SEO - Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization

Your website is only useful to your customers if they can find it.

When you search for your business name, you website will likely be shown near the top of the search results.

But what happens when you search for the products and services that you provide? Does your website come up near the top of the search results? Or do you need to dig through page after page of results to find it?

Consider, too, that when customers need your business, often they are searching for solutions to problems. What types of problems does your business solve? When customers are looking for solutions, what searches do they type in? Suppose you are a plumber. If you search for: "repair leak under sink" or "replace toilet" does your website rank near the top?

Search engine optimization, or SEO, is a strategy which helps your website become easier to find for searches that matter to your business. Done well, it can bring many of visitors to your website. But rarely do visits alone help your business significantly because you need people not only to find your website, but take certain actions once they get there -- actions like filling out an inquiry form, or signing up for a mailing list, or in some cases, making a purchase. So SEO often needs to be combined with other website improvements as part of an overall strategy.

SEO is a long-term activity, not a "quick fix." Typically, it takes several months to begin seeing results from search engine optimization. And often those results continue to grow over the course of a year or longer.

SEO is also an ongoing activity. Often the best way to approach it is with a long-term agreement with an SEO company. The agreement should make clear what you will pay and what the SEO company will aim to accomplish.

Because SEO doesn't bring immediate results other forms of advertising are often used to fill the gap in the short term -- paid advertising such as Google ads or Facebook ads, which are capable of bringing quicker results, when used properly.

Search engine optimization can be done well, but often it isn't.When you visit a website and the written text conveys little meaning and sounds as if it was originally written in some other language and run through an automatic translator, that's one indication that it wasn't done well. Good SEO should increase rather than decrease the usefulness of your website.

Other forms of poorly done SEO are a bit harder to detect. Various hacks, known as "black hat techniques" can make your results look good in the short term, but in the long term they can damage your rankings and your overall reputation and be very costly to repair. So it's essential to choose an SEO company that cares about your business, and one that will be able to serve you long-term.

SEO is closely related to written content on your website. SEO and content development or content planning are not one in the same. However, they work together and should be treated as parts of an overall marketing strategy.

There are different ways to approach SEO, and the best approach depends largely on your business.For types of businesses, local SEO is very effective. For other business that rely primarily on nation-wide or international sales, it is of limited value. The main thing is that you end up with a solution that's a good fit for your business.

If you would like to learn more about SEO and whether or how it can help your business, contact us.