The SEO Performance Wheel: Taking the Guessing Game Out of Search Engine Optimization

Too often marketers think of search engine optimization as an esoteric topic that requires deep technical knowledge to achieve higher organic search rankings. However, SEO doesn’t have to be an intimidating endeavor.

The SEO Performance Wheel: Taking the Guessing Game Out of Search Engine Optimization

Too often marketers think of search engine optimization as an esoteric topic that requires deep technical knowledge to achieve higher organic search rankings.  However, SEO doesn’t have to be an intimidating endeavor.

See, search engines are user experience machines. They exist to help people find useful information that answers their questions and to take action once they do. Conceptualizing SEO in a user-first mode - rather than as a technical matter - allows businesses to holistically approach search engine optimization and beat competitors at their own game.

To simplify the approach to search engine optimization while maximizing performance 10cubed has developed a unique visual diagnostic tool called the SEO Performance Wheel. Engineered to help marketers prioritize and assess their organic search efforts. The wheel is divided into four sections:

  1. Brand Reputation - the signals of positive sentiment that indicate to search engines that users trust a website and the company's brand.
  2. Content & Keywords - the helpful language that is accessible to users’ anticipated understanding of the subject matter.
  3. User Experience - the ability for users to quickly and easily navigate a website, educate themselves and take desired actions to solve their problems.
  4. Technical Architecture - the ability to make it easy for Google, Bing and other search engines to crawl and index a website so that it ranks highly on search engine results pages (what is also known as SERP).

By understanding the impact of each area, marketers can create a comprehensive SEO strategy that covers all aspects of optimization.

And here's an example of what the SEO Performance Wheel output looks like for a real-life business.

Regardless of where you stand as a business with search engine optimization there are some quick tips that if used correctly will help to improve your website rankings, increase website traffic and capture more sales leads and customers.

Brand Reputation

  1. Ask your customers to leave reviews on your social media pages, your Google Business profile, Yelp and other business pages. Positive reviews are not only great points of social proof but also help search engines understand your company is trusted.
  2. Monitor and respond to reviews on business profile pages. Even negative reviews are an opportunity to show that you care about your customers and are willing to do right by them. Also, search engines look for active engagement as a signal of positive authority.
  3. Create a strategy that encourages other reputable websites in your industry or local region to link back to your website. This is called backlink building. There are a thousand ways to build backlinks - too many to get into today - but know that the best way to get a link is to be able to offer helpful content that supports the website's goals and users.

Content & Keywords

  1. First and foremost, use the language of your audience and meet them where they are. You can use free tools like Google's Keyword Planner or paid tools like SEMRush to explore the language that your audience is using to describe their problems and explore solutions.
  2. Craft your content strategy so that it directly answers the common questions that your customers ask. Have your expertise and experience shine through. That's the value you provide to the market and that's the type of content that ranks most highly on search engines.
  3. Focus on quality of content over quantity. Too much "thin" content - that is short and/or non-thoughtful content - can be a negative signal and hurt your search engine rankings. Rather, focus on high quality and substantive content that helps drive the conversation forward.

User Experience

  1. Work with your designer and developer to make your website visually professional and easy to navigate. Users want a website that helps them to quickly find answers to their questions and to take their desired actions - and so do search engines.
  2. Work with your developer to have the website load quickly. The speed of a website's loading has a direct impact on the organic ranking of a website.
  3. Your website should be responsive. That is, it should be viewable across device types - desktop, tablet and mobile - and feature all of the same content.

Technical Architecture

  1. The website should be easily crawlable by Google and other search engines. This means there should not be any technical reason why a search engine should not be able to scan your website for content and relevance (for instance, a noindex tag).
  2. Use meta language, that is non-human readable language and tags that help search engines better understand the content on the page and the context in which it is presented. This includes items like Title tags, Meta Descriptions, image Alt text and structured data.
  3. Prioritize security and use HTTPS for your website. Google and other search engines give priority to websites that care about security.

All said, which SEO has nuance it doesn't have to be complicated. By focusing squarely on your customer's needs and desires - and tailoring your website to match - you can beat the competition and capture free traffic through search engines.