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What is SEO? Should You Care? Here are the basics!

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What is SEO?- Search Engine Optimization

What is SEO ? Have you found yourself having a conversation and someone throws out a term that everyone around you seems to know and changes the conversation?  You nod your head and listen but are no closer to knowing what the heck everyone is talking about.  Business owners come to us and ask how they can increase visibility of their website and beat out their competitors.  We start talking about SEO and we recognize that look.  They have heard the term, know it’s important but not sure what it is. Some of the brave one’s break down and ask “What is SEO?”. It’s not as complicated as you think and is actually fairly straightforward.  So, let’s get started.

SEO Defined

SEO is the marketing process of impacting the visibility of your website in organic (free) search engine results.  In search results Google™ displays pages it finds to be relevant, credible and authoritative.  It makes sense that website authority is part of the equation. Not only do you want to find the right answer when you search for something you want to be able to have confidence that it comes from a credible source.

SEO has a couple of different elements that are required to be relevant, improve rankings, increase website traffic and increase visibility within the search engines. These include both technical and creative elements that are defined by user experience.  Search engines are driven by providing the optimal consumer experience.

Search engines are looking for the following:

  • The right combination of words (aka keywords)
  • Credibility – in the form of links to your websites that have authority in your marketplace
  • Content that is unique and valuable
  • Website design and structure that is user friendly

Beginners Guide to SEO is a great resource to get you started.

SEO isn’t about building a search engine friendly site. Organic SEO is about making your website easier for your audience to use.  At FireRock Marketing we merge these principles in our work.

3 Simple Steps to Better Website Rankings

  1. Write content that your customers can’t live without.
    • Useful content delivers value to the audience.  Its is easy to find and read.  Don’t complicate “Happy Birthday!”
  2. Make it really easy to share.
    1. When your content has value, it gets shared.  As it gets shared other site start to reference and link back to that content.
  3. Be consistent! Your audience wants more.
    • This is not a one and done.  You have to put effort into staying relevant and top of mind.  Creating content has to be a company wide exercise that every department contributes to.

Getting Links

You will hear a lot about white hat and black hat link building.  White hat link building techniques are tactics to build links to your site that never go out of style. Black hat techniques are easier but ultimately you will be penalized.  Go towards the light!

Links are critically important to your SEO marketing efforts. Quality rules over quantity! Links have to be an integrated marketing strategy with your content development. Ultimately, authoritative sites will link to powerful strong content.  They are not interested in hurting themselves with low quality, spam or underhanded tricks.  Strive to be the most credible in your niche and you will attract powerful friends.

The question of “What is SEO?” is for your competitors to figure out.  Next time you hear the term be confident.

SEO basics are not complicated.  As you start to work on your rankings it will be important to stay informed and enlist the help of a good marketing consultant.

To see how your site is currently doing click here to run a free SEO Scan.

Local SEO

One last note.  We have been talking about organic SEO tactics (big picture). If you are a local business, the good news you can have a huge impact on your ranking by following the recommendations. for example if someone is looking for an SEO consultant is the Boston area and search for boston seo they will find local businesses providing services. But is someone searches for SEO, they will get a totally different result.

Being local has it benefits.  Take advantage of the nature of your business and your expertise and you will see results!

Schedule a Free SEO Consultation