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Search Engine Optimization: What Is It? And, How Do I Use It?

SEO or Search Engine Optimization Is Probably THE Single Most Important Piece of Your Marketing Plan

What is SEO?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the practice of improving the ranking of your website in the organic search engine results.


Getting placed in a high position in the rankings for particular search terms mainly depends on having quality website content that is relevant to the search query. It also depends on how that content is organized and presented, both on the page and within your website’s overall structure. In addition, it also depends on the careful linking an agreement with other information such as Social Media that relates to your brand on the internet.


Other factors also affect how well a page might rank, particularly the quality and quantity of ‘back-links’ – links from other websites that are directed to yours. Back-links serve as signals to Google and the other search engines, letting them know that a particular website has ‘voted’ for yours. Generally speaking, the more back-links your website receives and the more influential a website the ‘vote’ has come from, the more that Google and the search engines will take notice and push your website higher in the organic search results.



Why You Should Do SEO


Consumers use search engines to navigate for products and services they are seeking. Like PPC (pay per click) advertising, SEO will help your website to appear in these search results, allowing potential customers to find your business. Research shows that having your website appear in both the paid (PPC) and organic (SEO) listings has a beneficial effect that is greater than the sum of each combined. This can be explained by the increased respect and authority given to your brand by searchers because your brand is more dominant in the search results. Especially in the beginning of any internet marketing campaign its necessary to use both in lock-step because typically it takes weeks for your organic SEO to get traction.


Lifecycle of Search Engine Optimization:  Cost Effective vs Cost Efficient


SEO can be a process of building the credibility and relevance of your website over time. The results are not often immediate, thus SEO is seen as a long-term marketing strategy. And while results may not be visible for 6-12 months, SEO is still a highly valuable marketing technique to focus on because once you do achieve the results it can be a very cost-effective and sustainable source of traffic to your website.


The analogy I always give my clients goes something like this. If you want a BLT, you need a tomato (the proverbial “T” in the name). If you put a tomato plant in the backyard, you will likely have dozens of tomatoes over the course of a year so your cost per tomato is very low (this is organic SEO). But, how long it takes to tomato plant to actually yield depends on many factors and is not “date certain.” Now, if you want a BLT today, you need to go to the market and buy one today (PPC). There is no doubt that you will pay more for a market tomato than if you would have grown it yourself; but, you have the certainty of knowing you have it today.


In an effective long-term campaign, you need to use both. You can use PPC for time certain event (a storm coming if you’re a roofer and want to target ‘storm damage’). And, a term like “roof repair” for long-term organic SEO.


Bonus Tip For Your SEO Company Consideration


SEO professionals can tend to promise a lot. Being on page one of the search results for a single search term doesn’t really mean anything. It depends on what the keyword is, how many people are searching for it and if you’re the first or the fifth result. However, being on the first page is vital as 75 percent of people won’t venture onto the second page of results. Not only is being on the first page important but being at the top of the page is critical because 60 percent of all clicks go to the top three results. And what is even more important is ranking well for search terms that have a lot of traffic and are of good commercial intent – this means that people searching for that keyword or phrase are actually looking to purchase the products or services you offer.


SEO is vital for attracting traffic and qualified customers to your website. You need to ensure your business is being found for all the right reasons. While an effective SEO strategy can be tricky to get started, once you are established the initial investment will prove rewarding in the long term.


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