By now, you’ve likely heard the term “SEO”, which stands for Search Engine Optimization. This term is often taken to mean many things, by many different people. However, the true definition according to Wikipedia is “Search engine optimization is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a web search engine‘s unpaid results, often referred to as “natural”, “organic”, or “earned” results. In general, the earlier (or higher ranked on the search results page), and more frequently a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine’s users, and these visitors can be converted into customers. SEO may target different kinds of search, including image search, local search, video search, academic search, news search and industry-specific vertical search engines”. SEO could also include items beyond what is described in the article such as a business listing on Facebook, reviews on Thumbtack or Angie’s List, or including in map listings from the big three search engines – Google, Yahoo and Bing. Good ranking is accomplished by providing search engines what they desire, both in terms of website structure and content. For example, Google expects to see a certain set of pages on every site – something they describe in their best practices – and if those pages are not present, the site won’t rank as well, all things being equal. In addition to the above, there are many, many smaller items to consider when optimizing a site such as properly formatted HTML on the site, schema data and mobile compatibility.
The score card for ranking on Google is literally hundreds of items long, which is why it’s best to leave this very specialized skill to the experts. Not only is this a difficult to learn skill, it’s one that requires full time attention as the major search engines are always changing the rules of what they consider a good website. You may have heard of people discussing the latest “Google algorithm” or the latest “Google update” and how it has negatively or positively affected their website rankings. Imagine learning how to work on a car engine, but the manufacturer changes the engine a few times per year, with no advance warning! This is why SEO is a highly-valued skill, and entire companies have formed in order to meet the needs of the marketplace. Another good analogy is that of neighborhoods. If you consider your website to be like a house, what part of town would you want it to be in? To be sure, if you build a brand new, modern, energy-efficient house, but place it out in the country where one or two cars per day might pass it, then you’ll find it difficult to get anyone to come inside and look around. On the other hand, even if you have an older, well-worn home, but it’s in a part of town where there are plenty of people walking by or eyeballing the house, it’s much more likely you’ll get visitors to come by and take a look at what you have to offer. When you work with us, we’ll give you the best opportunity to be in the best part of town naturally, organically, without the use of “black hat” tactics (which usually do not last, for the record).
You’ll note that in the above, not once was mentioned the term “marketing” or “sales”, and for good reason. Although many website and business owners use the terms interchangeably, they actually mean very different things. According to Business Dictionary “Marketing is defined as the management process through which goods and services move from concept to the customer. It includes the coordination of four elements:
- Identification, selection and development of a product
- Determination of its price
- Selection of a distribution channel to reach the customer
- Development and implementation of a promotional strategy
Marketing is based on thinking about the business in terms of customer needs and their satisfaction. In other words, marketing has less to do with getting customers to pay for your product as it does developing a demand for that product and fulfilling the customer’s needs”
Having effective SEO is complementary to having good marketing in place. To use another analogy, if you have the world’s best lemonade stand, and it’s in the best neighborhood possible, but you’re not actively telling people about your site, business or products, then you’re not going to be as successful as you could be. While browsing our site, you have likely come across this statement about the types of businesses and companies we work with. If you’re looking for SEO to be the magic bullet to boost your business, without having an established business or a solid marketing plan in place, your time and budget are better spent on initial market reach – put SEO efforts in after you have those in place. SEO is also no replacement for being in regular contact with your customers or clients, nor will it replace great customer service. SEO works best in conjunction with solid marketing campaigns, great customer service and providing true value with a product or service in exchange for financial compensation!
Or as they say “there is no such thing as a free lunch”! When you work with The Kansas City SEO group, we’ll work with you to make sure that you have all of the foundational items in place so that when we start your SEO project, you’ll see maximum effectiveness from our efforts. And if the time isn’t right for our services – we’ll let you know – and we’ll be here when you are ready. Give us a call or Email today to find out what we can do for you and your business, service or product.