If you manage a website, you probably think about traffic a lot. Every time you publish a new page or new content you most likely check back to see how many visitors it has driven to your site, how it’s performing, where they’re coming from.
If you want your website, organization, and house file to grow – the reality is… you need more traffic.
However, SEO is not as simple as ‘if you build it, they will come.’
So how do you go about getting more visitors to your website? Organic search is your golden ticket!
What Exactly is SEO and Organic Search?
SEO is the discipline of making sure you get found online because your content aligns with what people are searching for when they open their browser and start typing a thing or looking for a topic. Organic search is measuring how many users find your site through these search engines.
SEO is important because it helps your site to organically appear in relevant searches and allows your content to work for you. It also allows you to find constituents you may not know are even looking for you (without paying!).
How to Implement Successul SEO
It is important to find the right tool and partner when evaluating and improving your Search Engine Optimization. There are various tools you can use that produce different data and results, but all play a vital role in successful SEO implementation.
- Google Analytics (free!)
- Code is easy to drop into your website for tracking.
- Track visitor’s engagement with your website, learn how your visitors find you, understand basic audience demographics, and more.
- Google Search Console (free!)
- Connecting Search Console to your site is simple, even for non-technical folks.
- Gain a more detailed understanding of how your content is ranking in Google Search results, what keywords/phrases are driving traffic to your site, and discover opportunities for future content.
- SEMRush ($$)
- Conduct a site audit and provide a site health analysis on technical areas to correct to improve your site’s reputation.
- Closely track your position on keywords in searches and against competitors
- Integrates with your Google Suite tools!
After you have your tools in place, it is time to research and brainstorm. Based on the data your tools are telling you, combined with your in-depth knowledge of your audience and brand – you need to select your keywords and key phrases.
- Identify 5-10 ‘buckets’ or keywords that relate to your organization. For each bucket, identify 10-20 rephrases and/or related phrases that get at the same thing, but said a little differently. i.e.- volunteering with kids + kid-safe volunteering. This can either be done in-house or with Firefly Partners’ support and guidance.
- Finally, these keywords and phrases should then be utilized in your existing content, meta descriptions, and to create new content pages. Having a keyword-rich site will aid in ranking high in related searches, increase the reputation of your site, and consistently drive relevant traffic to your organization.
How to Know If Your Site’s SEO is Effective
You must measure to know success… and where to adjust. You have done all the heavy lifting and now want to see the results. Here are some keep tips to measure and track on an ongoing basis:
- Site Health: aim for a score of 75-90%. Maintain a technically sound site to keep a high reputation with search engines.
- Keywords: Track your positioning for your selected keywords over time. You should see these decreasing in number (lower = higher in search results) and if not, adjust your content or keywords.
- Search Console Queries: Track how people find you and how they engage with your site and content. Are there opportunities for new keywords and/or content?
- Organic Traffic: Is this number growing? Set a goal to increase organic traffic within 3 months using the methods above and track, measure, and adjust!
How do we know this will lead to more traffic? The proof is in the results – San Francisco Marin Food Bank. [link to SEO case study]