Search Engine Optimization FAQ
The short answer: Yes, your company needs SEO.
The longer answer: It's helpful to envision all of your site's visitors as a large pie. On average, half of that entire pie would come from Google and other search engines.
These search engines act as discovery tools which internet users utilize to find solutions to their problems. Your site could be a resource which is used by these visitors. After you create a rapport with these visitors from the search engine, you'll be able to direct more traffic from alternative sources (i.e. social media, email, etc.). Although your pie will eventually become more diverse, search engines will always comprise a large majority of your site's overall traffic.
SEO, also known as search engine optimization, is a critical component of any company's sales and marketing strategy. Constant advancements in technology have encouraged people to spend more time online and less time reading print media. This has led to a major transition for companies hoping to target large audiences. Companies without an active web presence are struggling to remain relevant in today's world.
Here are some of the most important reasons to implement and develop an SEO strategy for your company:
- Optimize your site's visibility and web presence
- Increase relevant keyword coverage for your market
- Increase the authenticity and credibility for your site
- Have your site rank higher in search results
- Improve traffic for lead & sales generation
- Increase the number of returning visitors
- Boost the income of your company
Each business will have different motivations, goals, and budgets for their SEO strategy. However, there isn't any company operating in the 21st century that wouldn't benefit from these optimizations. In short, SEO is about optimizing a company's online presence for the modern world. If people can't find your business online, it will be nearly impossible to compete in today's digitally dominated market.
When analyzing websites within their index, search engines will evaluate three major factors: relevancy, crawlability, and authority. In order to keep this analysis digestible, we'll skip crawlability. This involves a very technical side of SEO which isn't required for most companies.
Authority measures the reputation of a website according to algorithms of major search engines. In relation to the previous pie example, the authority would be a measure of the overall size of your pie. You should focus on creating the largest pie possible. After all, everyone loves pie.
The measure of relevancy helps search engines determine the purpose and theme of your website. This will help search engines send their users to relevant sites. To continue the pie example, relevancy is geared towards making the flavor tasty. Nobody asks for second servings of a pie that tastes bad. As a pie gets larger, it's important to maintain its relevancy.
When you search the word "NYC SEO" or "Baltimore SEO" on Google, the algorithm will check trillions of pages to list the most relevant results.
There is a wide variety of SEO strategies. Which specific methods are implemented will be dependent upon the unique needs of each business. A smart strategy could begin with a quick website SEO check-up and an outline of minor issues that need to be resolved. A more complicated and comprehensive service could involve link building, content creation & marketing, rank monitoring, and more.
Everyone has come across Fiverr services offering 100 backlinks for only a few dollars. Although these deals are tempting, they will either have no real effect, or end up hurting a site in the long run. Buying backlinks is against Google's rules and policies. If you're caught using these services, your site's ranking will be compromised greatly.
If Google is able to determine that your site used purchased backlinks, there is no way to regain the previous ranking of your site. Instead, you'll have to submit an application for Google to re-examine your site.
White-hat SEO methods such as link building and guest posting are much more effective and accepted methods for increasing your site's backlinks.
Having an established web presence, meaning accurate business listings online, can bring your company new prospects and customers while helping to maintain rapport with current clients. Your largest competitors are most likely working on their online presence. You can't risk falling behind in the competition.
Everyone searches the internet for services, products, and business in their unique way. Some users prefer to use popular search engines such as Yahoo, Google, or Bing. Other people use social media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook. There are still some people who use online directories like FourSquare, CitySearch, or Yelp.
There are countless ways for users to find companies and services on the internet. Furthermore, the methods through which users can search online continue to increase. You're much more likely to generate new customers if you spread your online presence to all of these areas.
Growing a web presence will also help your company establish authority in the niche and trust among customers. People are more likely to do business with a company when there is a level of familiarity. Search engines will improve the ranking of your site for the same reasons.
Google champions SEO strategies when they are ethical. There are clear guidelines set out in Google's policy agreement. There's no reason to risk the current ranking of your site for poor SEO choices.
If you notice a drastic drop in visitors, your site may be suffering from an algorithm penalty.
Every day, Google updates its algorithms to provide users with an improved experience. During these updates, Google will often release penalties to websites that are violating Google's rules.
Panda and Penguin are the two most common penalties that hurt a site's search rankings.
Panda included multiple updates that focused on deleting "thin" content from sites. This content was usually scraped from other sites or less than 200 words in length.
Penguin was an extensive series of updates that focused on preventing webspam. Keyword stuffing was one of the most common tactics that got sites penalized. Low-quality backlinks and paying for backlinks also caused many sites to receive a penguin penalty.
Although these dishonest strategies should be avoided at all cost, there is a road to recovery. With the right SEO strategy, any website can recover from a poor history.