Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is shrouded in mystery. People often overcomplicate SEO, but it doesn’t have to be difficult or confusing. One area of confusion to clear up right away is that when people say “SEO” what they are often talking about is ranking higher in Google. The technical term for this is Search Engine Ranking Position or “SERP”.

What’s the difference between SEO and SERP?

Search Engine Optimization is a technical process that makes a website more friendly to search engines. For example, making a website load fast, utilize an SSL certificate, or be mobile-friendly are all examples of search engine optimization. Search Engine Ranking Positions are all about what position a website is ranking for within a given search term, for example, “WordPress Management Company”.

Generally speaking, the terms are used almost interchangeably, but it’s good to understand the difference because they both are necessary and both come into play in a Search Engine Marketing (SEM) strategy.

The first step to developing an SEM strategy is to identify which keywords or phrases you would like your website to rank for, measuring what your current SERP is for those keywords, and then working to improve your SERP to the desired position.

 

Performing An SEO Audit On Your Website

1. Generate a Google Lighthouse Report
A Google Lighthouse Report. It will reveal how Google grades your website. If all you want to do is “optimize” your website for “search” then correcting any issues found in the Lighthouse report is probably all you will need to do.
2. Identify Target Keywords or Search Phrases
What keywords or search phrases would you like to rank higher for, and what position are you ranking in for those keywords now? To answer that question go to semrush.com and run a report. If you don’t want to sign up for an account, send us an email and we’ll run a report for you.
3. Standardize Local Citations
Run an audit of “local citations” to ensure consistency. These are directories, like Yelp, that list your “NAP” or Name, Address, and Phone Number. This not only helps people who are trying to find your business, but it contributes to your SERP on Google.
4. Create a Report
The final step is to collect all your findings in a single report and to create a plan of action to resolve issues, improve shortfalls, and capitalize on opportunities you’ve discovered during your research/audit.

How to measure SEO Performance?

It’s important to establish a baseline, and then measure progress against that baseline on an ongoing basis. Here are the three ways we go about doing that:

Google Search Console

Search Console tells us what keywords visitors are using to find your site, your average rank for those keywords, the number of times your site appears in search results, and how often links to your site are clicked.

Google Analytics

We use Google Analytics to track the amount of traffic to your website and what site visitors do on your site after they arrive. The key metrics we look at are: Number of visitors, Bounce rate, and total time on the site.

SEM Rush

Used by 30% of Fortune 500 companies, SEM Rush provides access to vast amounts of search data, as well as monitoring and measuring the effectiveness of Search Engine Optimization on a particular website.

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