Your SEO Reports Aren’t Everything
Search engine optimization can be a relatively simple concept while simultaneously being complex and nuanced. On the surface, Google advises us to focus on having a quality website and content to match, while behind the scenes, hundreds of secret metrics are weighed and balanced to deliver your ranking. Then there are the experts who have purportedly cracked the code or figured out the “one easy fix that brings instant success.”
It’s easy to spend a lot of time trying to figure out the best approach to your SEO, but many small and medium-sized businesses fall into the same expensive trap.
Be Honest: Do You Obsess Over Your SEO Reports?
It can be too tempting to analyze every detail of these reports, diving into the minutiae and obsessing over each thing. I want to tell you one thing right now: while these reports are hugely helpful for certain things, they won’t give you everything.
For instance, you won’t see how you’re actually performing in rankings or what users are experiencing. You’re getting the technical, behind-the-scenes stuff that might be pertinent. Whether the SEO tool is free or paid isn’t a complete look at the situation. Any website would be torn apart by these reports simply because the things being reported are often things that just don’t matter in the grand scope.
For instance, maybe your SEO report tells you that the title tag on one of your pages is a touch long. If the page is still ranking well, that’s the important thing. If Google likes it and gets decent traffic, that one title tag probably isn’t something to worry about.
That said, some technical stuff is important to know. For instance, you may have a list of 301 redirects. This would be useful because resolving them can make it much easier for Google’s crawlers. There is definitely a technical side to SEO, but it isn’t everything you need to consider.
The Real Utility of SEO Reports
The purpose of an SEO report is to benefit the people developing and designing the website or the SEO experts in charge of optimizing it to prioritize suggested fixes based on their years of experience. These professionals can dissect the report and identify the most valuable activities for you to undergo.
It’s important to remember that the technical stuff is just there to keep the house in order and make it easier for the more complicated stuff to succeed. It’s important, but not the end game.
So, what are SEO reports good for? They help SEO experts and web designers/developers prioritize technical tasks that can slightly improve SEO efforts and ranking. With years of experience, a good web designer or SEO specialist will know what to look for in the report and then determine if it’s worth fixing, if it’s a priority, or if it’s something that can wait.
For a business owner, you must be engaged with your SEO performance, but your role is more of a big-picture one—and again, the technical aspects of SEO are just one part of it. Your SEO relies on the following:
Technical SEO Fixes:
- Fix the browser page titles.
- Optimize headings on each page.
- Fix bad or broken redirects.
- Fix broken internal links.
- Adjust some homepage copy to reflect the terms you want to rank for more accurately.
- De-index superfluous URLs.
- Review backlinks and address any toxic backlinks.
Run some ADA compliance tasks.
Content Marketing SEO:
- Get the homepage to spell out what you do in a way your prospects would actually search for.
- Start building strategic content each month.
- Start a social media strategy.
- Promote monthly content.
- Look for opportunities to create case studies, press releases, and other valuable content.
- Consider running joint webinars or events with other local entities.
- Figuring out a content strategy that will benefit your SEO.
- Creating SEO-friendly content.
- Running your social media strategically.
Promoting content each month.
These activities are essential to getting the attention of search engines, but there’s limited to no information on these reports that applies to the latter half of these activities. Instead, it’s all about producing your visitors' best, most engaging experience.
SEO Reports Can Help, But There’s More to Success Than That
Will SEO reports give you valuable information? Absolutely. That said, SEO is a complicated beast, and this data can quickly muddy the waters for you. It’s more important to focus on the qualities you have more granular control over and contribute to your overall success more directly.
If you want help with your SEO strategy, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Give us a call at 607.433.2200.