What is Search Engine Optimization?
Let’s start with the reason search engine optimization (also called SEO) exists. Search engines use many different tools in a complicated algorithm to figure out what ranking for a specific keyword phrase they are going to give to individual websites. They are constantly trying to improve their algorithm and search results can change as often as daily. The search engine’s goal is to provide the most accurate search results for the person searching for a specific keyword phrase.
The search engine’s also uses visitors IP address to find where the searcher is located. So, if I search for chiropractor and I’m located in Kansas City, but you are in Orlando, there is virtually no way that your results are going to display your chiropractic website in my search results. Now if I add chiropractor Orlando you would have a better shot of showing up. Many of your search results are location based. They do this to potentially give me the best results without me (as the searcher) having to type in the city I live in.
Search engine optimization is a tool to increase your rankings for specific keyword phrases…which should increase the quantity and quality of your traffic. It is even more important when you have a virtual business vs a local business.
Why is Search Engine Optimization Important?
Your website is competing amongst countless other websites. A search engine optimization strategy helps your website rank better in the search results. If your website is well optimized and you have a solid search engine optimization plan you can improve your rankings and therefore your traffic.
Is it easy? No!
If it was easy to do, everyone could get on the first page for their desired keywords. While it’s not easy – and it requires you to do some work – creating a strategy does not need to be complicated.
Search engine optimization should be part of your overall marketing plan. At the very least, your site should be well optimized when it is first created. Make sure it’s a question you ask your website designer.
If you need help with search engine optimization for a new or current site, please schedule a consultation here.
How Do I Know if My Current Site is Optimized?
If you designed your site instead of a professional web designer, or you had a web designer who was not familiar with SEO, there is a good chance your site needs to be optimized.
While there are many pieces to the “SEO puzzle” here are some things you can check for right now:
- Do you have an SSL set up on your domain?
- Have you done keyword research?
- Did you create a site structure?
- Do you have content relevant to your keywords?
- How often are you adding quality content?
- Have you optimized your meta information?
- Did you optimize your images on your site?
- Are you using your keywords?
- Is your site mobile responsive?
- Did you create a solid blogging strategy?
- Do you have a solid social media strategy?
If you need help with on-site optimization, contact us for a consultation here.
How to Avoid SEO Headaches
We have heard so many stories from our clients about past experiences with SEO companies. Just as with any industry – there are some bad apples. We hope that any experiences you have had with SEO companies does not influence your thoughts about how important having an SEO strategy is.
We want to tell you some of these stories so that you can be aware of how to avoid SEO headaches.
Example #1: We had a client who paid over $1000 each month for SEO for a long period of time. The problem was that he had no idea what they were doing. When he asked them for some information on what they had been doing each month they could not provide any specific actions. When he decided to cancel their service they started harassing him and telling him all the ways his business would suddenly fall off the search results (which weren’t that high in the first place).
Example #2: A client was paying a company a few hundred dollars each month to write blogs that were optimized and targeted to his audience. The company would then send out those emails in a broadcast. What he later found out was this company used the same articles – titles, images, content, etc. with all their clients. The duplicate content over hundreds of sites did nothing for him…and obviously wasn’t “targeted to his audience”.
Example #3: A client paid thousands of dollars to have an SEO company optimize her site. For a few days her site was doing extremely well – she was climbing in the search results and she was getting traffic. It didn’t take the search engines very long to blacklist her site. As it turned out the SEO company was using black-hat SEO techniques that got her domain banned. Of course, emails and phone calls to the company suddenly went unanswered. Learn more about what Google considers to be the General Guidelines for SEO here.
Unfortunately, these are just a few of the many stories we have seen over the years.
Here are some ways to protect yourself:
- Know exactly what your SEO company is doing for you. If they don’t want to tell you – this is a red flag!
- Be cautious of signing a long-term contract. Ask for a trial period.
- If a company tells you that they can guarantee you a first page result – run away! They are lying – no one can guarantee this for you.
- Find out if the SEO company is doing one-time optimization or ongoing optimization. Approve all ongoing optimization actions.
- If they are involved in content creation – get verification from them that all the content is unique.
- Be involved in the keyword research.
- Secure your logins
Find out how we can help in our free 20 minute consultation.
SEO is not a one and done action. While optimizing your site is an important first step, you should also have a strategy going forward.
We offer a 3-week blog optimization course. This course breaks it down step-by-step so that you can easily optimize your blogs on an on-going basis. Find out when our next course starts here.
How We Are Unique
We work with clients who have existing sites and clients who are looking to build brand new sites. Wherever you are in the process, we are happy to help you. Search Engine Optimization is one of our specialties and we have helped hundreds of clients optimize their sites.
We work with our clients on an individualized basis. We offer analysis, reports, optimization changes, and strategy implementation and training. Our main goal when we work with clients on search engine optimization is to teach them how to best optimize their site. We help our clients create SEO strategy plans that tie into their overall marketing plan. SEO is a piece of the internet marketing puzzle.
Whether you are working with us one-on-one or taking our blogging course, our end result is the same. We want you to be more comfortable and confident with search engine optimization.
Find out how we might be able to help you by scheduling a free 20 minute consultation.