Do you know enough about SEO? SEO stands for search engine optimization, which is basically a way of getting website traffic from search engines like Google and Bing. There are two-forms of traffic: paid and organic, with organic being preferable for most small businesses especially since getting traffic from the organic listings can be much more cost effective. But, it’s not easy. You need to educate yourself enough to know if you need a SEO strategy or not – and if so, what portion of your marketing activity and budget you should dedicate to this. There are three important things a small business owner should know about SEO before diving in themselves or hiring a professional to do it for them:
SEO doesn’t happen over night
Getting your business to rank well in search results takes time. This is particularly true for businesses that have just started a website.
Search engines will almost always give priority to sites that are already established, have more links pointing to them from other sources, and that have a body of relevant content.
A very rough analogy is that, to a search engine, a new website is like a new restaurant — the search engine doesn’t know if it’s any good, so it’s going to play it safe and recommend something it knows has been around for awhile (domain age), has lots of good reviews (inbound links), and a menu with lots of good choices (blog posts, videos, etc).
SEO Never Stops
Once you do get your business ranking well in search results, the work doesn’t end. Because the internet is dynamic and ever-changing, there’s always new content being created and published, which means it may eventually replace the content you’ve created.
Not only that, but every other business listed below yours on a search results page is actively working to take your place. Like a champion boxer defending the title, you have to fight to keep your place at the top. This means continually publishing new, high quality, relevant content on your website that visitors will find valuable and engaging.
SEO is Not just One Thing, its a multitude of things working together
SEO is often mentioned and discussed as if it’s a individual practice. It’s not. It’s a combination of many different things working together to make a website greater than the sum of its parts.
Doing SEO the Correct Way
While there are some fairly standard best practices for SEO that are widely accepted, implementing them is always a bit different from site to site. Not every business will have the same SEO strategy, and those strategies can change based on a variety of internal and external factors over time. Whether you attempt to take the challenge on yourself or hire an experienced professional to work on your website, SEO is an important element of any online marketing strategy and should be carefully evaluated before the process begins.