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Phoenix Group is now offering in-house search engine optimization (SEO) services. SEO increases both the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through Google’s organic search engine results.
Organic search usage is growing at a faster pace than all other traffic channels in 2021—with 53% of traffic to websites sourced from organic search (BrightEdge). Optimizing your website for Google and ensuring that ongoing optimization is being performed is a highly effective way to get your website seen by your desired audience.
What is SEO?
Search engine optimization is the practice of optimizing websites to meet the standards set out by search engines’ algorithms to increase the quantity and quality of traffic to websites through organic search engine results. While there are many different search engines out there, we focus all our efforts on optimizing for Google, as it holds 91.53% of the search engine market in Canada.
SEO is practiced by specialists because there are ongoing changes and learnings to adapt best practices as Google updates their system constantly to improve user experience.
As these algorithm updates are ongoing, SEO must also be an ongoing practice – not a one-and-done solution to improving search rankings or gaining more traffic. A website that was well optimized for Google in 2017 doesn’t mean it is still optimized in 2021. Routine maintenance and attention is an important piece to staying optimized.
While Google offers pay per click (PPC) advertising options through Google Ads that allows businesses and websites to run ads that appear as listings on search engine results for selected keywords, this is not included within the scope of SEO. SEO is the organic side of search engine marketing that takes more time to generate results than a paid ad, but has more longevity for a website than a paid ad.
Some basic terms that you’ll often hear used in SEO practice are discovery, relevance, authority, crawling, indexing and ranking.
Discovery is how your website can be found by Google. This is done by “crawling.” Google’s robot, Googlebot, crawls websites and retrieves information from a website’s sitemap and web pages.
From there, your website gets indexed. Google indexes your content, meaning it stores your content and organizes it with relevant search queries and topics. Relevance is how well your website and website content corresponds to the user’s search term.
Discovery, relevance and authority all come together to play a part in how a website is ranked.
Once your website is indexed, it is then ranked based on its authority. Authority is basically your website’s expertise on the subject that the user is searching for. Ranking is how Google lists your content on a search results page in order of authority and relevance. If your website has very high relevance and authority on a certain subject or query, chances are you’ll rank higher to the top on a Google search results page.
While the goal of SEO is to increase good traffic, trying to get a website to the top of a Google search results page is the way to reach this goal because users typically trust higher ranking sites the most.
Working to get to the top of a search page can take time, but it’s important. It depends on your competition, how new your site is, how known your brand is, industry competition levels and many other factors.
On-page SEO is the practice of optimizing individual web pages in order to rank higher and earn more relevant traffic in search engines. If you can find it on a web page, it’s a part of on-page SEO.
This includes optimizing elements such as page titles, headings (H1s, H2s, H3s, etc.), keywords and copy, images, alt-text, videos, links, meta descriptions, user experience, navigation and more.
Off-Page SEO refers to all of the activities that you and others do away from your website to increase your website’s authority with search engines. It creates other channels of organic traffic to your website and increases your website’s rankings.
The most common way to build your website’s off-page SEO is by link building, which includes practices such as guest posting on other websites and submitting NAP citations to local directories.
Technical SEO accounts for everything behind the scenes of a website that impacts how the website can be crawled and indexed by Google. This optimization work is typically done by a web developer.
This includes optimizing website speed, sitemaps, page redirects, security, Java, CSS, canonical tags and more.
Why SEO is important for your brand
The usage of search engines and organic search traffic are steadily increasing so it’s important to ensure your website is optimized to be seen where people are searching for information and products. We also know that ranking high on a search results page is something SEO aims to achieve. But what does SEO ultimately do for your website or brand?
Increases Website and Brand Visibility
Why is every website’s main SEO goal to obtain that coveted position one spot (a.k.a. the top spot) on a Google search results page? Websites that rank in position one are the first website that a user sees when they search (other than PPC Google Ads, of course). Websites that rank somewhere on the first page in general are significantly more likely to be seen by a user in their search journey than a website ranking on the second page.
Simply put - you want your website and brand to be seen by your desired audience on Google in the same way you would spend money on a digital billboard or bus wrap to have your brand seen by your desired audience offline. It makes your website and brand known.
In order to get eyes on your website on Google, you need to perform routine SEO and develop a strategy to rank for keywords that are relevant to your website.
Increases Website Traffic
Website visibility begets website traffic. If your website isn’t visible on Google, users won’t click on it. If users don’t click on your website, then you won’t get organic web traffic.
According to Backlinko, top ranking websites on Google’s organic search results have an average click-through rate (CTR) of a whopping 31.7%, while only a mere 0.78% of Google searchers click on second page search results.
While a top spot on Google search results is never guaranteed by any ethical SEO practitioner, taking measures to build and maintain a strategy will move your website in the right direction to higher click-through rates and, thus, more traffic.
Why do websites want traffic? This depends on what your brand is trying to achieve. Regardless if you’re looking to attract users to read your awesome blog content or to generate leads to get a quote on your services, the first step in getting that organic traffic to your site is having them click on your website.
Creates a Better User Experience
Google has had many algorithm updates over the years. Think back to how a search results page looked in 2003. Pretty different, right?
As Google updates and evolves, SEO practitioners study the changes that the search engine makes and the new standards that it sets out. Over the years, especially the past 10 years, one thing has shown to be consistent across all major updates: Google wants to provide users with the best search experience possible.
Part of Google giving users a good experience falls on Google’s proverbial shoulders - such as how they interpret and relate keywords to results. The other part of a good user experience that Google looks for takes place entirely on your website.
Great user experience on your website is absolutely key to performing well on Google—because optimizing for Google is essentially optimizing for your users as well.
Just as you want your customers to always have a great brand experience, you should also always strive for a great user experience as well. Your website is, after all, a virtual extension of your brand.
Helps You Understand Your Audience
Search queries, or keywords, are what searchers enter into Google to tell the search engine what it is they’re looking for. By doing keyword research through SEO and understanding what keywords your website ranks for, you’re ultimately learning what it is your customer needs and wants, and how they go about finding it.
By understanding how users search, you can find out how to give them the product, service or information they need. And what happens when you give your audience exactly what they need? You get a happy customer or user. Yay!
Keyword research offers brands the opportunity to look inward at their website and establish how they want to be found by their users or customers. This also offers an opportunity for them to find out what keywords they aren’t being found by and to build content or offer products and services to fill that need.
Generates More Leads
SEO aims to increase organic traffic to your website, which is a first step in online lead generation—getting your audience to your website. Once your audience reaches your website or landing page, you can then capture lead information. The more visible your website is on search results pages, the more likely a user will click through and potentially become a lead. This is an example of why SEO should be considered within the full scope of your online marketing strategy.
Users trust higher ranking websites. It’s as simple as that.
Reflect on your own search behaviours. Are you usually more inclined to click through on a website listed on the first or maybe second page of Google versus a third or fourth page? As you go deeper into search results through more pages, is the content you’re finding less relevant than the content listed on the first page?
You likely answered yes to both of those questions.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Services
Phoenix Group offers well-rounded SEO services to ensure every area of your website that can be optimized, will be optimized.
SEO Audit and Recommendations
We conduct a thorough audit of your website through a 300+ point diagnostic audit. This audit determines how optimized your website currently is for Google based on a number of baseline factors including website speed, on-page SEO elements, Google Analytics, Google Search Console, back-end site development and more. From our analysis of the audit’s findings, we provide you with an extensive list of recommendations to help improve your website’s SEO.
Understanding how, why and what people search on Google informs how you can better optimize your website to make sure it’s getting viewed by your desired audience. We research which keywords that your website is currently ranking for and what it should be ranking for based on your business objectives, opportunities for growth, your website’s structure and your competitors’ keywords. When we’ve completed our keyword research, you will be presented with a list of keywords to include on your web pages.
SEO Content Recommendations
Google favours great, useful content! Based on your company’s keywords and business objectives, we will create new content recommendations to integrate into your website. This will include content pieces such as new copy, new webpages, videos, infographics and more. Our content team and copywriters will then create this new content for your website.
A backlink is when one website links to another. Earning backlinks to your website through link building helps increase your website’s authority on search, which ultimately helps it rank higher on Google’s search results. We will create and execute on different levels of ongoing link building strategies that are tailored to your brand and its rankings—from finding links through outreach work to creating guest posts and NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) citations.
Ongoing SEO Performance Reporting
We want you to know how your website is performing with our SEO work. We will provide you with interactive ongoing monthly reports that outline your website’s analytics, key success takeaways, ranking changes, and growth areas.