I started working at Netvantage Marketing in January as a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed intern. I’ve learned more here than any other internship. When I started, I knew little to nothing about SEO. I was given a quick briefing from a friend who previously worked here and I took a class that touched on SEO for a week. Now that I’ve had hands-on experience with SEO for four months, here’s what I’ve learned from my experience.
There are more directories than just Yelp
I never knew that directory websites like Yelp were more than just a way to list your business or get reviews. I learned that they help a client improve their organic search rankings and build links to their website. Even having a listing on the most obscure directory can increase a website’s visibility and trust accuracy, which leads to better rankings. I always thought a website’s Google Local listing was where unhappy people left bad reviews. It’s actually very important for a business to have an accurate Google Local listing, and not just for reviews and store hours.
Choosing and integrating keywords is a process
You can’t just pick keywords that match your business, stuff them into the website a few times and hope for the best. Keyword research is a lengthy process and what you optimize the website for can help or hurt the client. Think about a bed and breakfast client: Would you target just local bed and breakfast keywords or hotels, inns, places to stay, spas, or maybe even weddings depending on what they offer? You have to get creative when integrating your chosen keywords into the website body copy, so it doesn’t look like you’re randomly throwing in words to boost rankings. I also learned you can’t overstuff keywords, 2-3 times per page is the sweet spot.
What the numbers in Google Analytics actually mean
When I started to get to the point where I was analyzing Google Analytics and Search Console data, the terminology had me lost. I knew if the numbers were increasing, that must be good right? I’ve been learning the deeper meaning behind analytics terms and how to improve numbers if they’re down. For example, if organic traffic decreased, compared to the previous period, we should look into possible errors on the website, take into account if it’s a slow season for the client, or look at modifying keywords. I quickly learned that Search Console impressions are the number of times the site is displayed in a search engine.
Think like a potential customer
At first, I was so stuck on the idea that I could only use keywords that were exactly what the business offered. I realized you have to think like a potential customer. When you’re searching for a service near you on Google; what do you type in? I know when I’m looking to go on vacation I’m searching for “places to stay in Cape Cod” or if I’m looking to bring my dog along it turns into “pet-friendly accommodations in Cape Cod.” This also applies to blog writing for clients. I think what would really catch my eye if I were to read a blog on a website.
Even though I have four months under my belt, I still have a lot to learn about SEO. It’s both an art and a science and it’s something I’m eager to learn more about throughout my career.