For businessmen and entrepreneurs seeking wealth and success online, few opening hurdles can be as daunting and complex as understanding search engine optimization (SEO)—one of the unofficial pillars of Internet marketing. SEO is both a broad and deep subject that is as technical as any other, but luckily, it can easily be explained in simple terms.
So, what is SEO?
SEO, in its most fundamental concept, is the easiest means of "Getting Found" on the web. The Internet is a vast collection of millions upon millions of webpages—the only real way people on it can get around is by using search engines. They use search engines like Google or Yahoo as a starting point to find what they want or need if they don't already have an idea of which website to go to. For businesses, this means that SEO is a way to ensure that their target market won't overlook them when trying to find their way across the sea of webpages that is the World Wide Web.
Getting found online is both relatively simple and conversely ridiculously difficult. You see, you don't need to do anything to be indexed or "seen" by search engines—they'll find you eventually. The problem is, as a business, you need visibility NOW. As any freelance web designer worth their salt will tell you, you need search engines to see you NOW and show you to your target market NOW, and that's exactly what SEO does. In essence, it's not just Getting Found, but "Getting Found Fast."
Now, imagine how you yourself would want to find something on the Internet, like shoes for instance, but you don't know which website to go to yet. The first thing that comes to mind is search for websites about shoes, so you go to search engines, type in "shoes" or something relevant, and query. Search engines show you a list of websites that may relate to what you're looking for on their search engine results pages (SERPs). Notice that the first item on SERPs is most likely to be clicked. The farther you are from that top spot, the less likely you'll get any visitors referred by search engines called organic traffic.
This is a priority for SEO—ranking as high as possible in SERPs. Remember, you need to Get Found Fast, and to do that, you need to be immediately visible in SERPs to even get any attention, which means you need to be as near to the top as possible. Now this is the entire raison d'etre of SEO: ranking number one in SERPs. As the name suggests, SEO is the practice and methodology by which you optimize your website for search engines, aiming to be as visible in them as possible via high SERP ranking.
Looking for an SEO Partner?
As I mentioned, SEO does not lack for depth and breadth, and the technical prowess required to efficiently optimize a website for search engines is no joke. For small to medium businesses, the most efficient way to get great SEO is to partner up with an SEO agency. Outsourcing SEO work to SEO agencies ensures that the right people do the job properly. You want professional SEO consultants and SEO specialists and not just general DIY handymen here.
After all, it's your business on the line. If you can't be found online, how can you expect to succeed? A good SEO consultancy can show you the way to your goal, but of course you will need to choose from a range of service providers and firms. A good way to go about choosing which SEO agency to pick would be asking for an SEO audit to see how much data they can mine—data that they can then analyze to help your website's SEO. They will show you an SEO report on how well your website is doing and how they can make it better through their SEO services. Of course, you also need to learn about SEO prices and the standard rates for services. Feel free to inquire about these as early on in the process of picking SEO agencies as possible. I can show you more about the basics of SEO and what I can do for your website as an expert in an SEO report we can openly discuss. It can indeed be technical and complex, but with expert guidance, you'll find that SEO is a cost-effective means of getting found and raising revenue.
Learning More about SEO
Now, just because you will have an SEO agency or SEO specialist as a partner does not mean you need not learn about SEO yourself. You should endeavor to at least grasp the all-important fundamentals of the field, such as methodologies, concepts, and the ideas. You may want to enroll in free SEO courses that discuss keyword targeting, research, optimized content creation, link building, and other topics. There are also free webinars hosted by leading service providers that can provide great general insight into the matter.
A bit of SEO training can also help prevent any confusion between you and your partner SEO agency. You need to at least know how to answer "What is SEO?", and how it affects you and your business.
As the manager and perhaps owner of your own online business, you need to understand all the facets of your venture. You don't need to run everything, but you need to know what's happening at the very least. SEO is an effective and lucrative marketing tool if you know how to use it, so make sure you know at least the basics before handing all the work over to an SEO agency or SEO consultant. Together, you can grow your business through being highly visible in search engines. Better yet, you can focus more on managing and growing your business while the expert handles the SEO.
Contact me for more information and specific SEO methods we can use for your business' success. SEO is one of the most prevalent practices in Internet marketing, and for good reason: if we can conquer those SERPs, you will succeed online.