Overview of SEO Training – Unit 1
David Yarian and Brian Lich put together a series of video lessons that represent Volume Nine’s overall approach to and philosophy about SEO. Starting with Unit 1, they look at some of the SEO basics that explain the why behind what they do and why it is important. As they progress through this first series of videos, they start to explore deeper strategies and tactics that are really effective today.
Throughout this course, our real primary objective is empowerment and understanding. We really want to empower anyone viewing these videos to feel confident executing SEO, but we also want you to conceptually understand SEO so you can make the most of it.
Lesson 1.1 – SEO Flow
Welcome to our first lesson, SEO Flow, which is a very high-level look at understanding the general context of SEO. We also cover the flow of SEO to help explain how SEO works.
If we think about any search that happens on a search engine, there are three components to that: our website, the audience that we care about, and the search engine technology.
In our lessons, we are going to show you how we approach SEO for one of our clients, American Adventure Expeditions — a whitewater rafting outfitter here in Colorado.
Lesson 1.2 – SEO Work Pillars
Now that we have an understanding of the SEO flow, let’s explore the three basic SEO work pillars: technical, content, and off-site aspects.
The overarching goal for technical SEO is to make the site easy to find, crawl, and understand for both users and Google. The way I like to think of technical SEO is, it’s all about eliminating roadblocks for both users and Google to find and understand our content.
Our overarching goal here is good SEO, which really comes down to making exceptional content for users. Content usually is the actual pages we have on our website. But it also includes other forms of media, like video, images, and other components of our site.
SEO off-site is about a lot more than just links in today’s world. It’s also about your social presence, your PR presence, and all of these related things that play into your off-site presence all over the internet.
Lesson 1.3 – Technical Website Health
There are four major categories of Technical SEO. Those are crawling, indexing, site speed, and mobile-friendliness.
When Google comes to crawl your website, we want the crawl to be fast, efficient, and lacking major issues. Be sure to use XML Sitemaps and limit 404s.
After a successful crawl, the next objective is to be fully and accurately indexed. To be fully and accurately indexed, all the pages that matter would then be included in the Google search engine.
When you think about site speed, just try to be as absolutely fast as possible. Site speeds only become more and more important in our modern age, especially for mobile devices — over half of search is done on mobile, so speed is very important there.
Our goal in a mobile-first world is that we want to operate smoothly, quickly and efficiently. The idea here is to think of mobile devices first. Google thinks of mobile-first, so do we.
Lesson 1.4 – Google’s Content Obsession
When Google thinks about content, what they are trying to do is match users with the most relevant piece of content for a given query. To rank high in Google, we want to produce content that does an amazing job of addressing whatever query the searcher is typing, that is relevant, and as high quality as possible for that search.
The three big buckets here are intent, relevancy, and quality. The intent is from the searcher, and the question is: Does the content match what the searcher really is looking for? Relevancy is trying to understand how relevant the content is to the query. Then, quality is basically, “How does a piece of content stack up to all the other pieces that match the intent and relevancy?”
Lesson 1.5 – Off-Site Signals
The best way to think about off-site SEO is we’re trying to establish a trusted brand in our area of focus online. Here we are going to look at brand signals, social signals, offsite content, PR, and then, of course, our old friend… backlinks.
Brand and social signals are really awareness metrics related to business reputation, social presence, and reach of the brand.
Off-site content and PR is basically content on the website that talks about your brand and potentially links back to you.
Oh, yeah, and we can’t forget about third-party inbound links! Links do still matter but they need to be earned. Don’t chase links just for the sake of chasing links. Earning links should be the outcome of what you already doing.