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What Is SEO and Why Does My Business Need It?

SEO is an acronym meaning – Search Engine Optimization. In other words – positioning a website or web page so that it will be found when someone searches using keywords that are most relevant to the content found on that site or page.

As a business owner, YOU NEED SEO IF:

1) You want more leads -The Internet is now the #1 source for consumers to find local businesses.

2) You want your brand name to be known – People will see your name or business name come up in Google search results.

3) You want to stay competitive in your market – If your competition is not marketing online yet, they surely will be!

4) You want to spend less on advertising and get more in return – It is a proven fact that effective SEO has the highest ROI (return on investment) of any marketing method on the planet!

What is SEO According to Google

Want to learn more about SEO and what is involved? Keep reading…

Otherwise, click here to learn how we can do it all for you and guarantee you a positive ROI.

 

SEO ranking factors

On-Page SEO

Writing unique content that is both relevant to your niche and useful to the reader is the key element for your website. There are, however, many more on-page factors that come into play which Google uses to determine where your site should rank within their index.

These include:

Number of Words on the Page – You really can’t have too many words, but too few is considered thin content.

Inclusion of Rich Media – This includes images and videos embedded on a particular page. They should be relevant to the theme of the page/ site, and contain proper “alt” text, which tells search engine bots what the image is about.

Use of Headings – Headings tell search engine bots what a page is most relevant for. For example, the H1 heading should contain the most important words, H2 tags should contain words that are closely related and a little less important, then H3, H4, and so on…

Outbound Links –Does your website link to others websites and pages? Are those links going to useful sources of information that is relevant to what is being talked about on you particular page? Are there any outgoing links at all? Hint: Most pages should contain at least one.

Internal Menus – The number of menus, type of menus, where these menus link to and whether they are “follow” or “no-follow” effects that way search engines assess your site.

Number of Pages – Google likes to see a lot of pages full of useful, relevant content. However, the number also should make sense to your business. Google also likes to see that a site is growing and adding fresh content. This can best be accomplished using a blog pr forum.

URL Structure – The word contained within each URL on your page as well as the length of the URL and the relevance of it to that particular page all play an important role in ranking your site.

For example, if you have a site about dog grooming, a good URL structure might look like this: yourdomain.com/dog-grooming

NOT – yourdomain.com/the-best-dog-grooming-and-dog-hair-cutting-services-for-cheap

Bounce Rate – This tells search engines whether people find your site useful when they land on it. How many people stick around and take some sort of action when they come to your site? How many people just click the back button or close the tab?

The more reason you give visitors a reason to stay and interact with your site, the better.

Time On Site – How long do visitors stick around after coming to your site? If they were to read an article or watch a video, the time can increase and add relevance to your site.

Off Page SEO

Getting the right mix of all of the above aspects will boost your website’s authority in Google and other search engines. Having too much, too little, or the wrong type of off-page elements can result in poor rankings, or worse… a Google penalty.

Backlinks are a major part of off-site optimization. Where are your backlinks coming from? What is the anchor text (hyperlinked text) of those links? Are they follow or no-follow? Backlinks should come from sites that are related to your site and they need to be trustworthy.

Social signals are another very important factor that is becoming more popular as a search engine ranking factor. After all, it is natural for people to share and talk about the content they like. If they like your site and what they read, it will be mentioned or shared.

You can encourage this process by posting your content to your personal social media channels such as Facebook, G+, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc., interacting on your social channels, and remaining active in groups with individuals who would be interested in that content. For example, if you are an auto body shop, you could offer valuable content in groups or forums about car repair.

onpage and offpage optimization

How to Avoid a Google Penalty

Simply put – Don’t do anything that would make Google think that you are trying to manipulate their search results. Now, that may sound simple enough, but what exactly does that mean? There are literally thousands (or more) aspects of your site that Google analyzes.

The easiest way to go about determining what Google thinks is manipulative or “spammy” and what is natural or “positive,” is to think of what real businesses would do.

For example, would a real business get 1,000 links from social bookmarking sites all with the same anchor text within a week’s time… I think not. This would be considered spam.

Would a real dentist be mentioned in an article about dentistry… Definitely!

Automated Backlinking – Let’s keep this short and simple… Don’t do it!

Google wants you to earn links. If you create great content and share it, people should naturally want to link to it because they see the information on your website as authoritative and relevant to what they are talking about.

if you can encourage people to reference to your site because it is notable, accurate, and relevant to their niche or industry, you will gain some very valuable backlinks naturally. Quality is greater than quantity with backlinks!

Keyword Stuffing – This is the idea that if you use your exact keyword enough times in your page (through content, URL’s, etc.), you will rank higher. This used to work five or more years ago. It can get your site penalized if you do this today. So, Don’t do it!

Writing naturally as if you were talking to someone is the best course of action for writing on-page content.

There are many more Do’s and Dont’s that would entail an entire article on their own. For now, these are the most important.

As a Business Owner, Can I Do SEO Myself?

With the proper training, many business owners could be capable to doing their own SEO. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of this:

PRO’s

– You are in control of your websites rankings.

– You have no body else to blame for poor results.

– Save money on your marketing budget.

CON’s

– It can be very time consuming.

– It does take a long time to learn, and to truly understand. There are no colleges that teach it properly.

– SEO is constantly changing as Google updates. You will need to learn new things on a weekly basis to stay up to date.

– If you make a mistake, you can lose all of your rankings, which could likely cost you business.

Are you starting to get the idea? There is A LOT that goes into effective, successful SEO.

Our Suggestion

Do business owners typically run their own marketing campaigns? This is an area of expertise that requires a lot of research, careful implementation, and constant monitoring.

With online search engine marketing, you are simply at the mercy of Google. For a business owner, it makes business sense to hire an SEO firm who has the time to learn and implement SEO best practices.

A reputable SEO agency can also monitor the results and continue to make adjustments to the online marketing strategy accordingly.

With the help of specialists, you will not be left scratching your head as you lose all of your hard work and effort when Google makes their updates, as they frequently do.

 

Click here to discuss your internet marketing or SEO needs with us NOW!

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