A lot of business owners know they need some form of search engine optimization. But a much smaller number are able to express why they need SEO and why it is so important to long-term success. Today, we’ll look at what search engine optimization is, why it matters, and what you can do to boost yours. The world of SEO is deep and broad, so consider this a crash course and not an in-depth guide.
What is SEO?
At the most basic level, search engine optimization is about increasing your visibility on search engine results pages without paying for PPC advertising. But that’s too simplistic of a definition because we also need a goal in mind. So, SEO is the process of improving your organic ranking for keywords that will benefit your business.
Successful SEO happens when you align your goals with the goals of the search engine. Google, Bing, and the others need to provide relevant results to users’ searchers to survive. Your business needs new website visitors to survive. You win the SEO game by helping the search engine provide relevant content that answers searchers’ questions.
What About Paid?
There is a shortcut to reaching the top of the search engine results page – paid advertising. If you’re willing to pay per click, then you can reach the top of page one by tomorrow morning. There’s nothing wrong with PPC advertising – but it should be used as part of a larger strategy. SEO offers two big benefits of paid reach:
- Trust: Anyone can pay to reach page one with advertising. But reaching the top of the organic results requires a history of hard work and dedication. Searchers trust the organic results more than the ads – you probably do too.
- Owned: Paying for advertising is like renting. SEO is like owning. The day you stop paying for clicks, you disappear from page one. But you own the work put into optimizing your website and the results will continue, even if you stop paying for SEO services.
Why Do I Need SEO?
Optimizing your website for the right keywords is the best way to drive traffic to your site when looking at the big picture. Social media trends come and go, PPC advertising requires a daily budget, PR efforts are unpredictable. But search engine optimization provides long-term benefits when it is done properly.
And, because SEO involves making your website a well-designed source of relevant information, it also establishes your company as an expert in your field. The principles of SEO have a huge overlap with the principles of good design, user experience, and customer service. Optimizing for search engine success is a win-win-win: the search engine gets relevant content to serve to its users, your business gets much-needed web traffic, and the searchers get the information they are looking for.
Can I do SEO Myself?
Of course! But you’ll get different results. Just like any service, there are DIY methods that will help your SEO efforts but there are also professionals that can take your SEO to the next level. It really depends on the competitiveness of your industry and your ultimate business goals.
If you are looking to optimize your site yourself, here are a few things you can do:
- Intuitive Keyword Research: You know your business and your customers. And you probably have a good idea of the pain points that your customers are looking to answer. Use that information to create a list of keywords that you want your website to rank for.
- Content Creation: Take your target keywords and start creating content that answers your customers’ most burning questions. Invest the time to make high-quality content that positions your business and the answer to their biggest problems.
- On-Page Tools: Depending on how your website was built, you probably have access to SEO tools and plugins that will help you optimize on-page SEO factors like meta-descriptions, title tags, alt descriptions, and more.
DIY search engine optimization can have a big impact on your business – especially if you are in a smaller market and you are committed to putting in the hard work. But sometimes you need to bring in a pinch hitter.
Should I Hire an SEO Agency?
Hiring an SEO agency is a big investment. And not something you should jump into without doing your research first – both on your business goals and the record of a potential agency. But if you have specific (and measurable goals) and a reputable agency, there are ways that they can bring your SEO efforts to the next level.
An agency will do in-depth keyword research to identify targets that are both achievable and strategic. They will conduct competitor research to find opportunities for ranking that they are missing. They will create a content creation strategy designed for maximum impact, they will push that content in link building campaigns, and they will comb through every inch of your website to ensure it is properly optimized.
Fusion Group USA’s search engine optimization services are designed to meet the needs of businesses of all sizes. From small local shops to businesses needing totally managed SEO services. You can learn more about our SEO services here or you can view our economical pricing plans here.