Mastering Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for Your Brand

18 Sep, 2023

As a digital marketer, you’re likely familiar with the undeniable power of the Google search console and search engine marketing aka SEO. If you’re not quite there yet, you can check out YDA Search Engine Optimization to get to grips with the benefits and fundamentals.

But if you already have a fair amount of SEO knowledge and want to discover deeper insights and pro tips for the technical side of things, social media, and content marketing campaigns, you’ve come to the right place. Today, we’ll dive deeper into how you can up the performance of your web pages, enhance your marketing strategy, and increase website traffic with search engine optimization that goes beyond the basics.

SEO Pro Services | Your Digital Assembly

SEO | The “why” behind continuous improvement

Google and other search engines are great starting points for new marketing ideas and building profitable relationships with customers. When we, as consumers, are trying to find a business to solve our problems, we typically turn to Google search engine results pages over other engines. Why? Because Google handles over 9 billion searches every day. If you want potential customers to discover your business online, you need to invest in Search Engine Optimization (SEO). At YDA, we’ve been working in search for years. One thing we’ve found is that there is a ton of information for those just starting out but what about professionals with a good basic understanding? A more in-depth SEO strategy can also be beneficial for related teams like marketing and RevOps. So without further ado, let’s tuck into the details and explore the SEO landscape, pro tips for elevating your existing campaigns, and deeper terminology and aspects of each SEO sub-discipline.

A quick refresher: Search engine optimization has to include the fundamentals

It’s no secret that SEO, Search Engine Optimization, plays a critical role in all digital marketing. For B2B marketers, understanding the core principles of SEO and its key components is essential to building a reliable and effective marketing and growth strategy. After all, enhancing SEO means enhancing the quantity and quality of web traffic to your business website (quality is just as important) through organic search results provided by engines like Google, and other search engines like Bing, or Baidu the biggest one in China, etc. It’s all about optimizing your site with high-quality content and technical updates to get more visibility and attract valuable users. So, what’s not to like?

Winning SEO Strategy | YDA

Some SEO strategies are missing the mark

While many established businesses have at least some SEO tools and strategies in place, many of them are surface-level. In some instances, businesses focus predominantly on creating content or paying to increase traffic to their site. In others, everyone from content creators to product marketers might ask for a few keywords from the SEO team and get additional linking suggestions or formatting guidelines as a bonus. While any of these tactics, done the right way, can improve brand visibility and digital performance, the SEO landscape encompasses a good mix of technical, off-page and “front-facing” SEO and these combined strategies work the best. If your business is already exploring SEO tools and has a robust process in place, you’re off to a great start but let’s take a quick look at the options to identify potential gaps in your planning and implementation:

A technical SEO strategy

“SEO is not just about gaming the system; it’s about learning how to play by the rules.” – Jeremy Skillings, Founder of You Can Be Found Technical SEO deals with everything on the back-end of your site or store. This can include:

  • Website speed:
    Making sure that the website loads quickly is crucial for user experience and search engine rankings. This involves optimizing code, compressing images, and using efficient hosting servers.
  • Mobile responsiveness:
    With the majority of internet users accessing websites on their phones, it’s essential to have a mobile-friendly website design that adapts to different screen sizes. So, for example, when you open a website and you have to move the page around to see a text, that brand is doing it wrong.
  • Indexing and crawling:
    Making sure search engine bots can crawl and index your website’s pages effectively is vital because that’s how they determine your rankings. This includes creating a sitemap and using robots.txt to control which pages are indexed.
  • Site architecture:
    Organizing the website’s structure and navigation in a logical way helps search engines understand the content and improves user experience.
  • URL structure:
    Using clean and descriptive URLs makes it easier for both search engines and users to understand the contents of a page.
  • HTTPS and security:
    Securing your website with HTTPS encryption not only protects user data but also contributes to higher search engine rankings.
  • Canonicalization:
    Avoiding duplicate content issues by setting canonical tags helps search engines see the preferred version of a page. Duplicate content can be penalized.
  • Schema markup:
    Adding schema markup to your website helps search engines better understand the content and can lead to rich search results (e.g., featured snippets).
  • XML sitemap:
    Creating and submitting an XML sitemap to search engines helps them discover and index all of your most important pages. And, as we know, hierarchy matters in the world of SEO.
  • 404 pages and redirects:
    Properly handling 404 error pages and setting up redirects for broken links helps create a better user experience and can prevent your site from losing traffic.
  • Website security:
    Implementing security measures like firewalls and malware scans protects the website from potential threats and boosts user confidence. Nowadays, security is paramount to both search engines and users. So keep your infrastructure protected.
  • Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP):
    Implementing AMP for specific pages can improve mobile loading times and enhance user experience on mobile devices.

SEO Checklist | Your Digital Assembly

A focus on on-page SEO – what the user sees

“Content is king, but SEO is the queen, and she runs the household.” – Jason Acidre, CEO of Xight Interactive On-page SEO requires you to intimately understand your target audience, what they’re interested in, what they want to learn, and how they behave when interacting with your brand online. With this knowledge, you can increase the performance of your on-page SEO.

On-page SEO includes the following:

  • Keyword optimization:
    Conducting keyword research to identify relevant and high-traffic keywords and strategically incorporating them into page titles, headings, content, and meta tags. You’re using these to let the search engines know what topics you’re covering and where you’re most relevant to users.
  • Content quality:
    Creating high-quality, valuable, and relevant content that satisfies users’ search intent and provides comprehensive information on the topic they’re interested in. This also applies to when they are looking for something to buy.
  • Title tags:
    Crafting descriptive and compelling title tags that accurately represent the content of the page and include the target keyword(s).
  • Meta descriptions:
    Writing concise and engaging meta descriptions that summarize the page’s content and encourage users to click through to the website or store.
  • Headings (H1, H2, etc.):
    Using clear and hierarchical headings to organize the content and help search engines interpret the structure of the page.
  • URL:
    Creating clean and keyword-rich URLs that are easily readable by both users and search engines. Image optimization: Optimizing images by using descriptive filenames and alt tags, which improves accessibility and helps search engines rank the content.
  • Internal linking:
    Linking to relevant pages within the website to improve site navigation, distribute link authority, and establish content relationships. Similarly, credible traffic from other sites can bolster your visibility too.
  • User Experience (UX):
    Ensuring that the page layout, design, and formatting are user-friendly and make it easy for visitors to find the information they need. Optimizing page elements and image sizes to reduce loading times can also improve user experience and search engine rankings. “The success of a page should be measured by one criterion: does the visitor do what you want them to do?” – Aaron Wall, Founder of SEO Book
  • Mobile responsiveness:
    Designing pages to be mobile-friendly and responsive to different screen sizes, as many users access the internet on their phones.
  • Content freshness:
    Updating and refreshing content regularly to maintain its relevance and show search engines that the website is active and up-to-date. On-page SEO focuses on the content and structure of individual pages to make them more appealing to both users and search engines. By implementing these optimizations, websites can improve their chances of ranking higher in SERPs and attracting more organic traffic.

Integrating off-page SEO – Your digital referrals

Off-page SEO refers to optimization that happens outside of a website to improve its search engine rankings and overall online visibility. Unlike on-page SEO, which focuses on website optimizations, off-page SEO looks at actions taken on external platforms to enhance the website’s authority and reputation.

Here are a few examples of how Off-page or Off-site SEO works in practice:

  • Backlink building:
    Acquiring high-quality backlinks from reputable and relevant websites. Backlinks act as “votes” of confidence for your website and can positively impact search engine rankings.
  • Marketing on social:
    Engaging in platforms like Twitter and Instagram to promote content, attract followers, and increase brand awareness. Social signals can indirectly influence search engine rankings for better or worse.
  • Influencer marketing:
    Collaborating with influential people or bloggers to promote your content or products, which can lead to reaching a broader audience.
  • Brand mentions:
    Encouraging mentions of your brand or website on other websites and platforms, even without a direct link, which can help your position.
  • Online reviews:
    Managing and responding to customer reviews on various platforms, such as Google My Business, Yelp, and other review websites. Positive reviews can enhance your credibility and users often look to reviews to validate purchase decisions!
  • Guest blogging:
    Writing and publishing articles on external websites to gain exposure, authority, and backlinks.
  • Social bookmarking:
    Submitting website content to social bookmarking sites to increase visibility and generate traffic.
  • Forum participation:
    Engaging in relevant online forums and communities to answer questions, provide value, and establish yourself or your brand as an industry expert.
  • Local citations:
    Listing your business on local directories, platforms, and review websites to boost local visibility.
  • Content promotion:
    Actively promoting your website’s content through email marketing, outreach to influencers, and sharing on social.
  • Link reclamation:
    Identifying and fixing broken or unlinked mentions of your website to ensure you get credit and potential backlinks.
  • Brand building:
    Building a strong online brand through consistent messaging, quality content, and positive interactions with your audience. Off-page SEO plays a crucial role in building authority and trust for your website, which can significantly impact your search engine rankings. It involves creating a positive online reputation and attracting valuable external signals that show your website’s relevance and importance to search engines.


SEO builds relationships | YDA

Local SEO – Because home is where the heart is

In the dynamic landscape of digital marketing, the significance of Local SEO cannot be overstated. As the renowned Chief Knowledge Officer at Merkle, Adam Audette, aptly puts it, “SEO is not about building links; it’s about building relationships.” In the realm of Local SEO, this rings especially true – where establishing connections within the community is paramount.

  • Google My Business (GMB) listing:
    Creating and optimizing a GMB listing is crucial for local SEO. It includes accurate business information like name, address, phone number (NAP), operating hours, and categories. When you’re looking for a business online, you likely expect to find its information in a Google listing and many of your customers feel the same.
  • Local citations:
    Building consistent and accurate citations (mentions of your business’s NAP) on various online directories, local business listings, and review platforms.
  • Local keywords:
    Targeting location-specific keywords that customers use when searching for products or services in a particular area, like “hairdresser in Boston” or “Restaurants in Cape Town”. This also refers to “near-me” keywords and phrases.
  • Customer reviews:
    Encouraging and managing customer reviews on platforms like GMB, Yelp, and other review websites.
  • Local on-page optimization:
    Incorporating location-specific keywords and information on the website’s pages, meta tags, and content.
  • NAP consistency:
    Ensuring that the business’s name, address, and phone number are consistent across all online platforms and directories.
  • Local link building:
    Acquiring backlinks from local websites, local directories, and businesses to improve local search authority (the local aspect is what makes it different from off-page SEO backlinks).
  • Mobile optimization:
    Making sure the website is mobile-friendly, as many local searches happen on phones and tablets in today’s always-on world.
  • Localized content and social media:
    Creating content that focuses on local topics, events, and news to engage the local audience and sharing it on your social channels and local groups.
  • Geotargeted ads:
    Running geotargeted advertising campaigns to reach potential customers in specific locations. Local SEO is essential for businesses that have a physical location or provide services to specific geographic areas. It helps businesses appear in local search results when potential customers are looking for products or services nearby, increasing their chances of attracting local customers and driving foot traffic to their store or office.

Optimizing your online stores | E-commerce SEO (if applicable)

E-commerce SEO involves optimizing online stores and product pages to improve their visibility in search engine results and attract more organic traffic. Here are some key components that go into it:

  • Keyword research:
    Conduct keyword research to identify relevant and high-converting keywords that potential customers are using to search for products, just like you would for your on-page SEO.
  • Product page optimization:
    Optimizing product titles, descriptions, and meta tags with target keywords to improve search rankings for individual product pages.
  • URL:
    Creating clean and keyword-rich URLs for product pages that are both user-friendly and search engine-friendly, i.e. follow a logical structure and include the category and product title.
  • Image optimization:
    Optimizing product images with descriptive alt tags and filenames, making it easier for engines to understand the content of the images.
  • User reviews and ratings:
    Encouraging and showcasing user reviews and ratings on product pages, as they can boost trust and credibility, influencing search rankings.
  • Site architecture:
    Organizing the website’s structure to make it easy for users and crawlers to navigate through categories and products or to search.
  • Internal linking:
    Implementing internal links to connect related products and categories, helping engines discover and index relevant pages.
  • Mobile responsiveness:
    Ensuring that the e-commerce website is fully responsive and provides a seamless experience for users on various devices, including mobile phones and tablets.
  • Site speed:
    Optimizing website loading speed to enhance user experience and reduce bounce rates, which can positively impact search engine rankings. “SEO is not just about being found. It’s about providing value and a great user experience.” – Keith Goode, VP of Marketing at IBM
  • Schema markup:
    Implementing schema markup for product details is just as important for e-commerce(e.g., price, availability, reviews). This can enhance the appearance of search results and improve click-through rates.
  • Secure checkout:
    Providing a secure and trustworthy checkout process, which can lead to higher conversion rates.
  • SEO-friendly navigation:
    Creating user-friendly navigation menus and filters that make it easy for customers to find products and improve the overall user experience.
  • Content:
    Developing and promoting valuable content, such as blog posts and buying guides, to attract potential customers and build brand authority.
  • Social media integration:
    Integrating social media platforms to facilitate product sharing and increase brand exposure, which can indirectly impact SEO.
  • Monitoring and analysis:
    Continuously monitoring website performance, traffic, and conversion rates, and using analytics to identify areas for improvement in your e-commerce SEO strategy. By focusing on these aspects of e-commerce SEO, you can increase your chances of ranking higher in search results with your online store, attract more qualified traffic, and ultimately drive more sales and revenue.

SEO reporting | Your Digital Assembly

SEO knowledge: diving deeper into the terminology

Happy with the fundamentals and have a good understanding of the SEO landscape and disciplines? Great. Now let’s dive a little deeper into the details. How advanced is your team’s knowledge of SEO terminology and how it fits into your search engine optimization strategy? Dig in and make a note of any you aren’t familiar with.

  • HTML tags:
    HTML tags define the hierarchy of headings on a particular page, and they come in six levels: H1 is the most important, and H6 is the least important. These are coded (often automatically into your CMS) to show importance.
  • HREF (hypertext reference):
    Creating a link to a different web page with HTML.
  • Hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP):
    It’s a system that connects your computer to websites on the Internet or local networks (intranet). It helps deliver pages from servers to your web browser.
  • Hypertext transfer protocol secure (HTTPS):
    The same as HTTP but encrypted for security.
  • Microdata:
    Code that helps search engines crawl website content for the structured data that helps determine their ranking. There will be more of these to come in future YDA content, so keep an eye out on the blog.

Getting strategic: Level up your search engine optimization in a way that’s right for your business

It can be resource intensive to have a comprehensive SEO strategy in place. If you’re already covering all the aspects mentioned above, it can take time to bring it all together in a meaningful way that actually impacts your business outcomes. Luckily, there are relatively straightforward ways to enhance performance and reap the benefits in both the short and long term. “SEO is not a cost, but an investment. It’s an asset that provides long-term value.” – Dr. Peter J. Meyers, Marketing Scientist at Moz SEO specialists | Your Digital Assembly

Your work tools can save time, and money while preventing human error

You’re likely already using some form of Google Analytics for Google Ads campaigns in your business. This can also be a good tool for keyword research, monitoring performance, and creating reports. But it’s not the only helper you have at your disposal. Free and paid subscriptions are available for a variety of SEO tools that can help you write optimized content, run site audits and measure performance against competitors. Of course, the human element is still very important and your team will still need to deeply understand your business needs or those of your clients, the audiences you want to interact with, and interpret the changes you see over time. But here are a few examples:

Similarly, content creators will need to add the human touch, stick to brand guidelines, tone, and voice, and appeal to consumers, human-to-human. And researchers, strategists, or analyzers can still add great value by adopting a growth marketing mindset and experimenting and challenging findings. SEO experts | SEO Tools | Your Digital Assembly

Get support with tasks outside of your core competencies

While some in-house client teams can create and implement a comprehensive search engine optimization strategy, they won’t always have the time or the go-ahead to hire teammates in permanent roles. By enlisting the help of experts with everything from auditing to strategy and content creation, you can bring in a fresh set of eyes and find gaps in your existing strategy. If your business already has a market then search engine optimization is a matter of urgency to maintain credibility, visibility, and increasing returns. Here an SEO partner can help you transition into creating your own team. However, additional support is also effective for businesses that run in an agency model, where SEO is outside of their core set of competencies. Don’t dilute your model and your processes, creating extra complexity and watering down your offerings, and keep your SEO operations sustainable.

“Good SEO work only gets better over time. It’s only search engine tricks that need to keep changing when the ranking algorithms change.” – Jill Whalen, Former CEO of High Rankings

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) | How to | YDA

Advance your research and reporting for business buy-in and new key learnings

Advanced SEO reporting involves going beyond basic metrics and providing in-depth insights and analysis to measure the effectiveness of SEO strategies. To achieve this, customized Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are defined and tracked based on the specific business goals and objectives you’ve set. This can include organic traffic growth, conversion rates, user engagement, and revenue generated from organic search. Data is segmented by different dimensions, including device type, location, demographics, and user behavior, to identify trends and opportunities for targeted optimizations.

Advanced keyword analysis goes beyond rankings and delves into metrics like click-through rates (CTR), impressions, and the overall impact on organic traffic and conversions. And you can also assess landing page performance to identify high-performing pages and areas for improvement. More than this, an advanced SEO reporting strategy includes competitor analysis, and evaluating their SEO tactics, keyword rankings, backlinks, content, and on-page optimizations to uncover opportunities for improvement.

Backlink profile analysis helps determine the quality and relevance of backlinks using metrics like Domain Authority (DA) and Page Authority (PA). You can also report using content analysis where you look at how well blog posts, infographics, and videos are performing in terms of traffic, engagement, and conversions, to guide your content strategy. Regular technical SEO audits can help you identify and address issues affecting website crawlability, indexability, and performance.

Conversion funnel analysis tracks and analyzes the user journey from organic search to conversion, identifying potential roadblocks and helping you optimize accordingly. Create custom reporting dashboards using tools like Google Data Studio or Tableau to interpret data visually and drive data-driven decision-making.

SEO forecasting utilizes historical data and trends to predict future performance, set realistic goals, and estimate the potential impact of SEO initiatives. Over and above this, attribution analysis can help you see how SEO is helping you drive conversions. This could be in combination with other marketing channels, like paid search, social media marketing, and email marketing.

Mobile SEO analysis looks at mobile-specific metrics, given the growing importance of mobile search. This way you can see if your users can easily access your work and information and if you’re following the best practices that can lead to success.

Supercharge Search Engine Optimization (SEO) success with YDA

At YDA, we live and breathe SEO along with other disciplines that impact your marketing and sales strategies online. We can help you with everything from getting started, to an SEO audit, or technical, content, on and off-page assistance where you need it. If an agency promises that just one thing will get you to page one on search engines, they’re not giving you the whole story. Or maybe they’re talking about paid advertising like PPC ads to your site. But here at YDA, we’ve got true SEO pros who will work with you to help increase site and store performance. We can help with:

  • Technical SEO audit
  • Project roadmap
  • Google Search setup
  • XML sitemap status
  • Google Analytics goals setup
  • Keyword research
  • Competitor analysis on other sites
  • Metadata optimization
  • Site architecture improvements
  • Internal links audit
  • Backlink audit
  • Site copy updates
  • Duplicate copy checks
  • Content strategy development
  • Blog organization
  • Image optimization
  • Schema markup
  • Local listings management
  • Reporting and analytics

Get the right support from a team that will work with you to improve your SEO and subsequently, your visibility. Chat to us today to find out how we can help.