What is SEO Anyway?
If you have a website, you have probably heard of SEO. It is a term that gets thrown around a lot, but what is it exactly, and what do you need to know about it?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Basically, it is anything that is done in order to make it easier for search engines (such as Google) to figure out where your website should be found in search results. The idea is that if someone searching Google for what you are offering, your page will come up ahead of all the others.
Being among the first choices that a potential customer sees is an obvious advantage!
The Good News About SEO
Here’s the good news. Modern SEO isn’t a strange form of magic that you can’t understand. It is pretty much made up of things that are great for your business – things that you would want to be doing anyway, such as:
- Researching and thinking about keywords and key phrases that people will be searching for, and include those in the text of your website.
- Thinking about who your website is for, and create something they will like.
- Having a vibrant community – people subscribing to your newsletter, commenting on your social media, leaving 5-star reviews about your business.
- Having a nice looking, well designed website that is easy to use and works on any size device.
- Encouraging people to visit your website.
- Generate good press – get mentioned in news articles and blogs related to your industry.
Do You Need SEO?
If you have a website, you most likely want to do what you can to make it a good one, which includes some attention to search engine optimization.
However… here’s something the experts never mention.
If you have a non-typical or highly innovative sort of business, people may not be searching for exactly what you have to offer. They simply don’t know that it exists, or that it would be of value to them. In that case, you have a choice.
People often search the internet for a solution to their problems. So if you are a practitioner of a little-known method for curing headaches, you might focus your SEO efforts on “the best cure for headaches” instead of the name of the little-known method.
The second choice is to use your website to welcome referral customers. You know that your current clients understand the power of your headache curing technique, so you can make your website the perfect place for their friends to go sign up as well. In this case, you would not be quite as worried about SEO, as your success would not be relying on search engine traffic.
For very small holistic and conscious businesses, we have found that the second method actually works best, as it relies more on trust and networking in your community.
Should You Pay for SEO?
People who sell SEO as a service will definitely disagree with me, but I do not think that paid SEO works for everyone, and you have to be very careful.
First, why you need to be careful: Google is constantly updating their search to specifically stop people from trying to cheat the system. Their ultimate goal is that good, real, current, and useful websites will rise to the top.
Paid SEO can use techniques that work, but basically they are trying to fake a buzz and reaction to your website in the world. After a while, Google discovers it all and slaps you on the hand. This can be disastrous for your website!
The very best thing you can do for SEO is to have an excellent website, and generate a lot of press. If the SEO or web company can help with this, then it may be worth your while.
Paid SEO can work for you if you have a typical and very straightforward business that can directly compete with other businesses in the same industry.
So How Do You Do All of That?
In a future post, we will go over the basics of how to go about the tasks we have laid out in this article.
Do you have specific questions about SEO? We would be happy to answer!
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