What Are the Steps to Understanding Search Engine Optimization?

When we create a website, we hear about SEO but don’t know where to begin. Here are some steps to help you with SEO.

Video Transcript:

I need more distinction between some of the terminology. What is more full-service SEO? Can you explain to me how technical SEO is a component of that? 

I like to break SEO into four simple steps: 

  1. Measure everything. That’s where we start. 
  2. Then comes technical SEO, which is how Google interprets our website. Once we know that Google can read our website correctly, we move on to… 
  3. Content– which is what most people think of as SEO. But if we do content first and Google can’t see our site, that content is wasted. If we do technical SEO without measuring it- the tree fell in the forest, but no one’s there to hear it. Did it even fall right?  
  4. Last comes link building, which is a crucial part of SEO. Many websites talk about the same topics, but which of them is best? That’s where link building comes in. 

When it comes to the technical aspect of SEO, I check search console every week to make sure there are no new problems that have come up. But once you get ahead of the problem, you will find you’ll have more time for content. 

We are fortunate to have WordPress- such a great system- but there will still be some things to fix. I usually will start with the technical SEO. Since we’re using a WordPress website, most of the technical SEO is taken care of already. 

It depends on who built it. Right? 

It very much depends on who built it. One of my favorite topics in the WordCamp circuit is the technical problems with SEO on WordPress sites. Like the “read more” tag: if you publish a blog post and put it in a category, you see the entirety of the blog post in the category’s archive on the date page or the tag. That’s a problem. That’s a duplicate content problem. So we make sure our theme is set up to only show a preview of the post, or we manually go in each blog post and add the read more tag. 

There are other technical issues with WordPress regarding SEO- like the “discourage web search engines” check box. That’s so often the problem- how many times do we forget that? Not a good, not a good start to the campaign. That’s why it’s number one on the checklist to launch a new website. 

If you are approaching SEO as a four-part piece, you don’t begin the content until the technical is altogether. You start with the technical. Content takes a little bit of time. You got to have good writers, but the client has to approve it, and so while you’re preparing to launch the content while you’re looking at the technical aspects. 

But let’s say there are substantial technical problems on your website, and you publish a blog post. It’s okay to be publishing those blog posts. They might do as well because of the technical issue. But once you fix the technical problem, suddenly all that content will be valuable. 

So it’s this delicate balance of tackling the technical issues first, but we’re not going to stop doing the other stuff. Because once we have all the technical stuff fixed, that other stuff will be even more effective. 

Have a question about this process? Ask it here:

Get started doing SEO today

SEO seems hard- you have to keep up with all the changes and weed through contradictory advice. This is frustrating and overwhelming. Curious Ants will teach you SEO while bringing your website more traffic and customers- because you’ll learn SEO while doing it.