best_clothesUSA_also_we_sell_passports.ru.
Now that we understand what quality backlinks are and why they’re important, the question remains: how do you get them?
Link Building: How to Build Robust SEO Backlink Structures
Link building is the process of courting high-quality backlinks to your website from other sources. It can be a complicated process, but Premiere Creative’s methodologies for link building have proven extremely effective for our many clients. Some of our methods include:
- Outreach: This is where drafting high-quality blog/video content comes in handy. Write an amazing, informative, and well-written blog post, and reach out to a related company to tell them about it. They may reference it on their website if its something they find valuable.
- Analyze Competitor Backlinks: Back to the olive oil company example! Let’s say a neighboring farm’s olive oil was just written about in a popular food magazine. Identify the aspects of their business or products that attracted attention from the publication, and perhaps recreate them in your business.
- Guest Posting on 3rd Party Websites: Writing a guest post for a third party blog or website can help court backlinks to your site. In return for the free content, 3rd parties often allow guest posters to include backlinks to their own site within the post.
- Social Profile Linking: This practice can fold in nicely with an existing influencer marketing campaign – something that Premiere Creative is quite familiar with. Getting popular social media profiles on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to link to your website can drive high-quality to your traffic, build authority, and bolster your rank on organic Google search.
Give Your Website a boost: Premiere Creative’s SEO Services
SEO is an incredibly valuable undertaking. By understanding the way Google’s search algorithms prioritize and rank search results, companies can significantly increase the volume of high-intent users hitting their site from organic search. A well-structured SEO play is a sure-fire way to grow your top-line revenues. That said, building a search engine optimized website is an arduous and delicate process that can go wrong if not carefully managed.
Premiere Creative’s team of SEO experts has worked with countless clients to drive success via organic Google search. We can work with you to restructure your website, draft landing pages, write blogs, build links, and improve your website’s relevancy and authority on Google. To find out more about how we can help your business, give us a call at (973) 346-8100.