Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search engine optimization, commonly referred to with the acronym of SEO, is a strategic means of moving online traffic to a website, blog or another component of an organization’s online footprint.  Even a brief SEO push has the potential to be the gift that never stops giving.  Artfully crafted content featuring the right frequency of keywords, key phrases and local identifiers really will move web traffic to a website in the short-term and also in the years ahead.

In short, content volume and frequency of publishing certainly matter yet the specific words implemented into that content are more important than anything else.  Let’s take a closer look at the merits of a comprehensive SEO push in the context of inbound marketing.

SEO Basics

SEO tailors online content to web sleuths.  Content crafted with SEO in mind considers what those who need or desire the value offering are most likely to search for.  SEO has become complex to the point that Google and other search engines now consider everything from relevant keywords and key phrases to localized information as detailed as neighborhood names, street names, landmarks and more.  However, content that is oversaturated with these keywords, key phrases and local identifiers will not succeed in the battle for online traffic as search engines penalize content for keyword oversaturation

SEO is not limited to an organization’s homepage and service pages.  Every single element of the organization’s online footprint should be carefully optimized for easier discoverability on search engines.  This means the blog, contact page, social media, online directory pages and other aspects of the online presence must be optimized with web sleuths in mind.  Information presented about the business, its niche, the overarching industry and even local events will help move online traffic toward the website, service pages, contact page, blog, etc.

Keyword Saturation Rate

The keyword saturation rate, also referred to as the keyword density rate, plays an important role in determining the success of an SEO push.  Though there is much discussion as to whether the optimal keyword saturation rate is 0.5%, 3.5% or somewhere in between these figures, most of those who work in the inbound marketing industry agree 1.5% to 2.5% is the ideal keyword saturation rate.  In plain terms, this means about 2% of the content on a webpage should contain keywords, key phrases, local identifiers and other specific information the target audience searches for.

If the keyword saturation rate is less than the target range of 1.5% to 2.5%, it will prove difficult for the content to rank highly in the search engine results pages, commonly referred to with the acronym of SERPs.  Alternatively, if the keyword saturation rate is higher than the target range, there is the potential for the content to be penalized for oversaturation in the context of SEO.  The overuse of keywords and phrases will result in the content being demoted deep down the SERPs or not being listed at all.

The Role of Algorithms in On-page and Off-page SEO

Google and other search engines carefully develop algorithms that are intentionally discrete, meaning their technical components are unavailable to the public.  However, those who study SEO and those who carefully review information provided by Google are aware that the ranking factors for placement in the SERPs are divided into two specific categories of on-page SEO and off-page SEO.

Let’s focus on on-page SEO first.  On-page factors partially determine the ranking of a page.  The factors on the page constitute everything the website directly influences.  Examples of such factors include the quality of the written content on the site, the site structure and even technical aspects such as the site’s speed and the quality of the code.

Off-page SEO factors are often overlooked simply because people tend to assume it is solely the quality of their written content that determines the success or failure of a SEO push.  Off-page SEO factors such as clicks stemming from social media and links from other sites also significantly shape SERP rankings.  However, it is challenging to change off-page SEO factors to the extent that on-page SEO factors can be altered.

Even the niche of the organization in question counts as an important off-page SEO factor.  The bottom line is certain niches are comparably difficult to rank highly in than others.  Even the competitiveness of the local market or the overarching nationwide market can affect the chances of ranking better or worse in the context of off-page SEO.  This is precisely why most business owners and other organizations are more focused on improving their on-page SEO.

A Comprehensive SEO Approach is Necessary

The success or failure of a SEO push is not to be determined by one single factor.  As is often said, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.  This adage certainly rings true in the context of SEO.  

Everything from the user experience design to the quality of the content, the strategic use of keywords, the site’s load speed and the artful implementation of localized information affect SEO.  Implement a holistic SEO approach with the help of an expert and it won’t take long for web searchers to find your website, blog, social media pages and other components of your online footprint when using Google or another search engine.

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