What’s So Funny about Search Love Understanding?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the most misrepresented and misunderstood specialties in the entire realm of marketing. As a result, small and midsized firms frequently do one of the following:
- Ignore SEO because they are baffled by it
- Execute SEO poorly and waste their money
Both alternatives are unmitigated disasters for almost any business, because properly executed SEO is absolutely essential for lead generation, online sales, and brand awareness.
Like it or not, the vast majority of people uses the Web to research and make purchases. Like it or not, Google owns search, with a global market share of nearly 80%.
If your business is invisible on Google, it’s invisible, period. People who don’t know who you are but need your stuff have no way of finding you. Without SEO, you will have fewer leads and orders than competitors with SEO. It’s that simple.
Essential Things to Know about SEO
No Two SEO Strategies Look Alike
Anybody selling cookie-cutter SEO solutions can be shown the door immediately. SEO involves a lot of moving parts and they all move differently depending on literally hundreds of factors.
For instance, within the medical field we have large clients like this dentist website design firm, and small ones like this cosmetic dentistry practice in New York. Among the differences: audience, keywords, geography, messaging and budget. Bottom line: You need an SEO partner that is ready, willing and able to learn your needs – because they aren’t going to be like the next guy’s.
Making Your Site SEO Friendly Is Job #1
A site must be properly structured and contain optimized content for Google to be able to find it, understand it, and rank it. Before spending a penny anywhere else, either reengineer your site to make it Google-friendly, or rebuild it from scratch if need be.
Obtaining Quality Inbound Links Is Job #2
Once your site is optimized, obtaining inbound links from high authority and highly relevant sites is THE most important ranking factor there is – and for many small and midsized firms, it is also the most difficult to execute. But execute you must, because these links tell Google that respectable people respect you, and that your content is worthy of high ranking.
Social Media Sharing Is Job #3
For a whole bunch of reasons, SEO and social media marketing are merging into one big cluster of stuff. Suffice to say that every Twitter retweet of your content, every Facebook Like of your content, every Google +1 of your content, and every comment on your blog, are positive ranking factors in the eyes of Google.
Lots is written about SEO on the Web. A lot is useful, but a lot is out of date or off the mark. Here are a few recommendations.
- The Daily SEO Blog by SEOmoz is reliable.
- Google SEO Starter Guide (PDF). The horse’s mouth.
- How to Hire Your SEO Partner. A detailed post I wrote with practical tips for small and midsized firms.
About Brad Shorr