If you have a website for your business then undoubtedly you’ve heard someone talk about SEO or Search Engine Optimization. This blog post is just a brief overview of some of the misconceptions out there regarding SEO and what to look out for.
Here are a few things we’ve heard.
- I work for Google and I can get your page to the top 2 results. Really, If someone was working for Google do you think they would be soliciting your individual business? This is completely false as Google doesn’t sell a premium listing service for their search.
- We use a program that has exclusive relationships to the search companies. No one else offers this. There is no such thing. There are many companies that offer packaged Search Engine listing services and some people try to resell these for a monthly fee. This isn’t Search Engine Optimization, this is Search Engine Listing and these services have varied results.
What is SEO?
Search Engines use complex algorithms to try and identify how relevant your site is to the search query. There are a lot of things that affect this. Primarily they are looking for relevant and organized content as well as content that is easy to access (loads quickly). They also are looking for content that others have found helpful (translated: linked to). So if your site is optimized with Unique and Original content that is keyword rich you could still lose rankings if your content becomes stale or people aren’t linking to it.
Search Engines also have become increasingly aware of people trying to “cheat” the system with hacks and bogus code or keywords. This would also be known as SPAM. So the search engines try to eliminate those results. This is important because if your “SEO Expert” is using outdated methods they could be actually hurting your search results rather than helping.
So what is important for SEO?
- An organized and optimized site framework (This is a big one that takes some expert knowledge)
- Continually updated content that is relevant to the Site area where it is posted
- Customer Reviews and Links to and from other sites
How do I know if my SEO optimization is working?
This is probably the easiest question to answer. Make sure you check out what the baseline results of your site are before engaging anyone to help you. Go to several different search engines including google and bing and search for your business the way you think a business would. For example, if someone was looking for our business they might search for “Computer Repair Central PA”. Record where your site shows up in the results so when they “Optimize” your site you can measure the change in your search rankings. (Note: The company you use should recommend this for you and be able to show you the result changes. But verify their claimed results yourself.)
How to pick a SEO Vendor:
- Your SEO vendor will need to be able to access and edit your website content.
- You should be comfortable that you understand how the SEO vendor is planning to achieve the results they purport. If it’s too complicated or hard to understand then let it go. (Many talk about how important SEO is and how many people use Search and the web but not how they are going to fix your search results.)
- Get a second opinion. Two viewpoints should help you understand if there are gaps in the strategy your SEO vendor is offering.
- SEO is about content on your site, not about submitting your URL to search engines and programs. So if your SEO vendor is not involved in the content of your site then they are not doing SEO.