When marketing your product or service online, SEO is simply your best friend. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the process by which you improve your position in the “organic” search results of various search engines, most notably Google. SEO won’t give you instant gratification – it’s a process that you’ll be developing and enhancing over a period of time in order to gain lasting, sustainable results. We liken it to getting healthy through diet and exercise. This doesn’t happen overnight but occurs from consistent & precision effort applied of a longer period of time. Beware of providers offering quick results. These are the “get rich quick” schemes of internet marketing, a marketing ploy that lures in naïve customers because most everyone would like to have fast results with little effort.
To get a grasp of how SEO works and what is SEO, you have to understand that there are two kinds of SEO– on-page optimization and off-page optimization. Off-page optimization refers to anything that affects your website’s ranking that isn’t controlled by you or the coding on your website – things like your website’s “page rank” (a factor of the quality and quantity of links pointing to your website) as well as link popularity & social validation. On-page optimization refers to things that you can directly control – your HTML code, meta-tags, and of course the content and keywords used on your website.
What SEO is NOT
We find customers are often confused when it comes to the subject of what is SEO. They think that because they have a nicely designed website, they should have top rankings. Truth is, that you could have the most outstanding graphics and the most fascinating content on your website, but if that’s all you have, you’re simply not going to get the traffic you need. That’s why SEO is so important. SEO has to do with a lot of “under the hood” factors that you can control as well as many factors that are not directly on your website. When you start addressing each of these factors, rankings naturally rise. The higher you rank in the Google search results, the more traffic you’re going to get. People don’t want to scroll through page after page of search results, so you want to be sure that you’re at the top, or at least very close to it.
While every client pines for being in the #1 position, realistically, top rankings can be hard to achieve, especially if your product or service is common with a fair amount of other websites also striving to achieve top rankings.
Just as an example, try Googling “smartphone” – you’ll get in the neighborhood of 194,000,000 results, and the top rankings are going to be very recognizable. If you’re competing in this space, you’re going to have make some adjustments to your strategy since you’re going up against big companies with massive SEO budgets. The good news is that there are lots of way to still achieve high quality rankings by using local search terms. This is achieved by combining your city or state + your keyword. For example instead of going after “smartphones”, you could go after “New York Smartphones” or “Tampa Smartphone Dealer” or “Dallas Smartphone Store”. There are many such variations and in many cases, these local keywords can bring very high quality traffic to your website.
How do Search Engines Rank a Website?
When you are trying to understand what is SEO, you have to learn a little more about how search engines work. Search engines start by visiting website pages using an automated program called a “spider”. You may have heard this term in talks with other vendors. Google and other search engines use “spiders” to “crawl” the web, browsing websites & identifying content so that they can include these pages in the search engine master index. After the spiders have crawled the content, they then have to “index” or catalog all of the billions of pages they have found, according to its topic and content. They do this by analyzing the content itself. Once analyzed on a purely textual basis, the search engine will then look at perhaps a few hundred other factors to determine how this page should rank relative to all the other pages on the web. It’s a very complex and proprietary process that each search engine guards as a company trade secret and this is really the briefest possible summary of the process. But the process used by different search engines is why search results differ from one search engine to another. Each engine has a different approach as to how they rank pages and which factors they consider are important. Some apply more weight to certain factors while others may not give as much weight to that factor. For example, a common misconception today is about the meta-keywords tag. This is a tag that is an “under the hood” tag that can be adjusted. Many customers and web designers still think that changing this affects search results and nothing could be further from the truth. All search engines have stopped using that as a ranking factor because it was so easy to abuse.
The Importance of Freshness of Content
We cannot ignore the importance of the quality and freshness of your content when we’re trying to explain what is SEO. As we explained, “spiders” crawl the web looking for fresh content. How often the “spiders” visit your website is going to depend largely on how often your website is updated. The most popular websites update their websites every hour or sooner. Some are real-time! The more frequent you update the more frequent the search engines will come out looking for more information. The more frequent they come out, the more they see you are pushing out fresh content and search engines are always looking for fresh content.
A small business should really be adding new content monthly or even weekly depending on their niche. Along with adding the content, you should consider also posting relevant images, slideshows and videos. These all richen your user’s experience and make your content more valuable. A simple way to achieve this is to blog – you may have noticed that most sites now offer regular blogs that will be of interest to their visitors. This is a great way to create new content, and once you get into the routine, you should be able to do it fairly quickly. Alternatively, you could outsource the writing of your blog.
The main thing is to keep at it, to post ORIGINAL content (not copied) and keep it fresh, so that you can increase traffic to your site, generate more leads, and improve your ranking. Posting rehashed content is not going to score you any points with the search engines. They call it duplicate content and their programs are powerful enough to spot this content and nullify the duplicate content in their index.
What Can I Expect with ClearTech?
If you haven’t even started working on your SEO strategy, there’s no time like the present – in fact, it’s vital that you get going. The longer you wait, the harder it’s going to be for you to catch up to the competition. But don’t worry, if all this still seems a little overwhelming, there is help. A good web development & SEO company like ClearTech Interactive can assist you with your SEO strategy. Now that you’ve gotten at least some answers to your “What is SEO?” question, it’s time to take action.
ClearTech Interactive is quite simply one the best web development companies & best SEO companies in Florida. We’re highly creative, but we know that a great website is a lot more than just attractive pages and interesting content – your web site has to reach your target market, position an idea about your company into the collective minds of that market, promote your product or service to them, and ultimately affect the exchange of goods and services.
We offer custom website design for established and new companies. Whether you’re looking to take your business to the next level, or just getting started, we have the solutions you need. We’ve been in business since 2003, and we’d welcome an opportunity to help you grow your existing business or immediately attract customers to your new one.
What Can SEO Do for You?
To fully optimize and learn more about what is SEO, don’t hesitate to contact ClearTech Interactive today. We’d welcome an opportunity to talk with you, discuss your business, share your vision, and ultimately create a strategy that’s specifically designed to suit your needs.
Just call us at 727-562-5161 and press 1 to speak with an Internet Marketing expert. We’re open Monday through Friday from 9am-5pm eastern standard time. If it’s easier you can also submit an online inquiry.