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Everyone wants to take advantage of online business potential. But with so many web companies promising you the world, how do you choose who to work with?
You want to partner with professionals, who provide real help to answer your questions.
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  3. Wednesday, 19 August 2020
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What do you actually get as part of the SEO for a website?
What is the service you offer?

Please show this as a step by step guide, using a real-life website as an example.
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DesignBoys SEO process

Our Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) solution is designed to help ensure that you get the best possible rankings for your website in any relevant Google search. In the good ol days, its was simply a case of hiring a good SEO company and letting them do their magic. Unfortunately, these days its much, much more complicate.

This guide will hopefully help explain what we deliver as an SEO service.
  • We do NOT promise you a first place in search results, nor do we guarantee quick results.
  • (there is no secret recipe, special ingredient or backdoor - SEO is simply about doing the all the hard work in the right way)
  • We DO promise is that your site will be technically correct to achieve good SEO results, which will be generated over time as your brand grows.

Website example: designboys.co.za

We use a systematic step-by-step process to maximise the quality of the SEO technical function, based on the hierarchy outlined in the the diagram below. We use many different tools & processes to do this, many of which may change over time or according to need.

You can replicate many of these steps yourself (the process we follow is not a secret and never should be) but be aware that its going to take a LOT of your time and, in some cases, you will need to find your own equivalent of our in-house tools.

https://www.designboys.co.za/images/designboys/seo-outline.jpg
Source: Moz.com


Note that the bottom 3 levels of the pyramid yield the most SEO rewards, so that is where most of the initial time & effort should be spent. They are the foundation on which SEO is built. The lower level actions get you into the search results, the higher level actions get you more clicks from being in the search results.
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Pre-requisites

These are the things that we do before starting with the delivery of the SEO Service.

*Important: make sure that you take screenshots & save copies of reports BEFORE you do any SEO work.
This will be the baseline against which to measure SEO efforts.


We document our understanding of the intent of the website
  1. What is the purpose of the website?
  2. What are the website owners goals for it?
  3. What type of visitors do we want for the website?
  4. What counts as SEO success?

https://www.designboys.co.za/images/designboys/seo-goals.png


We register the domain/business on the following systems:
  1. Google Analytics
  2. Google Search Console
  3. Google MyBusiness
  4. DesignBoys Analytics Engine (in-house tool)
  5. DesignBoys SEO Panel (in-house tool)

We add information collectors to the website
  1. Google Analytics tracking code
  2. DesignBoys Analytics Engine tracking code (optional)
  3. Syncronise DesignBoys SEO Panel with Webmaster tools (optional)
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Crawl accessibility

Crawl accessibility is how we make it easy for search engines to crawl the website, so that your pages can be indexed & included in search results (SERP).

  1. Check what has already been indexed
  2. Go to google browser and type site:yourdomain.com into the search bar.
    Google will show you search results, with every entry it has for that domain.
    Go through the list and check for funnies, dead pages, inbound links or missing pages.
    https://www.designboys.co.za/images/designboys/site-index-check.jpg

  3. Create a robots.txt file
  4. This is only necessary if we want to set specific rules for SE spiders, like don't crawl a certain page.
    If you are using a CMS, a robots file will probably have been created automatically, but you may still want to edit it. For help on how to set up a robots.txt file, go here

  5. Create a sitemap to tell search engines about your website
  6. https://www.designboys.co.za/images/designboys/premium-feature.png

    We use the DesignBoys in-house sitemap tool to automate the creation of sitemaps. We automatically create the sitemap.xml file & notify search engines. Sitemaps are updated daily, so you are always up-to-date if changes are made to the website.

    https://www.designboys.co.za/images/designboys/sitemap-tool.jpg
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Create compelling content

We review website content to ensure that the content is sufficient to give good SEO results.
This isn't quite as easy as it sounds:

Website owners want content which:
  • appeals to their customers (KISS principle).
  • does not give away too much of the business collateral
  • is currently available i.e. not have to create new collateral themselves

Search engines want content which:
  • is original & unique
  • has enough content depth to satisfy SEO.
  • positions the business as an industry leader i.e about the industry, not necessarily the business

Can you see the dilemma here?

Latest news & Blogs
https://www.designboys.co.za/images/designboys/premium-feature.png

For small business, one way to overcome this challenge is to publish regular blogs or latest news articles on their website. Not only does this massively assist in creating original quality content, but it also provides a reason for website visitors to keep coming back to your website. Another plus is that blogs can be added over time, so you don't have to have all your content created from day 1.

For example, on Designboys we use our Q&A as a form of blog.

https://www.designboys.co.za/images/designboys/site-blogs.jpg


Things to avoid in your content:
  • Thin content (e.g 1 comprehensive page for all keywords is better than multiple, weaker pages for each keyword)
  • Duplicate content (e.g. repeating the same content on multiple pages)
  • Keyword stuffing (e.g repeating the keywords over an over again in your content for no user-related benefit)
  • Not using paragraphs (no-one wants to read through a wall of text. Use breaks to make it easier to read)
  • Over-use of bold and italics (these are mean to emphasise content so use it sparingly)


If nothing else, just write compelling, interesting content that will interest readers, in a way that is natural for them to read.
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Optimize the keywords

Before we can help a website grow through SEO, we have to understand the business, who their customers are and what their goals are. We try to identify who the likely target audience is & then come up with keywords & phrases that match what they might be searching for.

Unless we can match our keywords to those our customers use, we aren't going to get the right qualified traffic.
What you want to rank for and what your audience actually wants are often two completely different things.

For example, DesignBoys might want to rank highly in Google for "Professional website designers", but our customers are actually searching for "Affordable business websites".

Keyword research
Keyword research provides search data that can help answer questions like:
  • What are people searching for?
  • How many people are searching for it?
  • In what format do they want that information?

Once we know what potential customers are looking for, we can select keywords which will will match our business capabilities to their needs.
Hint: You can see a website page's keywords simply by doing a page source code inspection, so if you are short of ideas, have a look at your top competitors websites
https://www.designboys.co.za/images/designboys/keyword-source.jpg

Keywords can be different for EVERY page of your website, depending on the page content, so its not a one-size fits all website-wide approach. It’s important to note that entire websites don’t rank for keywords — pages do.
So you homepage may not be your most highly rated page.

Select your keywords
  1. Choose 5 keywords or phrases that best describe your business, page or blog.
  2. You need to do this for EVERY page on your website, although you can re-use the same keywords
  3. Make 1 of these as your primary keyword (default if no keywords are specified on a page)


Monitoring your keyword performance
Once you have set up the keywords, you need to monitor them to make sure that they are getting you traffic. This includes keyword optimisation, changing them where necessary, adding new ones, looking at trending keywords etc i.e. its something that needs to be done regularly, its not a once-off exercise.

https://www.designboys.co.za/images/designboys/seo-strategy.jpg
Source: [url=https://www.link-assistant.com]Link Assistant


There are a ton of different tools out there for you can use, to get ideas & to track your keywords.
Just do an online search for SEO keyword tracker. Here's an extract of from one we use (as you can see, none of our keywords are in the top 50 yet, but that's to be expected as we have just started the SEO process)

https://www.designboys.co.za/images/designboys/keyword-search.jpg
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Check the user experience

Once we get visitors to our website, we want them to have a great experience reading our content and navigating our pages. Obviously, we can't control whether its the exact information that the user wanted to find, but we can control the technical aspects, such as the speed of loading, performance on mobile devices & easy to use navigation.

Website speed testing
To determine how fast the page loads, we do performance testing using the following tools:
  1. GTMetrix
  2. Google Pagespeed insights
  3. DesignBoys SEO Panel (in-house tool)

These tools also give you tips on how to improve the page speed.

https://www.designboys.co.za/images/designboys/pagespeed-test.jpg
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Share great content
If you create great content, many people & websites will be willing to share or repost that content.
Think of Facebook - how many times do you see something, like it and then repost it to your friends.

We need to find ways to share the content, such as via blogging sites, social media, supplier or customer websites.
The more often the content is shared, the more visible your website & brand becomes to search engines.
Similarly, if you have good content, other websites will link to you. These are what are know as backlinks.
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Create interesting titles and descriptions

What will the Search engine display when your website is included in the search result?
Will it be interesting enough to get the searcher's attention?
Is it related to the search query?

Normally Google will create the search result content display based on what it found on your website page. However, this content is often not particular interesting or useful to the searcher.

For example, this results is not great if yoy are searching for website designers:
https://www.designboys.co.za/images/designboys/search-tags.jpg

So whilst the searcher may have found you based on your keywords, they aren't likely to click on your link.
However, we can change what Google displays in the search results through meta tags.
The main meta tags to focus on are the title and description. You need to use these to ensure that your website search results display something interesting to the searcher, or they are unlikely to click on you link in the search.

Here is what you get when you find designboys in a web search:
https://www.designboys.co.za/images/designboys/search-description.jpg

We used the following meta tags to create the above search result display:
<title>Professional websites at affordable prices - DesignBoys</title>
<meta name="description" content="SA's best website company. We design & host affordable business websites. Whatsapp connect built-in. No upfront costs, no contracts, no hassle." />

We also add the FaceBook Opengraph meta tags, so that our information can be displayed correctly on Social media.
<meta property="og:title" content="South Africa's brightest website design company." />
<meta property="og:description" content="Experienced website designs for professional, affordable websites. No upfront costs, no contracts, no hassles." />
<meta property="og:image" content="https://www.designboys.co.za/images/designboys/og-image.jpg" />
<meta property="og:url" content="https://www.designboys.co.za" />
<meta property="og:type" content="website" />
<meta property="og:site_name" content="designboys.co.za" />


Some useful ideas for titles and descriptions
  • Keep the title to less than 50 characters and description to 150 characters
  • Add the keyword to the beginning of the title
  • Add your brand to the end of the title
  • Keep the description relevant with regards to the keywords
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Create rich-text snippets

Which of the following search links is more likely to get clicked?

Traditional snippet
https://www.designboys.co.za/images/designboys/traditional-snippet.jpg

Rich Snippet
https://www.designboys.co.za/images/designboys/rich-snippet.jpg

Rich FAQ Snippet
https://www.designboys.co.za/images/designboys/rich-faq-snippet.jpg

By optimising the structure of your content, you can get your search results to display as rich snippets.
For your webpage to be eligible for rich snippets, you’ll need to add a specific type of structured markup to your HTML called “schema”.

You can use Google to test your site and get code here:
  1. Test your website Rich Text
  2. How to create rich text
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