In 1996 the Nissin company rented advertising space at One Times Square in New York City. The billboard ad was an oversized Cup Noodles, their premiere product. The billboard would include the same brand design that appears on the much smaller, actual-sized product found in supermarkets, but it would also feature real steam coming out of the top, a flourish designed to reenact the experience of a Cup Noodles product once ready to serve.
In a lot of ways, we can turn to that specific billboard as an analogy for what SEO does for your company and its services or products. While the data for how many Cup Noodles were sold that year is not readily available, we can surmise that hundreds of thousands (if not millions) saw that billboard in Times Square, not to mention agree that in a sea of billboards and advertisements, the Cup Noodles ad stood out. For the sake of this post, let’s associate the following attributes of the ad to modern SEO:
New York City = the internet
The pedestrians = online traffic
The building = your website
The billboard = a page on your website
The steam and font and artwork and illumination = SEO optimization
That leaves one final component of this equation/analogy: the search engine (i.e. Google). Search engines are the X-factor in a lot of our digital marketing efforts today and what we do to gain their attention can be spliced down to the smallest details of how we prepare our content for pages on our websites.
When it comes to proper SEO, first things first: making sure your website is able to be found by search engines. Technical SEO refers to a number of tasks that must be completed in order for your site to be crawled by those search engines and then, ultimately, to have the pages on your website indexed so they may appear when a user conducts a search.
Some of those tasks include submitting an XML sitemap, ensuring your site has an optimized robots.txt file, combing through any crawl errors and adjusting accordingly (i.e. 301 pages, etc.), and lastly, ensuring the best page experience is in place via Google’s Core Web Vitals. Many of these tasks can be completed by your SEO analyst or web developer. Each task is to ensure your website can be found by search engines, acknowledged by search engines as legitimate pages, and then presented to users conducting relevant searches.
A complete checklist for technical SEO can run longer and include more tasks, but for the sake of this post, this is merely a summation of what to expect on the technical side of things.
Content is King
Technical SEO is vital to any SEO campaign, but the reality is that many tasks are “one and done” or only require a month-over-month maintenance check-in (and tune-up where and when necessary). It is then that we turn to the next most crucial aspect of SEO: content. This might include written or visual content.
Consistently creating optimized content and adding it to your site is what makes your website stand apart from digital competitors. The intent is to garner the attention of search engines that might place your website in front of more users conducting relevant searches. Among the many algorithm updates rolled out by Google over the years, there has been one in particular that values the quality of content. Written content that speaks to the authority and authenticity of what your website is about speaks volumes in the long run. Blog posts should serve as an informative resource, while anticipating questions your potential visitors might ask. And the more uniquely written your content is, the greater the opportunity to boost the visibility of your website.
A great example is this blog post by an auto plaza that addresses how to change a tire. This post is not only informative for the general public, but a great topic to cover by an automotive dealership looking to boost its online visibility. On top of that, it offers a succinctly written and detailed explanation that tackles the issue of “how to change a tire” as the phrase may be directly searched for on Google. Position your website as a resource and reap the benefits of your content!
Variety of Content
When we refer to a variety of content this might include forms of written content for your website, whether its blog posts, landing pages, or longform pillar pages. However, it might also refer to non-written content as well. Images, photos, illustrations, graphics, and even videos are all examples of visual content/multimedia that may make the difference for pages on your website.
As noted on this HubSpot blog post, never underestimate the importance of images when it comes to boosting the visibility of your site in search. Including 1 – 3 images per page is not only a strategy to enhance the branding or messaging of your website, but also an additional strategy that “sends more flares up” to search engines to place your site in front of users/potential visitors.
Similarly, adding videos to your pages is an excellent strategy to boost engagement with your site, while also increasing opportunities to appear in search results for relevant terms/phrases. As Internet users become more visually inspired browsers, including videos and other assorted assets may make the difference between your site and a digital competitor.
Frequency of Posting/Building Momentum
Depending on who you ask you may hear the argument of posting more frequently vs. posting more strategically. To that end, one of the hallmarks of a robust and sound SEO campaign is building momentum. If you are looking for a quick fix or instant results, then SEO is not that type of strategy. Instead, SEO relies on consistently posting authentic and authoritative content as it pertains to what your website is about. And as shifts in the marketplace across various industries are perpetually on the horizon, SEO is a bona fide marketing strategy with rolling results.
For websites serving a niche audience, it is possible to post only one blog a month and still outpace digital competitors. As noted in this blog post by Neil Patel, “(H)igh-quality content matters and you can’t afford to push out tons of low-quality posts…You’ll only get lost in the noise of 1.2 million types of content published every day.” In other words, why settle for adequacy every day when you can achieve excellence over the course of a month? It’s that simple! One well-written and sharply strategic piece of written content is far better than a handful of blog posts for the sake of simply posting content.
When all is said and done, SEO isn’t one behemoth of a digital strategy, it is simply a composite of many smaller strategies that, by design, will amplify your website’s visibility. Its goal is to attract more traffic to your site and inspire engagement with the intent of generating leads that are better informed of your product/service. Taking the time to check all technical aspects of your website, in addition to producing enlightening and valuable content that is strategically posted are the keys to a successful campaign.