We all know the benefits of SEO:
Get found on search engines, accumulate more leads, and experience more conversions. It’s as simple as that.
Boston Web Marketing is choc-full of SEO pros.
We help our clients refresh, if not reinvent, their online presence. To do this, a multitude of online tinkering, augmentation, and creation are required, and sometimes a little strategic destruction also. Because SEO is a complex beast, it takes know-how to build and maintain traction. Sometimes a client will begin with a blank slate, and we have to start etching. Other times, the slate is damaged, and we need to first repair the broken pieces.
SEO services aren’t for everyone.
Sometimes, all you may need is a tweak here or there, and expending for services may not be necessary. Here is what you need to know about SEO so you can make a properly informed decision as to whether or not your business needs SEO services.
This is an important one. If you don’t have a website you’ll want to get one right away. If you have some training in web design and development, then why not take a stab at it yourself? However, building a website takes a lot of expertise, because websites aren’t just useful for users, they need to be indexed, crawled, and understood properly by search engines. This requires an understanding of the back-end of a website. Without a strong backbone, the website won’t be able to stand.
Perhaps you have a website but it is old and beginning to look out of date. Not to mention the aesthetics and user-friendliness may deter possible conversions, these older website can actually also perform poorly concerning their “crawl-ability” by search engines as well. Many code languages have changed and evolved since even a few years ago, and an out of date language is just that.
A powerful SEO tactic is to properly create meta-titles and meta-descriptions of each page you create on your website, including each blog post. Search engines won’t find your site, even if someone is searching for a business just like yours, if you back-end optimization of each page (or meta titles and descriptions) aren’t properly put together. Presumably, each page serves a different purpose, and likewise each accompanying meta-title and meta-description needs to correspond properly and uniquely.
Other methods that optimize each specific page are URL optimization, descriptive anchor text, linking to other internal pages on your site, linking outwardly to external pages outside of your website, and last but certainly not least, quality content.
Create strong content
Search engines need to be able to read your site in order to index it and know when to display it following a related search query, but at the end of the day, no one will find your website useful if the content isn’t informative and strong. Writing real quality content is the best thing you can do for you website and for your business. Additionally, any slight infringement of duplicate (plagiarized) content will result in a penalization in search rankings from Google. Your content needs to be concise but in-depth, unique but relatable, and parallel to the search terms or keywords you want to rank for.
Backlinks are links to your website from other sources. When links to your website exist on other sites (credible sites) Google sees that and decides your site must be more worthwhile than otherwise. This can include social bookmarks, social media, listing sites, review sites, online blogs, forums, or articles, etc. This can take some time and a fair amount of cumbersome work, but the results are worthwhile.
One thing to keep in mind is that this can all go terribly wrong. In the past, sites had used this tactic and gone somewhat overboard. They would pay people that own hundreds of different websites, all basically useless and empty of content, and that person would add their link to all of their hundreds of sites, in the hopes of creating massive amounts of backlinks and getting Google to think their website must be important. Google quickly caught on, and devised a system to which they could determine what constitutes a quality website, and if any links were pointing toward your site from a low quality site, you would be penalized. When they rolled out this new rule, sites who had been using these manipulative link buying or link farming tactics plummeted in ranking, and it took enormous amounts of time to disavow all of those poor links. So, when you build links, you need to stay focused on quality!
Strong social media presence
Social media is more than just how many people are following you, although that is also important. You need to understand your audience, and you need to create posts and share things that are relevant to that audience. You want to create a social media presence that will cultivate interest in your posts (so that followers hopefully click through from the social media site and into your website) and you want to create a brand people will remember when the time comes that they do need services that you offer.
Submit a sitemap
A sitemap is similar to what it sounds like; a map for Google to properly navigate your site. You don’t want Google getting lost and having to backtrack and reroute all the time. If Google can read your site and easily flow through the information, it’ll know your site is properly set up and have easier access to the pages on your site.
Install and understand Google Analytics and Webmasters Tools
Google provides tools for web developers and SEO’s to install on a site and track how the site is performing. These tools offer a multitude of measurements, parameters, and insights including keyword planning, pinpointing acquisition of visitors to your site (pertaining to geo-location, demographics, search terms, bounce rates, time duration on each page), fixing crawl errors, comparing current site performance to past performance, and much more.
All of these are things that you should either know about, know how to do, or be willing to learn if you want a site that is useful and beneficial. Doing just some of these things or just doing the bare minimum won’t get you anywhere, because the online competition is savvy and fierce. We hope this has helped you begin to understand the complex world of SEO and brought you further in deciding if professional SEO services are right for you.