SEO is the application of best practices in building websites to help search engines index your website and serve its content to search engine users. It means building your website right so that it can be found by prospective customers. But what does that entail? And is it worth the investment?
Estimating the value of SEO for your business
Before we address SEO, we should talk about search engines. Search engines, like Google and Bing, are used every day to help users find quick solutions to their problems. By sending the search engines the correct signals, by using preferred formatting, and by leveraging what we know about the way people search, you can gain a competitive edge online—driving more traffic to your site and a greater opportunity for sales.
Search engines offer greater opportunity for sales
Studies show that search engines are the top drivers of traffic to websites—with Google driving greater than 90% of traffic to most websites. But Google won’t send that traffic to your site unless it knows what your site is about and how your site fulfills a searcher’s need. That’s where SEO comes in.
Do a search for a service or item that your business offers. Plumbing? Records? Carpet cleaning? Cakes? Whatever it might be, pretend you need that good or service and search Google for it. Do you see your business on the first page? If not, you’re missing an opportunity—a big one.
What does SEO entail?
One of the major concerns with business owners concerning SEO is that they often aren’t clear on what they’re paying for. In many cases, when business owners ask marketing firms about SEO, they get different answers which further the belief that it’s just a marketing gimmick. But SEO is no gimmick. There’s a specific set of requirements for a website to be preferred by search engines and a good SEO service should help your site achieve these things.
How SEO for business really works
SEO can be broken into two functional parts: Best practices and Strategic implementation.
SEO Best Practices include:
- Ensuring that website pages are formatted properly, including page titles, headings, and meta descriptions (the descriptions that appear in search engines for individual pages).
- That webpages load quickly and are visible and usable on all devices (phones, tablets, and desktops).
- Building a website architecture that makes navigation easy for users and search engines.
- Creating a sitemap for search engines to easily index content.
SEO Strategy work includes:
- Analyzing website traffic and finding opportunities to reach more customers.
- Understanding what search queries drive visitors to your competitors’ sites and building a strategy to keep your site competitive.
So Why Do I need SEO?
SEO is part of building an effective website. With so many DIY website solutions out there, like Squarespace and Vistaprint that offer easy to build websites with little to no SEO support, there are many businesses that aren’t getting as much out of their website as they could.
A good website should pay close attention to SEO to reach as many customers as possible, make their physical locations findable, and improve the overall usability of their website. The need for SEO for businesses has been well documented by industry leaders with articles on the subject appearing in major publications like Forbes and Entrepreneur. In fact, it’s so well established that most large companies make it a key focus of their business. However, it’s small and local businesses that are being left in the dust due to a lack of education on the topic and a lack of resources.
But small businesses can make serious strides when it comes to being found online by simply having a strong SEO foundation. By meeting the best practices for web design and search, small business owners can make themselves competitive at the same scale as larger businesses.
Is your site optimized for search?
Find out. Contact us to set up a complete SEO analysis and traffic report of your website. We’ll identify any issues your site may have and walk you through your options to improve your site’s searchability.