Before You Get Started
by R.E.S. Martina
Search Engine Optimization can be an overwhelming task, especially if you’re new to the practice. As the leader of a green or sustainability-focused company’s marketing, branding, advertising, outreach, customer engagement or social media marketing, you have probably heard a few tips or tricks about SEO at one point or another during your training or your education. In this blog post, we’re going to discuss some of the most important things to do before you get started with any SEO implementation.
In our previous blog posts in our SEO Basics series, we covered some of the most common SEO and digital marketing terminology you’ll come across in our post SEO Basics: The Terminology, and in the following post, we discuss SEO Basics: The Statistics, to give you a statistical view of just how important SEO is today. With the growing domination of Google as the world’s primary search engine, and the increasing reliance on search engines to gather information and make decisions, the internet – and, thus, SEO – will only become increasingly more prevalent in our day to day lives.
So how do you, your company and your marketing efforts take advantage of this?
What is SEO?
As we discussed in SEO Basics: The Terminology, “SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It’s the process of revamping a website or adding new content in order to rank higher in search results rankings for certain relevant keywords. This allows people searching for information relevant to the products or services your company provides to naturally come across your company.”
Sounds good, right?
Getting your company’s website to the top of the rankings on the first page of Google is a fantastic way to increase internet traffic for your company and expand its audience. It also positions your company as an expert in its field.
Have you ever searched for a product or a company in Google and not found it?
That typically doesn’t inspire much confidence. In fact, that scenario can leave a lot of people wondering if the product or company is a scam or untrustworthy.
The opposite effect is gained when a company or product’s page appears at the top of the search results. It shows that the company ‘has their stuff together’ across multiple mediums.
Getting Started with SEO
While you might want to dive right in and get started on your SEO journey, there are several steps you should take before you make any changes to your website or start writing blog posts of your own.
In his first YouTube video in the SEO for Beginners in 2021 Series, Matey E, the Founder of and CEO of Marketing Strategy at elative.io, mentions some of the steps you should take before you get started with SEO and in this blog post, we’ll go into a little more detail about each of them. If you haven’t seen the YouTube video yet, you can view it here: SEO for Beginners in 2021 | A Simple Explanation of How Search Engine Optimization Actually Works.
Audits and Research
SEO audits, UX audits, Keyword Research and Competitive Market Insights are all necessary undertakings before you begin investing time, money and effort into your Search Engine Optimization. But what are these things and what do they do for you and your company?
In our next blog post, SEO Basics: Research & Analysis, we’ll go into greater detail about the specifics of each of these techniques. But for now, it’s important to understand the reasoning and the philosophy behind SEO. Immediately after that, you will begin to understand the wealth of benefits/
The Philosophy of SEO
If you had to start entirely from scratch, and knowing nothing about SEO, how would you design the website for your company?
You would most likely create a website that features your company’s name, your products services, your contact information, etc. This is not wrong in any way. But it’s also not the most effective way of building a website, unless your organization already has a massive following and fantastic brand recognition.
In Search Engine Optimization, our approach would be much different. Before building the website, we would conduct research and analysis to learn which phrases relevant to your business people are searching for, in what volume, and how competitive the search term is to rank for. We would then conduct research and analysis to look at the competitors for these search terms and identify opportunities.
In tandem with this, the team at elative.io also specialize in and recommend auditing the User Experience and Customer Journey. These are important components in any marketing endeavor, because they allow companies to create a continuous, deliberate funnel for their audience, which will always bring the highest ROI.
In the picture above, you can see the search term in blue. On the leftmost row on the right hand side is the competitiveness of the phrase, and next to that is the monthly search volume.
As you can see in the last row, the term ‘green energy systems’ has a competitiveness of 51 and a monthly search volume of 30. That means that an average of 30 people per month in the United States search for the term ‘green energy systems,’ and the competition for the top spots in Google is relatively high.
This is a TERRIBLE search term from an SEO perspective. A few rows up is the phrase ‘green energy solutions.’ While technically different, the two terms are also essentially synonymous. ‘Green energy solutions’ has an average search volume of 720 searches per month and a relatively low competition in comparison.
From an SEO perspective, this is a no-brainer. So rather than referring to ‘green energy systems’ on your website, which people barely search for, you can use ‘green energy solutions,’ and potentially begin to attract organic traffic.
This is just scratching the surface of SEO, but making small changes like the example above can only benefit a website.
Simply put, SEO focuses on creating content and websites centered around terms that people actually search on.
It doesn’t matter how beautiful or well designed a website is if no one sees it and it doesn’t appear in any search results.
In our next post, we’ll go into more detail about all the different kinds of research and audits we recommend a company undergo to really take control of their niche.