Search Engine Optimization (SEO):
Why Should You Care About It? What Does It Involve? How Much Does It Cost?
Those are reasonable and appropriate questions to ask of any SEO company.
Just as you aspire to provide the best for your customers, you also strive to receive the best for your business. Being well-informed about SEO can benefit your customers and your business.
A Simple SEO Metaphor
Imagine you're searching in a vast area filled with countless available vehicles that all seem to blend in together, as you attempt to find one that's right for you. With so many similar choices, how do you tell one from the next? It might feel a bit daunting and overwhelming.
Consider how much easier and more likely it might be to locate "the right vehicle for you" if it stands apart from the rest, catching your eye and your attention. You notice it, read its reviews, drive it, and determine it's a good match for you and your needs.
Your website and your business blend in without good SEO
Your website and your business stand out with good SEO
Of course that area is the Internet, and those vehicles are businesses like yours, competing for customers in search results. Your website and your business stand out from the rest and catch people's attention by using Google-friendly SEO that improves their visibility and their online ranking.
SEO Ranking Factors
Simply put, SEO is the practice of optimizing your website and your business to appear higher in online search results by properly utilizing what are called "SEO ranking factors".
Google uses more than two hundred SEO ranking factors to determine where your website appears in search results. Among the most important are:
Content: The quality, quantity, relevancy, and originality of your site's written content (typically referred to simply as "content"). The better your content, the greater the SEO reward.
Mobile Friendliness: How your site looks ─ and how easy it is to use ─ on smartphones. Provide your site's mobile device visitors with a friendly user interface (UI) and a pleasant user experience (UX).
Page Load Speed: How quickly your site's pages load. This is a function of several factors, including your web host, how "clean" your site's code is, and the file sizes of the images used on your site. Good SEO reduces those file sizes ─ while retaining high image quality ─ through the proper use of image editing and compression.
Backlinks: The SEO value of links from other sites is measured by three of the same criteria used in evaluating content: quality, quantity, and relevancy.
GOOD SEO CONTENT
How well does your site's content measure up in these four areas?
How well-written is your content? Perhaps writing isn’t one of your strongest talents, and you simply do the best you can. Or perhaps you consider yourself a good writer, and you overlook some mistakes and other deficiencies in your writing. The better (i.e., higher-quality) your content, the better for you and your business. Write for your target audience, keeping SEO in mind.
How much content do you have? Just this much? More? Perhaps this much? Even more? Keep going. Most sites place too much emphasis on graphics, and not enough on the written word. In SEO, a picture is not worth a thousand words. Google rewards the effort required to write lots of high-quality, relevant, original content that provides people with plenty of useful information.
How relevant is your content to the intended purpose of its website or webpage? For example, if a page is supposed to be about red tomatoes, does its content focus too little on red tomatoes, and too much on other fruits and vegetables? The more relevant the content, the better for your SEO. (You can write more about those other fruits & veggies elsewhere.)
How original is your content? Is it similar to the content found on numerous other sites? Is it simply repeating the same information that can be found in many other online locations? Or does it provide fresh, unique, unusual information, perspectives, and opinions? Google rewards originality, so write with that in mind for maximum SEO benefit.
Examine the content on any SEO company's website. How well-written is it? Does it exhibit excellent writing skills and unique, insightful information? Or is it more of a self-serving sales pitch that looks and sounds similar to practically every other SEO company's site? Does it contain errors of grammar, spelling, punctuation, and misused words?
If an SEO company doesn't have good content on its own site, how well do you suppose that same SEO company can assess and improve your site's content?
Incidentally, the above table demonstrates one method of providing useful, visually-appealing content while also improving SEO. Instead of including it as a graphic element, which would significantly limit its SEO potential, it's entirely text-based, providing Google with almost 300 additional words of good content, including appropriate heading and paragraph tags. And because text loads much faster than graphics, it yields even greater SEO benefit by also improving page load speed. Get the idea?
"Search Engine Optimization" vs. "Website Optimization"
Another important consideration to keep in mind is that SEO is "search engine optimization", not merely "website optimization". SEO is the art and science of optimizing every aspect of your online presence for Google and other search engines.
Everywhere your business appears online ─ from your website, to your Google Business Profile, to your Yelp business listing, and more (including YouTube videos) ─ can be enhanced with SEO for improved search results.
Local citations are perfect examples for off-site use of SEO. A local citation is any listing or other online source that includes the name, address, and phone (collectively referred to as NAP) of your business. Along with Google Business and Yelp, other prominent sites for your NAP can include LinkedIn, Manta, and more. And ─ just as with your Google and Yelp listings ─ your information on other sites can also be improved for greater SEO benefit.
Effective SEO = Higher Search Rankings And More Exposure For Your Business
Optimizing your website and all other aspects of your online presence helps your business appear higher on the search engine results pages (SERP) in Google search results. And optimizing your Yelp business listing not only helps it appear higher on the SERP in Yelp's own search results, it also increases the likelihood that a Google search produces a Yelp result that specifically mentions your business, which provides very nice extra exposure for you.
Good SEO can work wonders for the online presence, visibility, reputation, and success of your business. That's why so many businesses consider it an essential and invaluable investment, and why you should too.
Of course, these few paragraphs just begin to scratch the surface. As you might expect, there's much more to SEO. Some of its elements are relatively simple, while others are considerably more involved, complex, and labor-intensive.
In considering any SEO company, ask tough questions (nicely, of course) and request straight, honest, meaningful answers to help you determine whether they're legitimate SEO experts, or just out to take advantage of you by pocketing as much of your money as they can while delivering minimal SEO benefit for your business.
Call SEOzone today for a complimentary in-depth evaluation of your website and the online presence of your business, with no obligation and no sales pitch.