SEO is the billion dollar industry most people have never heard of. Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving a website’s search ranking for a desired keyword. The reason SEO has exploded is because consumers have an insatiable appetite for the internet.
Google alone handles about 40,000 searches every second. Do the math and it comes out to roughly 1.2 trillion searches a year. This makes it pretty clear that customers are looking for what they need online, and SEO is the way you make sure your business is at the top of search results.
Entire books have been written on the importance and best practices of SEO, but for the sake of brevity we’ll just touch on a few key points about SEO.
- It’s hard- Plain and simple, SEO done right isn’t easy. Search engines like Google and Bing publish a list of best practices and give us enough information to be dangerous, but they don’t exactly give us the recipe for the secret sauce. This causes a bit of debate in the SEO world and makes things tricky. There’s an endless list of factors that affect search ranking. The idea of snapping your fingers and magically getting on the top of the page is about as realistic as Kiss doing a farewell tour and actually meaning it.
- It’s not all about you- One of those endless factors we were talking about is your competition. If you spend an hour everyday working on SEO, building backlinks and doing keyword research, but your competition spends an hour and a half, guess who’s getting the number one spot. The frustrating thing about SEO is you can sink some serious time and money into your website, but if you’re competition spends just a little bit more time and money you’ll never win.
- Know your market- The geographical area and specific industry you’re in will have a massive impact on your SEO strategy. If you’re wanting to rank well for “Chicago car accident lawyer” you’ll need to be very aggressive. On the other hand, if you want to rank for “Mobile sewing machine repair” you won’t need to be very aggressive, because your competition isn’t very stiff.
- Watch out- There’s plenty of SEO companies that are willing to take your money without doing any work. Make sure you know exactly what services you’re paying for and how well everything is working. If a company ever says, “we can’t tell you that” or “that’s proprietary” you need to run and run fast. Lack of transparency is a dead give away that the company is up to no good.
SEO is a great example of what’s known as inbound marketing. The difference between inbound and traditional marketing is that inbound is all about meeting customers where they are instead of interrupting their life. Inbound marketing is whole other can of worms, so for now just know that inbound is the future.
We could certainly go on quite a bit longer, but we’ll leave it that for now. Just remember that your future customers are looking online so make sure they can find you.