You have a limited budget and a long to-do list.
Is SEO worth it or should you spend your money somewhere else?
From the user end, it’s a simple (but mysterious) process. You type a search query into Google and voila! You’re presented with a long list of pages about your topic, ranked in order of relevance. Now you got some hotshot SEO company coming in here telling you they can make the process better?
I get it. If you’re asking “is SEO worth it?”, a simple “yes” isn’t a good enough answer.
To help you decide whether to actually invest in SEO, let’s dive a little deeper into how it all works.
How Do Search Engines Work?
Google uses bots (also known as “crawlers” or “spiders”) to quickly read, categorize, and index information on the internet. Picture a bunch of tiny librarians who are busy sorting every web page they can find into the world’s largest and most complex card catalog. (Yes, I do understand that I’m dating myself here.)
But even though this catalog is vast and complicated, you’re somehow never worried that you won’t be able to find what you’re looking for. And you have algorithms to thank for that.
Algorithms are computer codes designed to retrieve the most relevant information in the quickest amount of time. So even if you’re looking for something totally random (such as how to explain MRIs to a child), you can find a web page that does exactly that…in seconds.
Google puts a lot of time and energy into updating their algorithms so web users like you get better organic search results. But with more than a billion active websites, competition is fierce. How do you ensure that your site winds up as close to the top of that list as possible?
The answer is SEO.
How Does SEO Work?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is exactly what it sounds like: optimizing your website so that web crawlers take notice and put your site at the top of more lists.
If you don’t understand how the algorithm works, it can make SEO companies sound a bit like snake oil salesmen. But Google is always pretty upfront about the updates they make to their algorithms. Each time they release a new algorithm, they let everyone know exactly what is about to change.
The Panda update focused on delivering higher-quality content. Hummingbird focused on more relevant content. Other updates cracked down on ads, boosted rankings for mobile-friendly sites, and favored pages that were most recent.
Sites that comply with these changes are rewarded by higher positions on organic search results. Sites that don’t get left behind.
As a business owner, you can optimize your website by ensuring that you stay on par with Google’s standards. If they say to include high-quality images with alt text, do it. If they say blog posts should be more than 500 words, don’t stop at 300.
The bottom line is that whatever they recommend should be a part of your SEO strategy. And a good SEO company knows what those guidelines are.
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What Is Good SEO?
Hopefully we’ve sold you on the idea of an SEO campaign of your own. But what exactly does that look like?
Google’s organic search results show up in a very specific order: ads, local results, organic results. If you want to maximize your chances of showing up at the top, you need to be strategic.
1. Google Ads
Google Ads are a form of pay-per-click campaign (PPC) and they show up before anything else on a search results page. If you’ve ever clicked on whatever the first result is without looking for the word “sponsored,” you’ll know how effective this marketing strategy is.
2. Local SEO
When relevant, local SEO results (also known as a “map pack”) will show up right after the ads. As the name suggests, it will typically feature a map and a list of corresponding Google Business Profiles.
If you work in a particular geographical area, focusing on local SEO will ensure that most of your traffic doesn’t come from across the country. Optimizing your Google Business Profile is the best way to start, but including local keywords throughout your site is also important.
3. Great Content
Underneath the map pack, you’ll find the regular organic search results. By and large, your position in this section has a lot to do with the quality of your content.
Your content—every blog post, video, podcast, or infographic—should provide information that will be helpful to your reader. If it’s too short, difficult to read, or even ugly to look at, it’s going to the back of the line.
Is SEO Worth It?
When done right, YES!
A comprehensive SEO strategy not only improves your rankings, it improves the user experience on your site as well. In the end, isn’t that all that really matters?
Clarity Creative Group has had a front-row seat to Google’s algorithm updates and we’ve used that information to help our clients get some amazing results (think “first page on Google” amazing). If you’d like to see those same kind of results for your own business, then we have something in common already.
Give us a call or shoot an email so we can schedule a time to chat.
Clarity Creative Group is a digital marketing agency located in beautiful Orlando, Florida. You thought my MRI example was hypothetical, didn’t you? Well, it’s not. My daughter is weird.