If you own or work for a business that has a website and has been around a while, you no doubt, have at least heard of SEO. You might have received a phone call informing you how your website isn’t ranking and is struggling to be seen by anyone on the search engines and if you give them $800 a month, they’ll rank your website on the first page of Google. You may have even invested money into SEO and, if you're one of the lucky ones who found an honest SEO business, got positive leads and visibility.
For those of you who are new to owning a business or have a new idea that requires a website, you may not be familiar with what SEO is or does and why it might be important.
What Does SEO Stand For?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Search engines are websites like Google, Bing, Yahoo, & DuckDuckGo.
What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing a website or a web page so that search engines can understand, read, and rank your pages based on the information provided and the website's authority.
You can think of this process like a popularity contest and one that’s fair. If you provide good & relevant information on your website and update it often you will most likely be rewarded with some visibility by search engines like Google. If you were to take your information on your website and put links to it in your social media accounts, you would get even more exposure and in turn, get better traffic. And, going back to the popularity contest, when you receive more exposure, you’ll get even more visibility. This, in turn, gives a signal to search engines that you're gaining popularity and that you must be an authority in your industry or niche.
What’s Authority in Search Engine Optimization, you may ask? According to curatti.com in an article called, 3 Powerful Pillars of SEO: Authority, Trust, & Relevance, “Authority is the qualitative measure which strengthens the overall visibility and ranking of a website.” So, basically, if you write great relative content and share to your business social media outlets, you will be, sooner or later, ranked.
You may still be wondering, perhaps, why Seo is important and what’s the significance of being on page 1 when people search your industry. To keep it simple, when you’re on page 1 of a Google search that matches your industry, you’re getting free leads that could otherwise cost thousands of dollars a month. In addition to priceless leads, you’re also building your brands image and making it stronger (Authority).
There’s a great article posted on impactbnd.com titled, How Important Is A Top Listing in Google? that will give you a lot more information on this topic.
Free Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Tips
I’ve only covered the tip of the iceberg regarding SEO so without going deeper (and possibly confusing you) I’m going to throw out a few tips you may want to consider if you’d like to give SEO a shot on your own. This is something you can begin doing on your own and start seeing some success!
Keep in mind though, that whether you use a company like Puffer Web Studios for SEO Services or you decide to try Search Engine Optimization in-house, you’ll need to have some patience. In fact, if someone tells you they’re an SEO Specialist and they can rank your keyword in a month, you should run! This is a time consuming process that can take several months to start seeing any significant results.
- Search Console - Anytime Google offers a free tool for measuring SEO, I use it. Google's search console provides a host of tools that helps you measure a website's performance and search traffic. As an SEO expert, I always recommend this tool for a client who hires me to build a website. If you have a website being built for you by a web developer, ask them to set this up for you. They may charge you but it’s worth having it.If you would like to give it a go you can check out A Beginner's Guide to Google Search Console by moz.com
- Google Analytics - Analytics will show how many visits your website receives, where they live, what device they use, when a website receives the most visits, reporting, and so much more. When I take on a client for SEO, I review their Analytics at least a couple times a week to get insights on the constant changes being made on their website and social media efforts.Again, Ask your web developer to set this up for you. This process is relatively easy so if you have access to your website backend, I’m going to reference moz.com again. The Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Google Analytics
- SEMRush - Last, but certainly not least, is the only paid tool on my list. First I would like to say, I don’t get compensated in any way if you click on a link to SEMRush from this website. In my opinion though, they offer the best solutions to keyword and domain research. Their platform is also the easiest for me to read and go through quickly so that I can do my research and get on my way to being productive.SEMRush does, at the time of this article, offer a free 7 day trial which has no limitations. I can’t say enough about this tool. Basically, this tool allows you to research keywords related to your brand to give you some insight on what and how people are searching for your services.A quick word of advice: if you’re a new business, go after keywords that are easy/medium and go after it. It may only yield 15 searches a month but if you tackle 5 -10 of these, it adds up quickly. Once you begin to gain authority you should then begin going after more competitive keywords.
If you’re just starting your business and if you have the time, most of your SEO efforts can be done and managed in house. I find that a few hours a week writing good informative information for your website and posting them on social media will give you a good start. In the beginning, try to write at least 2 blogs a month while sharing them on social media. Keep in mind, we’ve really only discussed one portion of SEO but I believe with this you can make a lot of progress.
If you’re at a point where you would like to discuss SEO for your website you can reach out to us using our contact form. We are an SEO company in Gulfport, MS and love working locally but we love our out of town clients as well. One thing that sets us a part is we only take on one client per keyword per city. For example, if you’re a lawyer in Biloxi, MS, you would be our only Lawyer we represent in Biloxi, MS.
We hope you enjoyed this article and found it educational. Please a comment below if there's something you would like to add!
The Author, Nick Puffer, is the owner of Puffer Web Studios which is located in Gulfport, MS. Nick has developed websites for over 20 years and has worked in SEO for the last 10 years.