SEO in Franklin TN

What is SEO?

The short answer is your ranking on search engines

The long answer is SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a technical process used to rank a specific website’s page around a set of keywords entered into a search engine, which are then presented to users on a search engine results page (SERP) under the ad injected results. These positions on the SERP are referred to as “organic” positions. You do not have to pay a search engine platform to remain in an organic position, the algorithm will determine your position based on the content of your page.

Our SEO Process

SEO Audit


Competitor Research

Keyword Research & Targeting

Organic Backlink Campaign

How Does it Work?

Once your SEO expert has optimized your web pages, it will be submitted to Google and other search engines. The time it takes for these changes to impact your position varies depending on your specific industry. No SEO expert can give definite timelines on what to expect, but a general rule of thumb is 6 months. Some industries notice results much faster, some take even longer than the 6 months. The difficulty of the keywords do make a difference, because the more competitive the keywords are the more time Google will take to change the results.

How is SEO Different than buying Google Ads?

SEO focuses on increasing web page rankings organically, whereas Google Ads place you directly at the top of a SERP for certain keywords. While this sounds great, Google and other search engine platforms charge you every time someone clicks your link through their ads. This can begin to really increase the amount you have to pay monthly to generate leads to your website. Furthermore, each keyword has its own cost value. Even long-tail keywords can cost you thousands per month to generate enough leads to make it worth your investment. SEO has a bit slower results initially, but in the long run it becomes exponentially better. With no vendor enforced monthly fee, you can keep generating leads month to month without incurring cost. This is why it is crucial to have proper SEO in place.


The Main Areas of SEO

Off Page SEO

Off-Page SEO is typically called backlinking. This is when another website links to your page on their website or from their blog. Having links back to your web page indicates that you are an authority in that industry or area of knowledge. The more backlinks you get from other well established websites the more Google considers your domain to have authority in that area. Backlinking takes time to create quality backlinks with other websites. This is the area where most companies fall victim to “black hat SEO” techniques used by other SEO companies. Not all backlinks are created equal. The website referring to your page needs to be a high authority (30+ DA or more) and needs to be relevant to what your company does. Having a backlink from Nike when you are a fishing boat company does not mean you know anything about fishing boats. Real SEO experts should be able to spot a good or bad backlink a mile away. Lazy SEO experts will put your website in danger of penalty by using backlinking farms, or services that get you a lot of very poor backlinks which hurt your authority.

Technical SEO

Technical SEO is where you have code that communicates directly with the search engine crawler. This information is not seen by a visitor on your web page, but it is shown to the crawler to give specific details about what your page is about. Technical SEO is also used to provide information about how to present that page if it is used in a SERP.

Local SEO

Local SEO is when you rank in regards to your local area specifically for keywords. If you have ever noticed the section on a search results page that takes you to Google Maps, that is called the 3-Pack. There are 3 companies that will be presented locally to the search user that is determined to be the best in the local area for that search keyword. Local SEO has entirely different metrics used to determine who is shown in this area. Your company being listed in Google My Business (GMB) and having that optimized for Local SEO greatly impacts your chances. Creating citations for your company on various search directories like Yelp, Yellow Pages, and many more assist in establishing your local presence. These are some factors that increase your rank in Local SEO.

On-Page SEO

On-Page SEO is how the information on your web page is structured. Google and other search engines use a tool called a “crawler” which will look at the code of your page and determine what your web page is about, how the information is structured out, what is emphasized in your content, and put it all together to determine what you should rank for. If your code is not setup properly, search engines will not rank you as high as they should.

What is a keyword?

Keywords are the most significant words out of a search query by a search engine user. SEO experts perform research to determine what users are searching for when it comes to your business. These searches may not be performed in the way you would think. There are many ways now for users to perform a search on Google or other search engines. With the increased use of voice related technologies, like Alexa, Siri, or Cortana, search query words have changed. Data has shown that we do not speak the way we search. Voice driven searches have added new keywords into the fray and more challenging work for your website SEO expert.

Keywords can be broken down in several ways, we will focus briefly on the main two, long-tail and short-tail. The shorter a search query is, the more difficult it is to rank for that search, due to the volume of potential matches and the vagueness of the search itself. Google’s objective is to provide the most accurate possible result to the search user to prevent them from having to look at multiple links to get their answer.

If I search for “shoes” my answers will be very broad in scope. What about shoes? What color of shoes? What type of shoes? Google has to try to determine too many answers to questions that weren’t provided by the search engine user. These are called short-tail keywords, and are typically between 1-3 words length.

Long-tail keywords are much more specific searches. These may include additional information, such as the city you are looking for the answer in, “red sneakers in Franklin, TN” will provide a much more accurate and relevant answer than “red shoes”. SEO Experts know what is required to rank for short-tail and long-tail keywords. The cost is cheaper to rank for a long-tail, and can become more expensive the less specific you get.

Proper SEO experts will perform keyword research to determine what the top ranking companies in your industry are ranking for and gain a clear picture of what sets of keywords your company should consider going after as well. They also may find a few keywords that would be great for your company that has low competition. The more long-tail keywords you can rank well for, the more the search engine platform will learn what it is your company provides. This will increase the trust in your company, called domain authority, and assist if you get into short-tail keyword ranking in the future.

Search query keywords can also indicate at what point in the sales cycle a user may be. Your SEO Expert should be able to distinguish between someone who is just starting research for a purchase vs someone who is ready to buy. Proper keyword targeting will GREATLY increase your conversion rates from your website and pad your bottom line. Poorly performed keyword research will lead to more website visitors, but not many purchases. This is very common among small business and medium business websites.



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Brief History of Google’s Algorithm

Search engine companies (Google, Bing, or Yahoo!) use a private algorithm to determine how high a web page should rank for each query from a search engine user. There are a variety of factors that are used to determine what the search engine should present that searcher for results. Search engine companies do not typically provide these factors to the public, to prevent people from abusing loopholes in the algorithm and ranking a site higher than otherwise would not be.
Over the years there have been many changes to the algorithm that have influenced the ranking factors. These changes come as a result of loopholes discovered, advancement in technologies, or a big change in how people are searching for websites currently.
An example of this would be August 6th, 2014 when Google announced that they would give significant preference to secure sites (HTTPS) vs non-secure (HTTP) in search results. This created a need for all websites to use HTTPS if they intended on ranking on the front page of a Google search. Another good example of this was April 22nd, 2015 when Google advised that mobile-friendly websites would greatly gain favor in their algorithm. This was based on the data that showed that more search queries were coming in from mobile devices, rather than desktop computers.

These changes to Google’s search engine algorithm have caused significant shifts in the way that websites are created, deployed, and maintained. SEO is constantly changing and this requires a fairly routine audit of your website. Routine audits will prevent potential penalty from what Google and others determine as “black hat SEO” practices. Like it or not, not everyone follows the rules, and this has been shown time and again in SEO services. If you have used an SEO service from another company previously and saw an initial rank increase, only to drop later, we highly recommend you call us to perform an SEO audit of your website. We will make sure there are no harmful practices still in place that could be preventing your website from reaching its highest potential ranking.



What to ask an SEO expert?

When looking for an SEO expert, make sure they are clearly offering you services in all 4 areas of SEO. Ask them detailed questions about how many backlinks they will get you and from where. Be cautious of any SEO consultant or expert that is providing more than 2 after your first meeting, get concrete information on what keywords they are targeting and have them show you data around the search volume of those keywords. Ask how they are going to increase your Local SEO ranking. They should be optimizing your GMB page, creating citations, and verifying your citations all share the same NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number). If they cannot provide this information, I would keep searching for other SEO experts.

I’ve done an SEO campaign before, do I need to do it again?

Chances are, depending on the last time you had someone perform an SEO Audit, there are many things that can be done to optimize your web pages or local SEO to increase your site’s rankings on search engines. With the ever changing nature of SEO it is recommended to have an SEO Audit performed at least once every couple of years to make sure your capitalizing on all potential advantages and avoiding common pitfalls.

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