Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is important because without it, your website may never get in front of the people who need to see it. However, for businesses in industries outside of marketing, understanding SEO can be confusing and many marketing companies make promises they cannot keep. Here are some common SEO questions, answered:
Common SEO Question #1
Q: What is SEO?
A: SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Basically, it’s the process of using specific keywords to show up on search engine’s results pages.
Search engine optimization is the process of getting website traffic by ranking high on key terms on the search engines. In order to fully understand SEO,you first need to understand how a search engine operates. Search engines use “crawlers” or “spiders” to search through the web and find information. Once a crawler has found a website, it must then analyze it’s content and store that information.
Search engines then use algorithms to decide what the most relevant and popular web content is to the information seeker. The most popular and best optimized webpages rank the highest on results pages. A website will appear in a SERP based on hundreds of different factors (Google actually has over 200 factors that it takes into account when identifying the pertinence of a website).
Some factors include:
- The number of reputable sites linking to it
- The content on the pages (is what you are saying easy to read and relevant?)
- Title tags, Meta descriptions, URLs, and Alt tags
- Page load time (does it take a long time for the page to load?)
Common SEO Question #2
Q: How do I know where to go for SEO?
A: Do your research before you decide to work with an internet marketing service!
There are a couple of red flags to watch for in a marketing company:
• A company that gives strict limits on what they will do. If you are limited in terms of paragraphs, number of pages or search terms they will optimize for, watch out! Optimization is a continual and total overhaul You will NOT have a successful website if just one page or one key term is optimized for.
• A company that tires to lure you in with promised page ranking. Google changes their ranking and SEO algorithms all the time, which in turn changes ranking criteria. If a company promises they can always get you to #1 spot on Google’s results page, question it. SEO is not just “one and done.” It’s complicated and ever-evolving. If a company provides SEO but there is no long term commitment, they’re only worried about their own success. Search engines constantly change, so should your website. A good SEO company will be in it for the long-haul.
• A company that doesn’t do their research. A company that has not taken the time to learn about your business or your specific target customers is not truly invested in your businesses growth. Good SEO companies do research about how your customers are searching for your products or services, and take the time to implement results into your website.
Common SEO Question #3
Q: Do I need an internet marketing expert to help me with SEO?
A: SEO is a professional, full-time job. Many small businesses owners don’t have the time, background knowledge, or trained employees to properly optimize their websites themselves. SEO is not optional. If you aren’t able to do it yourself, you need to find an internet marketing company that successfully can.
Poorly optimized sites may have great information, but often have limiting factors. Small businesses who choose to optimize their website themselves (or worse, not at all) often fall behind on current SEO trends and as a consequence, their pages get ranked lower and lower in SERPs where their target audience can’t find them.
Because search engines are always changing how they rank webpages, keeping track of the implications on changes for a website can be a daunting task. A marketing expert pays close attention to when and how search engines modify the ways they rank sites, so they can work with their clients to develop and implement the best SEO and marketing strategies to maintain high viability rates.
Internet marketers understand the factors involved in search engine optimization and will learn about your company to the fullest extent in order to best optimize it. Every small business needs something different, and a dedicated internet marketing consultant will help you implement the best plan for you. There are limitations on what a search engine can and cannot “understand.” Without optimization, a search engine has no way to determine whether a specific webpage has superior content, which is why marketing experts are still necessary.
It’s a lot like a band. They might have an awesome sound or powerful lyrics, but if they are not marketed, they will never get a record deal. Good products need good marketing to be successful.
If you’re new to internet marketing, you may have some common SEO questions, and that’s OK. That you’re even asking questions means you’re headed down the right path. SEO is essential if you want your small business to be successful in the digital marketing world. But, you need to be wary of services that promise too much or have too many restrictions on their services. Take some time to educate yourself on SEO and how it works so you can ensure you’re getting the best small business internet marketing services available.