Improving organic search through search engine optimization is hard. It can be even harder to get your boss to understand what you’re doing and why SEO is important. Your boss is focused on the big picture, but sometimes they might not know what is necessary to move the needle. Here are seven things your boss wants to know about SEO.
1. What is SEO?
The first thing your boss wants to know about SEO is what it actually is. Search engine optimization (SEO) sounds like a buzzword, and is often used as one. The fact is, there’s not just one answer. SEO encompasses a lot of different practices aimed at improving search results based on criteria determined by search engines like Google and Bing.
Optimizing your page according to these rules helps search engines categorize your web page so it appears only in relevant search queries. SEO is basically the practice of working with search engines to reach your target audience. The more relevant your page is to a search, the more likely it will be to appear in the top spots.
2. How does creating content help?
Make creating content a pillar of your SEO strategy. Explain the importance of creating content to your boss by discussing how:
Creating content increases the frequency that bots visit your site
Making your site pages show up in search results is directly related to them being indexed. If you don’t regularly provide fresh content on your site, bots like the google crawlers won’t be triggered to come to your pages. Thus, your site will start losing ground in organic rankings as other sites (your competitors!) are indexed more frequently.
New content provides opportunities for new keywords
The more content you add to your site, the better your chances are to rank for new keywords and improve rankings for existing keywords. Blogs, in particular, are a great way to add new content to your site. When people search, they usually search for phrases, called “long-tail keywords.” If you write about your industry and solution, you will naturally incorporate these phrases into your copy. And, by doing so, you’ll open the door for new opportunities.
The amount of content you’re adding or changing is important. Small changes can make a big impact, but only if you’re focused on solidifying your standing with a specific keyword and need to change that generic term (like “marketing”) to a more specific term (such as “online digital marketing”) However, just switching a few words around is typically not going to make waves. Adding new pages, reworking full page copy, and adding new sections will be more valuable than changing “We” to “Our company”.
3. What is black hat SEO?
One thing your boss will need to understand about SEO is that it’s not a quick fix. Seeing improvement takes time. Anything that promises immediate SEO results is typically a black hat SEO operation.
Black hat SEO means you’re following practices that undercut search engine ranking algorithms. Black hat SEO includes keyword stuffing, (the practice of putting as many keywords as you can in page copy and metadata, trying to be relevant for as much as possible) and fake link building (paying for links to your site or setting up a lot of fake sites to link to your site).
4. What is a legitimate link building strategy?
When it comes to talking about SEO, you cannot overlook a legitimate link building strategy. Link building is the practice of getting other, well-known sites to link back to yours. When other legitimate sites link back to your sites, it shows the search engine you are a reliable, trusted website.
Google ranks sites based on their trustworthiness. Google doesn’t want to send people to sites that are not relevant or unsafe. When other companies validate you, this means that Google knows you’re not a fly-by-night set up or fake news.
Start a solid link building strategy by guest blogging on well-known industry news sites. Develop relationships with partners where you mention each other on blog and site pages. Maintain active social media profiles on social media platforms that are relevant to your industry or that allow you to communicate easily with your customers. A legitimate link building strategy combines all of these tactics into one, ongoing program.
5. If we have external links, why do we need internal links?
When your boss asks about SEO, he or she is going to want to know why internal links matter if you’re getting external links. What internal links do is create a cohesive experience for your user, and for the search engine. Based on your site, Google and Bing know that you’re going to be focusing on certain things, and those things should somehow relate to each other.
Say your company sells software that tracks a family’s screen time. The software is able to tell who’s watching TV, for how long, what days and times, and give an overview of what they’re watching. It analyzes the data to tell you who needs to get off the couch a bit more. You should not write about candy, or cell phone releases. You should focus on television monitoring, correlations between health and screen time, etc. Essentially, your content should support what you do. If it doesn’t, the search engine is going to determine your content is not relevant to most users and your rankings will fall.
6. What are the search engine ranking factors?
This is one of the hardest questions to answer about SEO. The algorithms are also always changing, and marketers can only take a guess at which factors matter most. Google ranks web pages differently than Bing ranks web pages, and so on. Additionally, the number of factors that play into rankings are numerous. For example, in addition to what we’ve mentioned, they include:
- Page loading time
- Responsivity / Mobile
- Image optimization
- Content length
- Country extensions on the site
- The domain’s history
- Readability of content
- Page layout
Stick to the areas where you can see the biggest gains. Write high quality content aimed at your target audience. The fact is, search engine rankings improve when you provide the information people search for. That’s it. Write good content. Provide helpful resources. Make your site trustworthy.
7. How long is SEO going to take?
When your boss asks about SEO, the bottom line will be how long it will take. It’s important to note that SEO is an ongoing process. You’re never going to be “done.” Regularly update your site to reflect product improvements and changes. Provide fresh content regularly. However, you can tell your boss you can report on improvements. Benchmark your organic page visits, bounce time, new and returning visitors, and report on it consistently. You’ll start seeing results within a few months, and you’ll very easily improve your rankings and increase your organic traffic.