Modern Search Engine Optimization

It's NOT just about keywords.

Your ideal customer should find you on the web quickly, and making your web pages more readily available to be indexed and ranked by search engines is what Search Engine Optimization (or SEO) is all about. Your website is your biggest marketing tool, and should be attracting measurable amounts of new business and new customers. If it isn’t, then implementing modern SEO strategies is one of the best ways to get it working for you.

The problem? SEO has changed a lot since 2010. Google – while still the biggest search engine in the USA – is no longer the only search engine to worry about. Bing and Yahoo have gained market share in recent years. In addition, all the major search engines now espouse semantic search, and sponsor and subscribe to guidelines set by Schema.org to maintain structured data mechanisms on websites. Modern SEO is no longer only about keywords and keyword placement. It’s evolved to be much more complex.

At Focus 4, we have the tools and expertise to help make sure your web content is seen by the most qualified buyers for your unique business – and in today’s complex Internet landscape.

Here are some of the key SEO services that we offer:

  • On-page & off-page content and tag optimization
  • Linking strategies (both internal and external, using only forward-thinking methods)
  • Local geographic optimization
  • Social Media profile optimization
  • Video optimization
  • Content Marketing
  • Business Reviews consulting
  • and yes, in-depth keyword analysis (it hasn’t completely disappeared)

Your Unique Internet Business Plan

Having a clear view of your company’s goals is a big part of search engine optimization. Every business has unique challenges and differentiators, and knowing yours helps Focus 4 develop a custom-fitted plan.

To find the best way to make your web presence work for your business, we sit down with you to talk about your overall business goals. Once we have a clear picture of your organization and how you want it to grow, we can help you apply those goals strategically to the Internet.

The Truth about Keywords: Be Specific, Don’t Overuse

What is it that makes you different? At Focus 4, we make sure your keywords are highly targeted to your business, and that their concepts and configurations on the page are compatible with semantic search parameters. That’s what makes our in-depth keyword analysis so powerful.

Many people think that it’s best to use the most popular search terms as keywords… but that is just not the case. For example, take a very broad term such as “sports.” There are millions of websites out there that will be competing against you for the term “sports.” However, narrowing down to “Orioles baseball,” keeps you from having to compete against football, tennis and swimming websites, as well as baseball website for other teams.

Still, who searches for something as general as “Orioles baseball” anymore? Most searches contain more words and are more specific, such as “Orioles baseball memorabilia”, “Orioles baseball players 1988” or “Orioles baseball tickets for July 17.” Ranking highly for these types of terms is not about repeating these specific keywords over and over on a page, but instead optimizing the page for semantic search when these concepts or topics might have been the intent of someone’s other-worded search.

Sound tricky? It sure is.

Our keyword analysis not only focuses on your company’s specialties, but the ways in which we can implement those keywords strategically to boost your search engine performance in the age of semantic search. Our ultimate goal is not to have your website ranking highly in Google for 10 keywords, but to have your website traffic increase measurably year-over-year based on a number of factors, with keyword rankings being merely one of them.

It’s All About Content

Whether you’re doing your own web design, or you’ve hired a web developer to help you, there are certain things that need to be in place in order for your page to be properly optimized.

First and foremost, your page content should read well to your intended customer. The written portions of your website are vital to its success and should be optimized for customer readability as well as search engines.

Keywords are important, but unless they are expertly crafted into content that appeals to your reader, your pages won’t get read. We often work with website copy writing experts to ensure that your content has the highest possible appeal to your potential market.

Can You Optimize for Local Searches?

Absolutely! If you’re a landscaper or a builder, home remodeler or some other business that’s tied to certain geographic area, local optimization helps clients in your area find you.

Think about it—in today’s world, where do people go first when they want information on any subject, even local businesses? The Internet! If you want to be found online when they’re searching, you need to include schema that includes your state and locality within your website code.

Special note: We often have companies ask us if we can optimize their website to show up on local maps in towns or cities where they have no physical presence. This used to be fairly easy, but no more. The search engines know that if someone is searching for a plumber in Baltimore, MD, they probably aren’t going to be happy if the search results show a bunch of plumbers that are actually 20 miles outside of Baltimore.

When should I think about doing SEO in my development process if I’m a new business?

Ideally, the search engine optimization process should start before the website build process begins.

Talk with an internet consultant or a search engine expert first to determine what is needed. Once you have a written list, take it with you when you talk to your web developer and make sure those things are in place. You should also find out if you have access to either change those items or include them in your maintenance agreement.

It’s never too late…

But even if you already have a website, it’s never too late to go in and re-optimize it for better performance. Contact us today for a consultation to determine whether your existing website is “SEO ready.”


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