SEO is a buzzword that almost everyone knows but few people actually understand. And, for the most part, that’s okay. Specialized internet marketing tactics aren’t really your business, and they shouldn’t have to be. But, it is important that you understand enough of SEO to make the right choice when hiring a search optimization or search marketing company to help you market your business.
First, unless your business is not making any money, you probably won’t have the time to run a complex search engine optimization strategy for your website. But, you should know the basics.
Search Optimization Is Just the Beginning
The first and most important thing to understand about your search optimization is that it’s just the tip of the iceberg. Many people mistakenly assume that SEO is a matter of using the right keywords, ketting backlinks, and you’re done. That isn’t true, although it may have been in 2009.
Google’s most recent search algorithm, Hummingbird, used a wide variety of data and signals to direct searches, and your keywords are just one of those.
You also have to utilize other marketing strategies including:
Mobile Optimization – Check your mobile optimization, and consider using Google’s free tool to test mobile load times, speed, and other data.
Content Marketing – A quality content strategy will drive traffic, help you to convert leads, and will build your reputation as a voice or brand authority in your niche. It’s also a great basis for starting your search optimization strategy.
Brand Strategy – Your brand strategy is crucial to making a sale once you get traffic. If you can’t convert leads into sales, there is no point in creating them in the first place.
SEO ties into each of these strategies, in Google’s Hummingbird, Yahoo Search, and Bing Search.
What About Keywords?
Keywords are becoming less and less important as algorithms are able to increase their ability to scan content to see what it is about. You still want to make sure that readers and search engines know what content is about, but keyword optimization is significantly less important than it used to be.
Backlinks are still important, but if you do it the wrong way, you will likely be blacklisted on Google. If your SEO firm is offering hundreds of links a day or mentioning directories and comments, back away quickly and save your website. Black hat tactics like link farming are extremely harmful to your site, and are unlikely to ever be beneficial in the future. The best practice, build natural relationships to build links.
So What Is Involved in SEO?
Search engine optimization involves over 200 different practices including content optimization, search marketing optimization to improve click through rates, content wording, offering quality content, understanding user needs and what Google thinks those users need, backend optimization, website speed, website quality, inbound links, social media, and much more. Moreover, because these signals are constantly changing, it’s important that you have you someone who knows what they’re doing, and has the time to stay updated, on your marketing team.
Choosing the right SEO company to help you out means paying attention to their strategies, what they’re offering, and making sure that they stay up to date on changing Google and Bing search engine optimization strategies. You want someone who knows that SEO is more than keywords and backlinks, and who can show you their results from their previous clients.
If you want to learn more about our processes, see some of our case studies, or get a quote for your search optimization, contact Rory Martin