What is SEO and Why You Should Care

What is SEO and why should you care graphic

You most likely have heard of the term SEO in regards to marketing and website.  The term stands for Search Engine Optimization and is a necessary part of your business web presence and your marketing strategy.  

You rely on SEO to help you with web searches and finding the most relevant information, you may just not have known what it is called.  You may not have realized that you should be focusing on SEO, but you need to.

Why SEO is Important

The web is a mess.  It is full of content that is relevant and some that is complete garbage.  Figuring out the good from the bad is a huge task.  It is up to the search engines to sort this out.

When you are performing an internet  search using a search engine (DuckDuckGo, Google, Yahoo, Bing, Etc.) you expect the most relevant results to be in the first few pages of the results.  To accomplish this, the search engine has to rely on a number of algorithms and decisions to make this happen.  There isn’t a person behind the scenes figuring out the results by hand.  This is where SEO comes into play.

Years ago people would do something called keyword stuffing.  This practice involved putting irrelevant words into your website in order to get traffic.  So a company in Michigan that sold countertops could “stuff” the name of a celebrity in the metadata of a web page in an attempt to get people to visit the website.  This caused the web to be a mess because search engines were returning irrelevant results all over the place.  This was what gave Google their rise to fame.

Google figured out a way to give precedence to relevant data while demoting and burying irrelevant sites. So if you searched for celebrity news you only got celebrity news and associated sites.  When you searched for countertops you got countertop sites.  This was a huge benefit.

The next iteration came with local search results.  Before search engines used location specific results, if you search for the term “dry cleaner” you could get one in New York City when you were in Huntersville, NC.  When search engines started performing location based searches for certain terms, the results improved.  Now search for Dry Cleaner on your cell phone and you will get ones in the vicinity of where you are at, giving you much more relevant data to act on.

These simple changes to searches improved the experience of the internet overall and started us on a path to a very usable web both as a consumer and as a marketer.  You want to be found as a business so you needed these changes to exist, you just didn’t know it.

What You Need to Do Now

Getting the content and the information on your site is more important now than ever.  So many web pages I come across are still irrelevant.  The location is wrong, no address, no phone number (just a contact form), the product I am looking for are vague.

If the information on your site is not only wrong but irrelevant, you re costing yourself business and results.  You want to get to the top of searches and to do that you have to get the details right.

Take the time to make the pages relevant to your searcher.  Make sure your location and products are up to date.

As a business owner you should do these 5 things to optimize your SEO.

    1. Update Every Product Page

    2. Update Contact Information including Phone Numbers and Especially Address(es)

    3. Remove Irrelevant Content From Pages - Anything that doesn’t capture the searches intent, kill it. 

    4. Make Conversions Easy - Make sure I know how to do business with you quickly and easily.  If the searcher goes right back to the results and clicks on someone else this is bad.  It is called pogo-sticking by Google and you don’t want that!

    5. Know Your Keywords and Test Them - If you don’t know your keywords then do some market research and figure it out.  Take a look at moz.com for SEO assistance at a reasonable DIY price.

This BLOG has talked a lot about marketing and SEO in the past and we will continue to.  Every business needs to understand where their business is coming from.  Do not give up business by having outdated and irrelevant web sites that can’t be found.