Despite most business owners, particularly in the UK and Ireland understanding that a good SEO strategy is now crucial to their long term business marketing goals, we often find many people we speak to don’t quite understand the concept fully, so here is a very quick and basic breakdown:
What does SEO mean?
SEO stands for ‘search engine optimisation’, which is engineering a website to improve the ranking on search engines (such as Google) for targeted search terms. For example if you was a florist in Dublin, you may ask an SEO company to optimise your site so that when people type ‘florists Dublin’ into Google you come up on the all important first page.
Where are the natural listings
These are a search engine’s natural and unpaid positions, generally more trusted on the left hand side of the page underneath the sponsored links. Ignore shopping results, news results, sponsored links and maps listings and there you have the ‘natural listings’.
How am I listed using SEO?
There are reportedly over 20,000 factors a search engine takes into consideration when choosing which results they decide to show, these factors change slightly quite often when a search engine changes it’s algorithm (usually quite a few times each year). A good SEO company should understand the most important factors and have the ability to look at your site and understand straight away what needs changing.
Why employ a consultant over trying it yourself?
Some people tend to think that if you follow basic SEO guidelines, put the right meta tags in, place the keywords within your page then you the search engine will pick you up. Unfortunately this is not the case and if it was, there would be no need for SEO companies. You may be on page 1 now for your search terms and getting plenty of business, however if the thousands of companies below you are using an optimisation company who know a lot more of the 20,000 individual ranking factors than you, your site will slowly drop down the rankings and eventually the large amounts of traffic you currently get will disappear. An SEO consultant ensure that your site is on page one and stays their!
How long does the SEO process take?
Time is a crucial factor with SEO, as trust is generally one of the key factors a search engine considers, they don’t tend to pick sites up and fire them straight to the first page, they gradually increase their listing to make sure the searchers are getting the kind of site they were looking for. A general timeline to hit the first page in the natural listings is 6-8 months, however you can get their within a month or two, there is no way of defining an exact date.
What SEO companies should I look out for?
There seems to be thousands of SEO companies setting up everyday and most of them don’t seem to have a clue what they are doing, it seems that some businessmen are picking up on the fact that they can sell a business to business service that is fast becoming classed as a business need, despite not having a clue about the industry or search engines!
Three quick checkpoints to find a viable SEO firm:
1. Go to their homepage and look at your tab at the top of the screen, Google what it says (excluding the company name), if the site doesn’t appear on page one, then they cannot practice what they preach, the title tag on the index page is the main phrase you are telling the search engines to find you for.
2. Look out for guarantees, SEO is out of anybodies hands and the results are what the engines decide to pick up, so how can somebody guarantee something that is out of it’s control.
3. Look at their case studies and ensure they have a history of getting clients to page 1, also remember that it is much easier to get a big name company to page 1 than a small/unknown company, simply because the big company already will have thousands of links going through which is a big SEO factor.
What are the benefits for my business?
Once you rank on the first page you should see a large amount of relevant visitors coming through to your site, the beauty of it is you don’t have to pay for these visitors like other forms of online/search marketing, furthermore each one of these visitors is specifically looking to buy your products/services!
Natural listings tend to stay on the first page for many years if your website continues to be optimised, so a companies value is also increased once you start appearing on the first page and it can be considered as a magnificent return on investment.
If you are thinking of getting started with an SEO strategy, view the following page and see if we can help: affordable seo company.