What is SEO?

What is SEO, Search Engine Optimization?

S E O Key on Computer KeyboardThere are two routes to getting your site to the top of the search engines: 1) Pay-Per-Click advertising campaigns that you use to purchase your way to the top of the pages and 2) Organic Search Engine Optimization.  This article discusses SEO used to get you to the top of the search engines without having to pay for it every month as you would in Pay-Per-Click (PPC).

There are many factors that control where you appear in the search engine results pages.  The majority of it (80 to 95% for small businesses dealing locally) comes from the work done inside your website itself.  In order to do well, you MUST have a well optimized website that properly uses the key words that people really use to find your business, service or product.  For most small businesses that deal in local geographies, this alone can put you at the top of the list.

For companies that are trying to get business nationwide and internationally you will need to employ additional SEO strategies to rise to the top of the list.  That is, unless you have no competition.  The more competition for the top spots in the search engines you have, the more SEO practices you must employ.

Here is a blog post that discusses how to improve your website for SEO.

Content in your site tells Google where you belong in the results

If you have a fully optimized website with all the right content, done properly — AND you have not employed any shady, questionable SEO tactics, you should be in the running to be at the top of the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).  However, if you have many competitors with equally or better optimized sites, you may not be in the top spot.  When this happens, you want to move on to additional strategies outside of your website’s content.

External SEO Factors

When your site is fully optimized but still not at the top, your strategies move on to external SEO strategies.  You will first want to employ link building tactics.  This is where you have a link on other websites that go to your site.  Each link Google finds on other websites that go to you is essentially a vote for your site to move up the list.

But, BE CAREFUL.  If you purchase links or use other questionable link building methods that are unfair, Google may penalize you for it.  That can move you to a distance results page.

So, look at every listing page you can think of to add your link.  This can include the yellow page sites, Yelp, other listing companies, Google Reviews, and if you’re a dealer for some product or service, get your link on the manufacturer’s dealer page.  Also look at local companies to see if they will do reciprocal links with you and don’t forget the Chamber of Commerce.  There are usually 100’s of opportunities to get links.  But remember to do it right, otherwise you’ll be penalized.

Social Media

Social media can be an important factor in your SEO success.  If you still haven’t moved to the top of the Search Engines, try to employ Social Media.  Get a company Facebook page, a Twitter Page, YouTube Channel, Linked In Profile, Pinterest Page, Yelp Page, and any number of others.

Google looks at these things this way

Google just wants to put the best company at the top of the list.  This is because it is a reflection on their quality when they refer the better companies.  But, they simply cannot contact all the businesses to see which one really belongs.  So, they glean all their information from the web to figure it out.

First, they look in your website’s content to figure out which category and which words you should be found for when searchers go looking.  Then they look at your overall web footprint to see if you’re a substantial company.  They reason it this way:
If your company has put in this much effort to have a high quality, well optimized website with many pages, lots of links to the site and lots of social media activity, you must be a substantial company.  Therefore, you must go to the top of the list.

Call today for a no charge, consultation to see how your company can benefit with an Altra Website. 805-765-1080