Building Blocks of SEO

We get asked often to have some of our team members speak on all kinds of different topics. One of our most asked for topics is SEO (search engine optimization).

Here’s the ten thousand foot view on our philosophy on SEO and at the end, you’ll find a link to one of our Prezi presentations that you can go through on your own speed.

First – What is SEO?
SEO in its purest form is simply the tools and content used that can be implemented to make your website rank to answer a question.

For example – Go to Google and ask “Where can I buy Wild American Shrimp?” – Or you can let me Google that for you with this link.

The answer is a bunch of websites and we’ve built in a way to be sure they are the best answer to that question.

Second – SEO has changed drastically over the last 10 years.
Here’s what search used to look like.

Old Yahoo

Old Yahoo

We used search like we did traditional media, with categories and listings that were sometimes full of answers we didn’t really care about.

Then Google happened.

Google Search

Google Search

Take a second and see what Google stock is worth and then take a look at what Yahoo stock is worth. Why the difference? Because Google is all about providing the best answer to your questions.

Now that you understand a little more about what SEO is, here’s the technical things behind it for your website.

SEO 101, when you’re hiring a company, agency or an “SEO Guru” here are some things they should be able to talk about. There’s no real secret sauce or formula here and if they can’t tell you how they’re doing it, they may not know how they’re doing it.

  • Set site structure
  • Good page titles
  • Good page descriptions
  • Naming all of your images
  • Content talking about the things you want to rank in
  • Check your W3C compliance
  • Check your schema “google schema”
  • Install Google Analytics & Webmaster Tools

Our target goal is to be able to take up 5 organic locations on any given front page search. We never promise first position, but we’re pretty good at getting you on the front page. That’s your goal. 5 instances on the front page.

  1. Homepage
  2. Page specific to your search
  3. Facebook page
  4. LinkedIn
  5. Twitter

Common Mistakes in SEO

If you’ve been working on your content, using Google Webmaster Tools and you’re still not ranking where you think you should be, here are some common errors to check first.

Keyword stuffing isn’t effective – Reusing the same keywords over and over in meta data isn’t going to help your cause.
Broken links – Killer error, if you have lots of links but none of them work because of typos or sites gone bad, this one hurts.
Using the same content on every page – Too much repetitive text hurts the cause more than it helps
No unique title tags & meta descriptions – Basic SEO 101 but often times easy to overlook
Not staying current on search engine updates – External factors out of your control can be an issue
No analytics – How do you know what’s not working if you don’t know what your traffic is?
Not using the “right” keywords – Sometimes when we get called in to evaluate a site that is not working, it’s because we’re not talking about ourselves or our products in a way that people are searching for. Matching the answer to the question can fix lots of different SEO problems.

If you have more questions on SEO or want to view one of The Focus Group’s full Prezi presentations on SEO, you can visit –

The presentation has lots of tools that you can use to check your SEO to get your site to rank better in those ever important first page results.

Need a little more TLC in your SEO? Give our office a call so we can learn exactly what your challenges are so we can help.

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