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10 Things to Know about SEO

Investing in a SEO campaign can be one of the most profitable marketing methods available to your company. But before you invest thousands into SEO with a company that you have never heard of before, here are 10 tips that will help you understand a proper SEO campaign.

  1. Keywords Matter.

    You have to be selective about which keywords you choose to have your site rank for. Search Engine Optimization is not 'making your site rank high for every search.' Search Engine Optimization is a selective strategy. You have to pick specific keywords that will bring you the most business for your money. Most SEO providers charge based on how many keywords you are optimizing for ' it is important to understand not only what keywords generate searches ' but what those searches are really looking for.
  2. It is how your audience thinks that matters ' not how the industry thinks.

    A long time ago, I decided that it was ok that people called me a 'computer person,' rather than their 'IT specialist.' Especially since no one really searches for 'IT specialist' except for IT specialists. People search for computer help. Or computer repair. It doesn't mean that you don't prepare your site for 'IT help' if you have the money, but it is better to go with what a paying customer would type in, than to invest in the terms that people within the industry use.
  3. It won't do anything for you without a good site to back it up.

    If your site is at the number one spot for Google, Bing, and every other search engine, and you manage to be first on every Local Business Listing (the red dots on Google), and you pull in 20,000 visitors per month ' if they get to your site, and leave before becoming a customer due to poor design or a lack of what they are actually looking for ' you have wasted your investment.
  4. Information is important.

    You may get twenty thousand visitors ' but those visitors are not looking for a site filled with keywords and no information ' they are looking for information about whatever they are searching. What distinguishes you from your competition? That site you have isn't about you, it isn't about your SEO, it isn't about your company ' it is about your customer. Make them want to stay once they find it. Provide useful information that they want to read. You're an expert. Show them why.
  5. You can track your progress.

    If someone tells you that there is no way to track your progress with SEO ' they are lying to you. We have a myriad of tools to show customers how their site is doing ' make sure that anyone you hire demonstrates your investment and backs up the work they are doing for you.
  6. Search Engine Optimization isn't an IT department.

    Chances are, your network engineer doesn't know the first thing about Google's algorithm. They are experts in what they do ' just like you are an expert in what you do. You can Google how to do anything. You can even Google how to do brain surgery. Chances are though, that you don't want someone who read on WebMD doing your surgery. What SEO experts do may not seem difficult ' but think about the time and research that will be involved in seeing any real, significant improvement to your Web rankings ' and your marketing strategy (because SEO isn't IT ' it is a blend of IT and marketing) with an amateur. The investment in man hours will be staggering. Having a Web analysis can demonstrate the issues you will find with a site that is run by your IT department.
  7. Your rankings are not the whole picture.

    Being #1 on Google doesn't mean that you're the best ' doesn't mean that you have any customers ' it simply means that you are #1. Set goals from your site, analyze what kind of traffic you are getting, your bounce rate (how many people actually stay on your site once they are there) ' and you'll start getting a clearer picture.
  8. There is more than one way to invest in Search Engine Optimization.

    Whether you are looking at local SEO, global SEO, business listings, or social media campaigns ' there are hundreds of factors that matter. As the customer, you are unlikely to ever know all of the steps that are taken to rank your Web site. What is worse, you may not know the right questions to ask. A good place to start is to know what goals you have for your Website. If your provider starts answering you with 'industry-speak', ask questions, have them explain themselves. You should understand where you are investing your money.
  9. It takes time.

    All things take time. If someone tells you they can get you to the top in a week ' they are using what we refer to as 'black hat' methods. If you have an infinite budget to spend on reworking sites over and over when Google bans them ' this won't matter to you. But if you want to receive stable rankings that last ' you have to approach SEO by building a site for your customers, doing all of the right things ' the right way ' and being patient. SEO is really nothing more than proper Web maintenance - and continuing to educate the public through your site, which will show Google that your site is awesome. You didn't build your marketing strategy in a day, and your company didn't brand overnight. But once it was done, it was worth it.
  10. You Need A Marketing Strategy.

    If you have the best site in the world, but it isn't found, what is the point? You need a Web site. It is a store front that you do not have to heat, cool, run water to ' and the rent is incredibly low in comparison. But investing in a site without investing in SEO is like renting a store on a residential street deep in the suburbs without any form of advertising. Depending on your target demographic, SEO, Social Media, E-mail marketing, pay-per-click, or banner advertising may be the type of marketing you need. SEO is generally the best place to start, but you should find a firm that has an understanding of online trends so that your marketing campaign is the most effective possible for your Web site.

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