Video: 3 Pillars of a Google Organic Search Campaign (SEO)
Hello, my name is Danny Gavin. And today, we’re going to learn about how to set up a Google organic search campaign. When it comes to setting up an organic campaign, there are three levels or three parts; visibility, relevance, and authority. This is all relating to your website.
Let’s first talk about visibility or the foundation of the pyramid. Visibility means, “Is your website visible to Google?” Does Google understand what your site is about? What you want to be found for, which products and services?
In this area, we’re talking specifically about technical SEO. When we delve into the realm of technical SEO, there’s a couple of things that you have to focus on when it comes to your website.
Number one, that’s going to be your metadata. Metadata means the meta title and meta description that is shown on Google’s search engine result page. You have the ability to optimize that with keywords and with complete sentences, and making sure that when people come to Google, they’re going to want to click on your page rather than a competition.
2. Image optimization
In addition to that, another big part of making your website visible is image optimization. That means making sure that every single image on your website has an alt tag, and a title tag, and even the file name, making sure that those are optimized so that Google knows what it’s talking about. Because Google naturally doesn’t know what’s in a picture. But by you adding in those descriptions and adding in meaningful keywords, that’s going to help not only add to the relevancy of the page, but it’s also going to allow your images to be found in Google image search, which is one of the quiet search engines that people don’t really talk about, but it actually can drive a lot of business.
3. Internal Linking
In addition to that, the next thing that we want to focus on is internal linking. We’ll talk about external linking and a little bit, but internal linking is making sure that you have links within your website to the most pages of your site. And in general, you want your site to have links. The idea is that number one, it will allow Google to crawl your site properly. But in addition, the anchor text that you use, so the actual text that is hyperlinked will also give signals to Google about what the destination URL of that destination page is about. And by helping Google better understand what, number one, you want to rank for, but also what each page is about in the context, that is greatly going to help you rank for the terms, products, and services that you want to rank for.
4. Duplicate Content
Another thing that we have to focus on is duplicate content. The duplicate content is, most of the time, not something that you’ve done on purpose. But usually, with larger websites and dynamic websites, it can happen that you’ll have two URLs that can lead to the same page. Or you could have near-duplicate content, but in those sort of scenarios, one has to make sure that they have canonical tags set up, which basically points to Google, and say that even though these two URLs or these two pages seem to have similar content, but don’t worry, it’s really part of the same page. So that’s just another technical aspect that one has to worry about when they’re setting up their website and making sure that Google really understands what’s important on your site and what’s not important.
5. Structured Data or Schema Markup
The fifth point when it comes to visibility is structured data or structured markup. This is additional code that you can place on your website, either directly in the code or using JSON script, where you’re marking up your page with additional pointers. The example I like to give is, imagine a movie. On the page, we’ll tell Google, “Hey, this is the name of the movie theatre. This is how many screens the movie theatre has. This is the name of the movie. This is the director, and these are the actors. This is the movie time.” So, instead of Google coming to the page and figuring out what everything is, you’re actually going to tell Google what each data point is for that movie. And the same thing would be for a local business and for an organization. By using structured data, it lets Google better understand what your website is about. In addition to that, it also allows some really cool things like featured snippets, where you know, sometimes you go into Google, and you see star ratings or a recipe, you might even see the amount of time it takes to bake a cake in the Google search results itself. And the reason why Google can bring this information upfront into the search engine results page is because of the structured markup that you use.
6. Page Speed
Finally, when it comes to visibility, we want to look at page speed, how long it takes for the page to load. More specifically, Google recently came out with something called ‘core web vitals,’ which are three metrics referring to page load speed. And as you know, just in general, when it comes to page speed, the faster the page loads, the better experience for the user. And Google has recently come along and said that not only is this going to be good for the user, but this will also be a ranking factor, not the most important ranking factor, but something that one needs to consider. And looking deeper into these core web vitals and these three specific measurements, one can see is the page loading fast enough or quick enough to be considered in a good area, according to Google.
Okay. Now we’ve completed visibility. Now, we can move up to the step above on the pyramid called relevance. What that means is once you have a strong foundation, the question is, do you have the correct content on your website? Is that the content that people are searching for?
When I’m searching for a pair of red pants, and I go into Google, that first page of Google ideally should show a bunch of results for really cool red pants. I don’t want to see a category page where if I click on it, I’ll see red pants and purple bands and yellow pants or maybe shirts. The whole idea is that I want relevant content, content that’s going to be relevant to the searchers.
How do I build this content? So, number one, the foundation of that would be keywords, but nowadays, keywords are not enough. One has to make sure that when they’re writing about a certain topic, they really cover that complete topic. So, no longer is it just taking keywords and sprinkling through my content but making sure that there’s really semantic sense here or topical sense.
An example that I like to give is — imagine if someone is writing a piece of content about New York City. When it comes to New York City, they’re going to mention the Empire State Building; they’ll mention the Statue of Liberty. But what if they forget to mention ground zero? It’s very possible that that piece of content is not going to rank because Google understands what the topic of New York City is about. And if your piece of content doesn’t include that, Google will realize that that page is not comprehensive enough, and it would rather find other articles. So when one is writing content these days, it’s not just about sprinkling keywords, it’s making sure that you’re really covering the topic in an extensive way, and making sure that it’s going to answer the questions that the user has, and maybe questions that they didn’t even know that they had.
Moving along, once you come up with that, there’s the concept of a content hub or cornerstone content. Let’s say you’re a plumber and you do HVAC or you do plumbing. So, you want to have that master page or cornerstone page that talks about plumbing. And then after that, you’ll branch into different topics about plumbing. But that’s a very common way of setting up a very strong knowledge base on your website, and making sure that you cover a topic completely, not just with keywords, but also with the topic in general.
And finally, the top of the pyramid is going to come to authority. It’s not enough just to have a website and have content, but also you need to be authoritative. How does a small business, how does a website build up authority? Well, that’s primarily through links. That means that having external links, third party links, links from other websites pointing back to your website show a vote of confidence in Google’s eyes. It’s not necessarily about the number of links, but it’s about the quality.
If I have a link from the New York Times, if I have a link from Forbes, those sorts of links show, hey, this is actually an important website. Google says I should go ahead and rank this website in the search results because they must be real and must be talking.
Links are the hardest part of SEO because how do you get links? We’re not going to go too depth today, but the two points that I want to talk about when it comes to link building, or really outreach is number one, earning. When we’re building our company and our products and services, we need to set it up in a way that it’s big business, it’s big news. Why is my company or services different than anyone else? If I’ve got something really, really good, and make sure that I amplify that out, people are going to want to write about it. They’re going to want to interview and write stories and add links.
That’s hard. That’s not easy. So, therefore, the other side of the coin is because not everyone can do that is the concept of outreach. And outreach means proactively reaching out to bloggers or to different websites and interacting with them and seeing if there’s a way that they can write about you or give you a link. Now, obviously, it can be very spammy. And I’m sure we all get emails all the time about, “Hey, can I buy a link.” So, we’re not talking about that. It’s more of an in-depth process. But that’s sort of the foundation when it comes to that last ingredient. In order to help rank, you’re going to need links and have that authority to your website.
So, when you have the visibility, you set up your website correctly with all the right coding and the right technical aspects. And then, on top of that foundation, you go ahead and write the correct content that’s relevant and is covering the right topics and not just include the keywords. And then, on top of that, you’re making sure that your website is visible and has authority and has links from third-party websites that are pointing back to your website, which is going to allow you to have a successful organic search campaign and remember. It’s not going to happen right away. Sometimes you can see results even if you’ve just done the first level of the pyramid, or even the second level, but really depending on the competition, that’s how much you’re going to have to focus on each level.
I hope you learned a lot today, and I look forward to speaking again to you soon.
Learn More about Optidge’s SEO Services in Houston and Beyond.