What is SEO and why do I need to care? You probably have heard this term, perhaps quite a few times. You may also have an idea of what it means, if nothing else what the acronym actually stands for – Search Engine Optimization. But – do you know exactly what it is?
SEO is the scientific (but not exact by any means) methodology for getting Google and the other search engines to list you on their SERPs (Search Engine Results Page(S)) when people type your keywords (more like keyword phrases) into the search, and preferably as high up as possible, and even better, on page 1, and for the most and best results, somewhere in positions 1-5. There are 10 results on each page, excluding advertisements so getting in the top 1/2 of the page is the best.
Would you believe that the biggest deterrent to getting good SEO results is just a misunderstanding of what it is, what it does, and how to make it better? SEO is very confusing, and to make matters worse, the search engines constantly change the rules so what worked last year may not work now or in the future.
Why do you need to care? Imagine a perfect world for your business, where every time a potential customer typed your special words into Google, Yahoo! or Bing that your web page (note that search engines only point to pages and not whole websites) came up somewhere in the top half of the first page of the results. How much more business do you think you would have? Yes. That is why you should care.
Now I have good news and bad news. The good news is that optimizing your website and getting your name out to many directories and websites so that your website gets listed on them is free. Here is the bad news – it takes a lot of time to do this. I don’t know about you, but running your business is probably the most important thing that you do, and marketing it is probably not what you relish doing nor do you necessarily have the time for it, much less dabbling in something that you do not know much about.
With that being said, here is some more bad news – aside from some very basic rules of thumb, the science of SEO takes a long time to figure out and master, and there are so many bad sources of information on the Internet, that actually learning SEO could really be worse than not knowing it at all. Therefore, if you want to do it yourself and you have the time, you will want to be absolutely certain that you are doing the RIGHT things to help your business with its SEO, and not get involved spending your precious time doing things that will not help.
Here are some questions you will want to ask yourself:
- Is it important for you to perform SEO? It may not be….if you use your website strictly as a display case and you do not need people to find you on the search engines, then SEO is probably not for you.
- If the answer to number 1 is true, then how will you proceed? Will you hire a company to do it for you, or will you do it yourself?
- If you want to do it yourself, how will you find the time to learn it, and where will you find the accurate information to make the process as efficient as possible?
- If you want to hire a company to do it for you, where will you find a reliable company that will get you the best return for your investment?
Here is the best news – we can actually help you with both, AND we will actually give you most of the answers to do it yourself – for free. No charge at all. Promise! Why would we do that? Because one day you may find that you really don’t have the time or the wherewithal to go on with your SEO efforts, and at that time we would hope that since we have helped you up to that point that you would at least consider hiring us to do the work. Seriously – no strings attached, and we don’t expect that. But if that happens, then that is all we ask. Fair enough?
Ok Cool!! In the next article on SEO, we will start diving into it! To begin with, we will discuss ONPAGE SEO. Until then – take care!