What is Search Engine Optimization?

Search Engine Optimization SEOWhat is search engine optimization (SEO) and why do you need it?

Search engine optimization refers to the process of creating quality, keyworded content for a website in an effort to achieve a high search engine results page (SERP) ranking.

It sounds simple, doesn’t it?  It isn’t.

Before ever even beginning to create the keyworded content, it is crucial to perform effective keyword research to determine what terms and phrases people are searching for when looking for your business.

Just guessing what people search for or just choosing terms you’d like to show up on the SERP for is one of the biggest mistakes small businesses make.

When doing keyword research, there are many things to consider.

Search Engine Optimization: Keyword Research

Keyword ResearchKeyword research is probably the most crucial aspect of SEO. Before trying to optimize your website, it is first important to understand that the term “keyword” typically refers to several words or a phrase rather than one word.

You also must know your audience and what they are searching for.

Different people think differently so you may be surprised to find that the term you thought was most relevant to your small business isn’t as relevant as you thought.

You may also be surprised to find that the most searched for term pertaining to your small business isn’t at all what you thought it would be.

There are many variations of a relevant search term or phrase – pluralized, reverse order, etc.. How do you know which one to choose? Should you choose all of them? Do you optimize every page of your site for the same keyword

A good rule of thumb is to find the most searched for term with the least competition.  It is a delicate balance.

If there is too much competition for a particular keyword, no matter how-well optimized your website is, you are unlikely to show up at the top for the search engine results page (SERP) with a purely organic result.

For maximum search engine results potential, each page of your small business website should be optimized for a slightly different keyword.

If all pages are optimized for the same keyword, the pages of your own site will be competing against each other, lessening the change of any of them showing up for that keyword.

If you are definitely set on using a highly-competitive term(s), you’ll need to incorporate Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising in your strategy.  This can get very costly for a small business and may not produce the business growth you hoped for. This is why proper keyword research and execution is so important.

Social Media Marketing

Social Media MarketingSocial media marketing is an often overlooked yet critical piece of the search engine optimization puzzle.

In today’s world of social networking and instant gratification, no matter how well your website has been optimized, you won’t show up high in the SERP without active social media interaction.

From Facebook to Twitter and Instagram, to LinkedIn and YouTube, and more, how well and how often you interact with those in your social network plays a major role in your website’s search engine performance.

Say what?

I’ll say it again. Your social media presence -or lack thereof- accounts for at least 50% of your SERP performance.  Some say this percentage is even higher,- more like 60-70%!

Think you don’t need social media?

Think again.

We know you’re busy and already have a lot on your plate as a small business owner but this is one area where you cannot slack.  If you are unable to take care of it yourself, you need to hire someone to manage your social media accounts.  It will be money well spent.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is that there is no absolute, guaranteed formula for attaining a high SERP ranking.  That said, there is a tried-and-true formula that combines SEO and sometimes PPC, and social media marketing (SMM) that has consistently produced good results.

Even with a perfectly keyword optimized website, if you aren’t actively engaging on social media platforms, you won’t likely achieve a high SERP ranking.

Even with active social media accounts, if you aren’t consistently engaging others in regular back and forth conversation, building trust, you still won’t likely achieve a high SERP ranking.

Are you more confused than ever before? Would you like to know more? Need help with your website’s SEO or social media marketing strategy?  We can help! Contact us today!