Who remembers those popular books from the 80’s and 90’s with the yellow covers and the dude with the triangular head?
Ah yes, that’s right — ”Such and such for Dummies!”
You may consider this post to be Fannit’s sort of SEO for dummies content, but let’s clarify something important first.
We do not consider you a dummy!
Truly, SEO is an often complicated, nuanced field of marketing that never stops evolving.
It’s entirely understandable that busy entrepreneurs like yourself simply don’t have the time to stay up with all the new developments of SEO.
That’s where Fannit comes in.
So today, as your friendly neighborhood Seattle SEO company, I am going to plunge you headfirst into one of the most accessible concepts in SEO, which is a four-letter acronym called TRAP.
TRAP itself was an acronym first coined by one of our good friends and fellow talented SEO, Steven Kang. What is TRAP, you ask? It stands for the following…
No, not that kind of Trap.
In the quest to provide our equivalent of search engine optimization for dummies, each one of these areas of TRAP will warrant its own section to elaborate.
Let’s start with the T.
Technical - On-page SEO Elements
“Technical” represents the first elemental layer in TRAP.
Often times, “Technical” is the area that most non-SEO’s are already somewhat familiar with, even if they aren’t sure how to execute upon it. You could call this area SEO best practices.
This technical side of SEO relates to how well your website and its many pages are optimized and organized. This can include (but isn’t limited to…)
- Title tags: do they state what the page is trying to rank for?
- URL: is it concise and reflects the desired keyword?
- Alt text: images have to tell the story too!
Lucky for us, Keith Eneix, our leader of SEO architected a handy SEO cheat sheet that goes into great detail on all of the insider secrets to optimized pages.
Relevancy - Speaking to the Audience
Relevancy is another area that many business owners are familiar with in terms of SEO marketing strategy.
The relevance of a page is determined by the quality of the keyword research that’s been conducted.
Keyword research is more than just populating the page with relevant keywords; it’s imperative that the actual subject matter of the page speaks to your target audience and addresses the problem that they have.
When done well, keyword research marketer speaking in the exact terms of language as their target persona. There are many ways to do this better than your competitors. Once again, good ol’ Keith produced a post on the secrets of keyword research as well! Do check it out.
Authority is best described as “off-site SEO.” This is one of the SEO principles that many marketers fail to take into account.
When your website scores high in “authority,” it means that Google has noticed your website is being highlighted by other domains out on the web.
Now that’s what I call authoritative!
If you produce content that’s truly valuable, other high-quality companies will want to link to it.
They’ll either notice this on their own and supply the link, or (more commonly) you will seek to contact them and ask for a “backlink.” This is what “guest posts” on blogs are for.
Backlinks are links that link back to your website. And when this happens, the website linking to yours will pass some of its authority over.
For example, if we got a backlink from Microsoft, we would benefit greatly — for Microsoft is a domain with high authority.
In case you’re wondering, a score of 52 is actually quite an excellent domain rating...with most sites being at about 15 (or less).
Here’s a sample of what this looks like in action. Fannit has a DR (domain rating) and a UR (URL rating).
Both show us how much authority the search engine sees us with based on what other domains are linking to our content.
Backlinking is key to any successful SEO marketing strategy, but it’s important to stay focused on the quality of the backlinks over the quantity. Lots of SEO’s opt for the alternative, and doing so can burn your domain over time…
Basically, authority is the SEO equivalent of the old adage, “You are judged by the company you keep!”
Finally, we have the X factor...popularity.
Garnering high popularity of a piece of content on your site can be like lightning in a bottle. Recently, I saw a post for a pest control company that ranked #1 out of 12,000,000 results — the post was titled “What to do when crickets get inside your house.”
Now, this company probably didn’t imagine they’d become the world leader of cricket pest control when they wrote this. But, due to how the post was shared around and how it resonated with the target audience, they came to dominate search rankings for this term.
Sometimes, popularity is hit or miss. You may have a post that’s well architected in T, R, and A, but for some reason misses the mark with your audience (P).
Or, you may find that it goes viral! It’s tough to predict.
A good motto to go by is simply to produce content that you believe your audience will find valuable, and promote it on social channels that your target audience spends time on.
Of course, this includes…
- Instagram (depending on your business)
SEO Best Practices: Wrapping it up
Here’s the great part about TRAP; you do not have to crush it in every area. In fact, you can rank very well even if you’re only heavily optimized for one out of the four main areas.
However, it’s always best to have an SEO marketing strategy that’s well-rounded in each area.
Doing so will give your team the best chance of success in the content that you produce, which is great for you and great for your audience.
Starting with on-page SEO is a good way to go. You can jump right to our SEO cheat sheet by clicking below. Or click here to get in touch with us!