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Fundamentals of Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

The intent of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is to bring people to your website and get them to convert from visitors to engaged visitors to clients. In a fiercely competitive sector like estate planning and elder law, basic SEO may not be enough. You may need Super Powers!

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What is Basic SEO?

A few of the basics:

  • Meta Descriptions: Your Essential Solution® website contains meta descriptions, small pieces of code that summarize the content on each page. The meta description should grab attention. Good meta descriptions could make the difference between whether or not visitors click on the link to your website from the search engine results page. While they are not as strong a factor in Google’s algorithm as they used to be, they certainly can make the difference in driving traffic to your website. A sloppy, irrelevant, boring or missing description may not keep you off of Google’s Page One, but it’s not going to entice people to click through to your website. And, over time, if people are not clicking through, Google will start dropping you down on the listings page because their algorithm assesses that your site is not valuable to their users!
  • Page Titles: Every web page also should have an unique title, and titles should be relevant to the page’s content. The page title is one of the indicators Google uses to index your site in search results.
  • Keywords: Let’s be clear about keywords. In years past, we entered all of your relevant keywords into a meta description tagged for keywords. This was how Google indexed your site for search, using this meta tag for keywords.Those days are long gone. Google does not even “look” at the keywords meta tag any more! (And if some SEO expert is telling you to beef up your keywords tag, they are woefully out of date!)

    Keywords, as we use the term today, refer to one of two things:

    • Keywords for AdWords: We can bid on specific key words and key word phrases when we set up your AdWords pay-per-click campaign. In this instance, when building ppc campaigns, keywords are still very important. But if you’re not buying a ppc campaign, you may be confused about keywords as they relate to SEO.
    • Keywords within your contentFeaturedsnippetIf your page is about revocable living trusts, be sure to use the actual term within the content of the page. But you’ll also want to use conversational phrases that real users might use while searching online, answering common questions, such as: What is a revocable living trust? Google has become much more sophisticated and will recognize these phrases. You may even find that your website shows up at the top of a Google search when your site gives direct answers to these types of questions. You have probably noticed these when you search online, they are called “featured snippets.”
    • According to Google, “When a user asks a question in Google Search, we might show a search result in a special featured snippet block at the top of the search results page. This featured snippet block includes a summary of the answer, extracted from a webpage, plus a link to the page, the page title and URL. “

Why You May Need Super Powers

Over the past few years, though, SEO experts notice that your website’s search rank is increasingly influenced by off-site activity, such as social media interaction, credible reviews (not the ones you paste onto your website yourself!), and consistency in your digital presence — in other words, how do you show up in directory listings across the web? Do you have multiple Google My Business profiles (perhaps set up by previous staff and later abandoned?), are your various profiles inaccurate or incomplete? These inaccuracies can push your website down, or even off Google’s top pages to the obscurity of Page Three and beyond! This is because all high-quality sites want to make sure the business listing information they have is accurate, so they cross-check for consistency against other high-quality sites. Google will compare its data against smaller sites and vice versa. The more consistently the data they have compares to others, the more confident the site will believe it’s correct and accurate, and the more likely it is to show the data to its users.

Managing these off-site activities, such as reviews and directory listings, can give your SEO the Super Powers you need to drive new business. Ignoring them can have a significantly adverse effect as well.

For all of these reasons, read up on the Super Power upgrades to our standard SEO services: Essential Reviews and Essential Directory Listings.

Updated on June 11, 2018

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