What the heck is SEO? Why do I need it? SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It is a marketing strategy used to optimize your opportunity to appear “organically” on Google search. This allows for your website to be found when someone searches on search engines such as Google for your services.
The Evolution Of SEO
When search engines became a new need in the early 2000’s the need for this technology to become part of a business marketing plan did not exist until consultants came to understand the power of being in those positions. The analyst and consultants became known as search engine consultants and they would gather on forums and other online chat rooms to discuss their experiments. This lead to a lot of cheating and gaming of the system in which we now know as “black hat SEO”.
Because of this, Google and other search engines have taken huge steps integrating a more complex algorithm to award websites that are legitimate and punish cheaters. As Google has grown it has now established an ever-changing unknown algorithm fueled partly by Artificial Intelligence (AI) that understands processes perceived personal intentions before a person is even finished typing, including personalization based on your geography and give you results based on what's closest to you.
What Does This Mean For Me?
There is a major upside to using SEO for any sized business, mainly increasing your bottom line and delivering more profit opportunities. There are three main objectives to start this process:, your website, the content on your website, and websites that link to you.
Your website is how Google will determine your relevancy to a potential customer’s search. You want your web developer to follow these guidelines:
Make sure your website loads fast
Make sure your site is responsive; meaning it adjusts to different screen sizes.
Make sure it is easy to read and there is a clear way to contact you.
Make sure you are building trust. For example, develop a blog as a way to show clients a more personal side.
The above is an aerial view of some things you want to focus on. The idea is to give your traffic (the people who find your website through a search engine) an awesome experience that represents the level of service they will get by doing business with your company. A good experience for your traffic allows for retention and increased opportunities for potential clients to call or submit online forms.
Your website’s content
How long is the content on your website? Is it educational? Does it offer the opportunity for your customers to understand what they are looking for or what they need? The content on your website builds not only relevance, but the opportunity to also win over customers based on your information. One great way to do this is by implementing a blog on your website.
You can get ideas of what to write in many ways. One of my favorite is gathering some of the most frequently asked questions and creating a blog post for each. These are some of the questions your customers may be searching for and, if your customer is able to find you based on their Google-searched question then you could win their trust and their business.
The last aspect of SEO that is important is what we call “link building”. This process can be done in two parts: individually or at scale. Link building is the process of being linked to and from similar websites that are topically relevant to your industry. These links are ways that Google collects data to assess understand who “vouches” for your website and business. Based on the authority of these websites “vouching” for you, Google will measure your relevance and learn to “trust” you. This “trust” equates to higher rankings and visibility.
When looking at individual strategy, focus on “guest posting” -- the process of writing educational and product knowledge articles that can help bring awareness to your company. This helps to get your expertise in front of your audience. Choosing online periodicals, blogs and online magazines that need writers can help you find opportunities for guest posting. One of the easiest ways to find opportunities is by searching, using [Keyword “Write For Us”], where the keyword can be replaced by the main keyword or product your for which you hope to increase your rank.
A word of caution
When deciding to implement SEO make sure to read as much as you can. Many snake oil salespeople will pitch you. Be wary of anyone who claims to be an expert or guarantee you rankings. Many times the best SEO companies come from word of mouth. Make sure to ask questions such as the types of links they will build for you and how they purpose to help you make your website SEO ready. I recommend listening to Brian Dean and Neil Patel for inspiration on what to ask and ideas if you want to do it yourself.
Choosing SEO can really impact your bottom line. It's not as scary as it sounds, and SEO can truly help you reach your goals and grow your business. Learn as much as you can and be careful who you hire. Now you are ready to focus on your website, your content, and links to build a successful SEO strategy.
Author Bio: Jonathan Alonso is the Director of Marketing for CNCMachines.net, a national Used CNC Machine dealer headquarters in North Orlando. Jonathan has more than 12 years of digital marketing experience having worked in travel, retail, medical and now in manufacturing sales.