Potent SEO For SMEs

SEO can dramatically increase your website’s traffic, lead generation, and sales.

  • A visitor arriving via search has a high probability of becoming a potential customer because SEO orients your website around the questions and concerns of your target audience.
  • Search engine users are highly motivated traffic because they are actively seeking out the relevant services and information.

We recommend SEO services= as the second step in your digital marketing strategy: right after building a “fully loaded” business website.

Why Hire an SEO Agency?

SEO often feels like a bottomless pit of hard work: For each business and website, there are thousands of potential SEO techniques and strategies that could be deployed

These strategies exist on a wide spectrum: some impactful, others negligible. To provide effective SEO services, an agency must design and iterate until they’ve developed a high yield process.

Only hire an SEO agency if your business is ready for SEO and the agency is competent.

Signs of an Effective SEO Agency:

  • Alignment with the business owner’s profit motive
  • Ongoing iteration of what is and isn’t working
  • Provides action steps so the business owner can maximize value
  • Leverage’s cutting-edge software tools to maximize productivity
  • SEO campaign reporting / analytics

What is SEO, Really?

The nature of SEO has changed dramatically…

It was 1997 when PhD candidates Larry Page and Sergey Brin had a theory: They hypothesized that the more links there are pointing to a website (i.e. “backlinks”), the higher its quality. So, they designed a search algorithm that boosted the search result ranking of websites based on how many backlinks it had. They got the result they expected: The internet’s “cream-of-the-crop” rose to the top of their search engine results pages.

And Google was born…

But this initial success was short. Marketers started gaming the system by sourcing thousands of spam backlinks. This practice artificially boosted the Google ranking of low-quality pages, which degraded user experience.

google old

Google responded to this by improving the algorithm by enabling it to differentiate between high and low quality backlinks. It worked… but it wasn’t long before marketers found a way around this as well.

This marked the beginning of a long saga of back-and-forth between marketers and Google…

Google would update their algorithm, and marketers would find a way to “hack” it for their own benefit.

For the longest time, providing an “SEO service” meant applying the latest tricks and tactics to game Google’s algorithm.

Most agencies still view it this way, and most clients still expect this.

seo vicious cycle

But, over the past 5 years, things have changed: Advances in search engine technology have given Google the upper hand. As just one example, Google now uses machine learning technology: enabling the algorithm to “self-evolve.” The rate of algorithm updates has since increased 10-fold, to an average of 9 per day!  So it just isn’t cost effective to game the algorithm…  

Google is successful because it defends the user experience. So they will always remain highly vigilant about protecting it. For an SEO strategy to be evergreen and effective, SEO professionals must align themselves with Google’s motive of providing a high-quality user experience.

Google’s has worked tirelessly to give
its search algorithm advanced capabilities:

  • It can use pattern recognition to identify low-value, duplicate, and repetitive content.
  • It can analyze page content for uniqueness, context, breadth, and depth, and value.
  • It can understand the underlying intent for almost any given search query.
  • It can make educated guesses on the best results for searches it has never seen before.
  • It can identify suspicious pages, insincere link building, and most typical SEO “tricks.”

“Good” SEO is aligning yourself with Google:

  • Create high quality and relevant content
  • Provide an unobtrusive and simple user interface
  • Maintain a fast and technically proficient website design
  • Optimizing for new technology like mobile and voice search
  • Build a real online presence and strong reputation
pro google vs anti google SEO

What SEO Does Gravity Pixel Do?

Our Five Pillar Approach to SEO:

Search engines analyze your website for “signals.”

And the sum of your website’s signals determines its Google ranking, or SERP ranking.

To maximize your marketing ROI, an SEO campaign should focus on the highest impact strategies across all five signal categories.

To do this, the Gravity Pixel SEO team has designed a “Five Pillar ” approach to conducting an SEO campaign.

seo signals

The Five SEO Signal Categories:

  • Relevancy Signals: Is your content relevant to the searcher?
  • Quality Signals: Is your content informative, thorough, and enjoyable to the reader?
  • Local Signals: Is local information and services optimized to show up in local searches?
  • Authority Signals: Is your website an authoritative source of information?
  • Technical Signals: Is your web design fast, safe, and well-structured?

Pillar 1: Keyword Research

The goal for search engine optimization is to boost your rankings for a particular set of relevant searches (i.e. keywords).  

For example, if you are a personal tax accountant in Calgary, you want to appear in the search engine results page for at least one of the following keywords:

  • “personal tax accountant Calgary”
  • “tax accountant near me”
  • “tax advisor near me”

Keyword Selection Factors

  • Volume: Will this keyword result in a reasonable amount of website visitors?
  • Competitiveness: Are there a lot of other pages competing for that keyword?
  • Relevancy: Is your target audience using this keyword? Do they have an intent to become customers?

If a keyword isn’t relevant to your business, those visitors won’t become customers. 

If a keyword is too competitive, you will have a hard time showing up in search results.

High volume keywords are better, however, they are usually more competitive. And, therefore, difficult to rank for.

Striking A Balance…

The goal is to find the highest volume, relevant keyword that your business has a chance of ranking for. 

We call this the “Goldilocks Keyword:” hot enough to be useful, but not so hot that it’s too competitive.

Your SEO consultant should evaluate your business’s products and services and then build out a set of recommendations.

goldilocks keywords

Pillar 2: Content Optimization

The Two Content Objectives:

  • Marketing: Build affinity for your business
  • SEO: Bring traffic to your website

Google’s algorithm has reached such a point of sophistication that it can identify unique, readable, informative, and interesting content. So, for the most part, if your content is high quality, it will fulfill both of these objectives.

That said, you should ensure you are writing for the correct keyword, following a well-structured content plan, and optimizing your content as much as possible. 

content venn diagram

Content Optimization is The Nuclear Weapon of Your SEO Arsenal…

There’s almost unlimited room to improve your content and boost your rankings.

This is exciting because it puts more of your SEO success within your locus of control: Instead of being completely reliant on other websites for backlinks, you now have more power to generate results by just working on your content. There are nearly limitless options for creating, improving, and optimizing content.

The three most important ways to optimize content are: engagingness, topic coverage, and intent matching.


Engagingness

The longer people spend reading your content (a metric known as “dwell time”), the higher it will rank.

Engaging content is:

  • Well written
  • Well Presented
  • Media Rich

The Three Rules of Engaging Content:

Writing

Your content should be interesting, informative, and concise. It’s also recommended that you immediately to the point in the introduction: don’t make the user wade through your content to find the answers they came looking for.

Presentation

A common adage in the digital marketing world is that “people don’t read, they scan.”
It’s important to optimize the layout of your page according to how people actually consume content. Some common features of presentation are: Headlines, bullet points, short paragraphs, short sentences, bolding, pictures, and diagrams.

Media

Search engines give a boost to content that is enriched with various types of media besides just text. Here are some ways to enrich your content with media:

Pictures: take your own if you can, otherwise, use high quality stock images
Other Visuals: infographics, illustrations, diagrams, charts, slideshows, etc.
Video: explainer videos, doodle videos, animations

Topic Coverage

For every search query, search engines identify a set of semantically related topics. Search engines reward content that effectively covers more of these topics.

Search engines are smart enough to understand whether your content is informative or superficial.

keyword and its related topics

Topic coverage is quite difficult to do without software. The Gravity Pixel team uses a suite of highly sophisticated tools and in-house processes to optimize content topic coverage.

Most significantly, we use our own artificial intelligence algorithms to predict topics and ensure adequate coverage.

Intent matching:

Behind most searches there is a specific intention.

You don’t want your writing to appear “tone-deaf:”

Your content should acknowledge your chosen keyword’s intention, and speak to it.

An Example:

A search for “window replacement,” is most likely coming from a homeowner that is looking into window replacement services. On the other hand, a search for “window replacement work,” is probably coming from somebody looking to get hired for window replacement wor

Pillar 3: Local SEO

Zone of Influence:

If your website is locally optimized, Google will assign it a zone of influence. Google will give your businesses a rank-boost for many searches coming from within your zone of influence.

The magnitude of this boost increases exponentially the closer the searcher gets to your business. 

You should think of SEO as a totally separate competition from traditional SEO – one where you become highly competitive within your zone of influence.

Local SEO is a TREMENDOUS business opportunity because many businesses have yet to take full advantage of their geological

  • High commercial intent: Local searches are more likely to be seeking out a product or service.
  • Less competition: You are only competing with businesses in your local area, so there is much more opportunity to rank high in local searches.

Local SEO signals:

  • Prominence: refers to how “well-known” your business is.
  • Proximity: refers to how close you are to the searcher
  • Relevance: refers to the extent to which your business, service, and content matches the user’s search query.
local seo proximity prominence and relevance

Boosting Local SEO Signals

1. Citation Building

A citation is any mention of your business information (name, address, phone number). For the most part, citations boost your website’s prominence, so the more the better. Just ensure you aren’t building irrelevant or spam citations.

Prioritize “primary” citation building: local business directories, large listing sites like the Yellow Pages, and GPS directories like Waze and Apple Maps. 

The Gravity Pixel SEO team maintains a large, growing internal database of primary, secondary, industry-specific, and location-specific citation directories to help your business leverage citation building and build prominence.

citation building 2

2. Social Media Marketing

Social-media mentions and shares all boost your prominence. But proper social media marketing is a big investment, so you must focus your efforts selectively. At the very least, you should do the following two things:

1. Register an account under your business’s brand name on every social media platform.

2. Ensure you accurately complete your GMB profile: Business hours, location, contact information, service menus / product collections, etc. It’s also a good idea to add photos, get reviews, and incorporate your business’s keywords.

Some of the decisions you make when setting up GMB are irreversible, so be careful! Contact the Gravity Pixel team for guidelines and best practices for optimizing GMB.

social media accounts 2

3. Geo Identifiers

These are contextual clues of your business’s location. These could be postal codes, neighborhood names, and GPS coordinates.

Geo-identifiers enhance proximity signals.

One of our favourite web design strategies to enhance proximity is to build a “location” page. This is a page that presents all of the important geo-identifiers, and business information to both visitors and search engines.

proximity signals

4. Local Content

A good local content strategy can provide a significant boost to prominence, proximity, and relevance.

Here are some ways to create “local” content:

  • Use locally based statistics in your blog posts
  • Mention local topics (i.e. local landmarks and unique local locations)
  • Write high value “evergreen” local content
local content strategy 2 graphic

Pillar 4: Authority Building

For most of SEO history, link building (or backlink building) was the main way to develop website authority.

A “backlink” is a link from another website toward yours. Generally, the higher the quality/authority of a website, the more link equity it passes downstream. Building backlinks has long been a staple SEO technique. But artificial intelligence has since decreased the effectiveness of link building.

backlink

That’s not to say it’s not effective – it is still an effective SEO technique. It just isn’t the “be all end all” strategy it once was. 

A major problem with direct link building strategies is that, from Google’s perspective, it’s not legitimate. Their philosophy is: ‘If you build good content, the backlinks will come.’

In a perfect world perhaps…

For people to start backlinking to your content, it must first get seen. So, for the most part, backlinks only spontaneously appear for large websites with an established user base.

Smaller websites hoping to gain traction will benefit from some kind of link-building strategy. But these links should still occur organically.

To do this, the Gravity Pixel SEO team combines our content optimization strategy with a highly creative content promotion strategy.

generating organic backlinks

Gravity Pixel Authority Clusters ™

What is Authority Clustering?

Authority clustering is our proprietary workflow for structuring your website. The main purpose of this structure is to boost your website’s overall authority.

As we’ve discussed, search engines are able to understand both content and context. As a result, they will analyze your content in the context of the rest of your website.

An Authority Cluster™ structures your website so search engines see your business’s website as an authority on your relevant industry/niche.

Three Steps to Authority Clustering:

01

Find your business’s naturally clustering keywords

02

Map them to a knowledge graph

03

Integrate them into your website

An Example to Help…

You want to learn how to cook Thai food, so you go to a library. The librarian provides you with two books: one from the cooking section, and another from the history section.

Which book are you likely to choose? Chances are, the book from the cooking section will contain the information you want.

Just like you know that a book from the cooking section is better than one from the history section, a search engine takes cues from your entire website to determine how valuable any particular page is to the searcher.

Authority Clustering™ accomplishes a lot at once:

  • Provides future direction for SEO
  • Concentrates website’s “link equity”
  • Built with preferred flat site architecture
  • Increase the likelihood of organic backlinks
  • Increases website authority on your niche

Depending on your individual business circumstance and industry, we have developed a number of strategies to promote your website, and get your content seen.

Pillar 5: Checklist SEO

When providing SEO services, we run every website through our 100+ point internal checklist of SEO optimizations. There are two categories of optimizations on this list:

1. Technical SEO

Many optimizations involve technical aspects of your website. This includes many of the common SEO buzzwords you may have heard like “indexing,” “Google search console,” and “on-page SEO.”

Technical SEO is a necessary step in the process. But, on its own, it won’t help your website’s search ranking. Unfortunately, when most freelancers, web developers, and budget SEO professionals claim to do SEO, they’re usually referring to technical SEO. 

Most of these optimizations are done automatically using our software suite. They don’t require much work at all, and it isn’t fair for SEO companies to charge for this alone.

2. Quick Wins

When you work in any industry long enough, you start learning a few insider tricks and secrets: SEO is no different.

As just one example, the Bing search engine has a plugin that you can install on your WordPress website. This plugin automatically submits your website’s changes to Bing.

Compared to Google, Bing’s traffic share is small. BUT, it’s not nothing. For a few extra minutes of work, you just add this free plugin to your website, and gain another whole stream of traffic.

Our checklist SEO process includes all of the “quick-win” SEO opportunities we’ve discovered along the way.

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