SEO is simply an acronym for Search Engine Optimisation – That is, the process of optimising one’s website in order to rank higher within a search engine’s search results page (SERP), with the primary goal of garnering organic traffic.

Rocket’s View On SEO

However, SEO is much more complex and sophisticated than what can be encapsulated into a single sentence definition. In 2019, SEO has become a multi-disciplinary, highly strategic industry in which people now work within specialised and segmented fields. It’s rare to find any one person who has the singular capacity or cross-spectrum skills to run all elements of an enterprise level campaign. In order to produce optimal SEO results, digital marketing agencies now require the skills of developers and programmers to handle technical implementation, content producers and copywriters, marketers and PR specialists for authority building and link acquisition, videographers, data and analytics specialists and the list goes on. Top SEO companies invest heavily in employees with these skills to be able to drive great results for their clients – and these people are not easy to find!

"Rocket is the only Australian digital marketing agency to be recognised (and become a finalist) in the Search Engine Land Awards"

Rocket believes that our on going investment in employees with diversified skill sets is what drives success for our clients. We are lucky to have the right mix of staff with vast experience across the diverse silos of the SEO industry, which ultimately allows us to deliver end-to-end campaigns for our clients. Too often we hear of companies who flunk on their endeavours with Search Engine Optimisation and this is normally because they get stuck with keyword research, technical audits, reports or strategies which die on the paper they’re written on it. Without the capacity to execute on all fronts of your campaign it will invariably fail.

It’s easy enough to make claims about one’s own business being great at what you do. However, we are pretty happy to hang our hat on the peer recognition we have received for our work in the industry. To this extent, Rocket is the only Australian digital marketing agency to be recognised (and become a finalist) in the Search Engine Land Awards – the preeminent awards for global SEO campaigns which are historically dominated by US based agencies.

Be sure to also check out some of our case studies on the results we have achieved with our clients.

Related: Building an SEO Strategy For Services That Don’t Even Exist Yet

Success Factors for SEO

We often hear people say SEO doesn’t work. SEO is a dark art. Is SEO dead? What is SEO?!?! These comments are purely driven from a lack of education and understanding on what SEO actually does.

Too many companies work with their SEO agency in non-transparent relationships. They probably receive a key word report and a couple of dryly written blogs once a month. If ranking numbers are in the green they are happy. If not, they say it’s not working, it’s not for them or their agency is no good! It’s not very often there is a long-term SEO marketing plan in play with clearly defined strategies and reasoning behind the work being executed.

"Education on the factors which make successful SEO campaigns in turn builds successful client-agency partnerships."

We’re a firm believer that educating a client on the strategic approach to an SEO campaign and ensuring they have buy-in into the decisions being made is the best way to achieve long-term success. This is important because SEO is a long-term game.
Transparency and education are the components we focus on with our clients at Rocket. Education on the factors which make successful SEO campaigns in-turn builds successful client-agency partnerships.

So, what are those factors? Realistically, there are far too many individual items to mention in one singular page, however we can provide some high-level overview.

At Rocket, we break down SEO success factors into three core areas: Technical, Content & Authority.

Related: Is SEO Dead?

Technical SEO

Since the early days, Technical SEO (also known as onsite or on-page) has always been comprised as part of any SEO campaign. However, in recent years it has become an increasingly important discipline. This is in part due to the swift decline of spammy link-building techniques historically employed to gain quick wins, combined with both the ever increasing sophistication of websites and Google’s search algorithm.

Technical SEO to a large extent is the process of building and optimising your website to work in the most seamless manner with search engine bots. These bots are the behind the scenes mechanisms which are responsible for ultimately crawling, indexing and ranking your webpages. It is a Technical SEOs job to ensure the bots can:

  • Actually find and crawl your website
  • Index your website
  • Recognise and understand your content
  • Receive the correct signals for ranking content
  • Render your page
  • Understand that your page is worth ranking

Although the bullet points above look straight forward, they’re not. The job requires a sound understanding of programming and development as well as many other subjects. Technical SEO deals with anything from Structured Data Mark-ups, AMP, canonicalization, status codes, JavaScript and CSS, site information architecture to HTTP(s), site latency and mobile optimisation. It all sounds very technical right? Hence the name!

"The important takeaway here is that a content strategy alone will not deliver results without sound technical analysis behind it."

If your SEO company is sending you Technical Audits and expecting either you or your development company to implement it correctly without in-depth knowledge of these areas, chances are your campaign will not go well.

Related: Updating Blog Posts to Increase Traffic and Rankings

Content

Content is King! This has been the saying in digital marketing for some time now and it is certainly true today. Producing excellent content, complimented with sound Technical SEO, will create the right environment to get visibility in the search engines for your business. Google and other Search Engines want to give the best possible user experience to their users. Fundamentally this means serving them websites with content that best answers their questions and search queries. For your business to increase its share of the organic search pie, you ultimately need an SEO-driven content strategy that can maximise user experience and deliver meaningful and engaging content to your users. Producing great content in and of itself is a hard-enough job. When the content needs to be SEO- driven, this adds an additional layer of complexity to the task. An SEO agency well versed in content strategy should be able to help demystify the task for you.

When putting together your content strategy some of the questions you need to be answering (from an SEO perspective) include:

  • What are the questions my customers are going to Google wanting answers for?
  • Have I completed sound keyword research and keyword mapping?
  • What are my target terms I want to rank for and where will they sit within my site architecture?
  • Will there be any cannibalisation of target terms across my site?
  • What form will my content take? Will it be on-page, blog, video, resource, downloadable, long form, short form etc.
  • Can I get long-term gains from the content – will it be evergreen?
  • What are my content opportunities? Can I conduct gap analysis with my competitors to see what they rank for that I don’t?
  • Are there opportunities to rank for other SERP features like featured snippets, if so how will this affect the type of content I’m producing?
  • Who is going to produce my content and will it be unique, valuable and engaging?
  • Do I want to rank for long-tail search, brand or high-intent keywords?

There is much to consider when producing a good content strategy, even before you are tasked with producing the content itself. If your current strategy is centred around producing two blogs posts a month, you need to consider if what you are doing really answers some of the questions we’ve outlined above.

Related: Why Content is Key to Success!

Authority

Authority based SEO is the third part of the Rocket guide to SEO Success Factors and the most difficult to get results in.

There are literally hundreds of ranking signals that Search Engines factor in when establishing a website’s authority. However, they can be summarised into two key silos – Content and Links. That is, is the content relevant and do external links help establish further credibility.

As George Bush famously said back in 2006 the internet is just “A Series of Tubes”. Although a little misguided, he wasn’t that far off. The web, when stripped bare, is just a series of documents that are connected to one another via links.
Although the way in which Google has measured and valued these links has changed dramatically over the years – there is no doubt within the SEO community that links are still a critical piece of the SEO puzzle.

In the most simplistic explanation possible, Google essentially looks at the relevance of a page’s content in respect to a user’s search query, supported through external link citations in order to determine authority. Google used to make known its perceived authority of an individual website through its PageRank tool. This has now been disbanded, however there are other tools available to help SEOs understand these metrics.

So, how does your brand make headway in the challenging realm of SEO authority? Well, firstly you have completed the first two steps to success in that you have executed superior onsite Technical SEO and have an industry leading content marketing strategy. All things being equal this will hopefully create some natural link building to your awesome site and its content. Now, while you wait for the links to come flooding in there are other activities that can be done in the meantime to help the process.

They include:

  • Guest Posting in industry publications in which your post may cite (link-to) some of the excellent supporting content on your site
  • Reaching out to industry peers for possible link acquisition
  • Promoting your content heavily on social media
  • Consider ways you can leverage industry influencers to engage with your content
  • Participating in any industry podcasting
  • Find leading websites with broken links and offering them your content as replacement for the lost content
  • Have a PR strategy and leverage any online brand mentions
  • Have an outreach strategy
  • Manage and disavow the bad links coming into your site

There is a huge amount of work which can be done in the Authority space. However it can be hard to get results easily so you and your team need to spend time in the areas where you are more likely to get wins to begin with.

As you can see, working through all three key areas of a winning SEO strategy takes time, a variety of skills and a lot of know-how. You need to be planning your strategy for the long term – over years, not months. If you get the mix right, your SEO strategy will underpin all of your digital marketing efforts and provide a solid foundation for growth for your business online.

Rocket is the leading SEO Agency in Sydney. We have the team, skills and expertise to deliver tangible results in the complex modern realm of Search Engine Optimisation. We are not going to talk to you about numbers of keywords and packages but will speak at a detailed level as to what can be done to deliver mid-level Australian enterprises proper organic growth and business outcomes that are sustainable and realistic using our success factors for SEO.

Speak to us today!

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