Search engine optimization has gotten a bad name in recent years due to people selling over-hyped promises only to be smacked down by the Google gods. It can be difficult if you are looking to exploit the latest “loophole.”
Believe me, I’ve served time in Google’s stupidity jail years ago, and I have no plan on returning.
SEO, today is about doing activities that get your brand known on the part of the web where your potential customers hang out.
This activity is broken into two primary segments:
On page can be best described as the things you do on your site that show the search engine that you know your stuff, that you are an “authority” in your field.
This means that the information on your site needs to be helpful and well organized in the eyes of your prospects. Do you have content that is explanatory, teaching people about the mortgage process in depth? Or do you do like most sites that have a simple glossary and a widget that shows current rates?
If that’s your website, then you are in trouble…
Google and Bing will care less about anything you have to offer if that’s the case.
Additionally, you need to show that you care about how they consume the information on your site. Make it easy for Google to figure out where everything is.
Part of this process is making sure your site’s navigation makes sense. For instance, you have an XML sitemap, your images are well labeled, your site is secure, it’s mobile friendly, loads fast, etc.
Off-page optimization deals with your reputation on the web. Who is talking about you and your company? What kinds of links have you earned from other websites with information topically related to yours? Do you have links/mentions from sites that the search engines already know and trust?
This off page portion is where companies get into the most trouble. They’ve heard that they have to build links and those links should have keywords.
You go to a forum and find that someone is selling a “Google Friendly” link package for only $50 that guaranteed to “crush” the search engines.
Those sellers will say fancy things like “natural anchor text distribution” and that there “services leave no footprint” and other ridiculous claims.
The best way to get links is to earn them by putting out great content and promoting that content.
Ok, I already hear you asking… What is great content?
Great question, by the way.
The answer is…
Sorry, but it does. However, there is a shortcut to figuring it out.
First, think of the types of questions that people ask you about different aspects of the mortgage process. Can you create an article that answers those questions in depth? Or create a detailed video?
Think about that core question and do a search on Google and look at the sites ranking for that phrase. What kind of content do those companies have (images, articles, video, audio)? How many words are in that article?
Look at each of the top 10 results and take note of what you see.
Now that you’ve seen the competition, ask yourself how your company can do MUCH better.
Not just a little, a LOT. Aim for being the best source on the web for that information. If you are, guess how much easier it becomes to get links, social shares, and cheering fans! (ok maybe not that last part)
This content was originally published here.