Sure. You've heard all about SEO (search engine optimization). But why is it important, and how much effort should you focus on it for your business?
What is Search Engine Optimization?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and is composed of several parts:
- Keyword phrases
- Content writing
- Image optimization
- Local optimization (especially important for small businesses)
- SMO (Social Media Optimization)
Identifying your target demographic is incredibly important in order to generate the above items. You need to know how your audience searches for what you offer, and you need to be able to offer simple messaging that keeps them on your website and calls them to action.
Let's put these 5 parts together in a scenario.
How SEO used to work
Local Business wants to move up the Search Engine Ranking Pages, or SERPs, so it finds SEO Company. SEO Company will charge Local Business anywhere between $300-$1200 per month to “optimize” 10 keywords. Since Local Business is an insurance agent, SEO Company charges $1000 per month—because those are high commodity keywords, you know! SEO Company also promises Local Business that its website will be on the first page.
How SEO Company moves Local Business’ website to first page:
SEO Company takes Local Business’ $1000 per month and buys lots of listings—or spots on listing websites—for the business’ website pages to create backlinks. This used to tell the search engines that your website was important. “Huh—a lot of websites are referring to Local Business’ website, so it must be important. Let’s move Local Business to first page in SERPs!”
But that doesn't work anymore.
What’s worse yet: many SEO companies are still trying to sell it that way. Be leery of companies who promise to conduct their SEO services by providing backlinks, Link Building, buying “followers” or “blog subscribers”. Too much of this will get you literally blacklisted from search engines.
SEO can be both paid and organic. Paid SEO (also knows as SEM, or Search Engine Marketing) is when you pay an agency to utilize virtual advertising (i.e. Google AdWords) to get your website listed at the top of the page. While effective when done right, it can be costly and needs to continue over the long term in order to continue generating leads. If you're looking to hire a reputable agency for your paid advertising, we highly recommend 316 Strategy Group.
Organic SEO is using content and SMO (Social Media Optimization) to move your website up in search organically, or “on its own”. This is the most effective way to move your website up in search. However, Organic SEO also takes the longest but has a long-lasting impact on your website's ranking over the long term.
The important thing to remember here is that Paid SEO has no effect on Organic SEO. On the other hand, Organic SEO can influence your Paid SEO and help you get better leads and spend less money.
So what does work?
Your next potential customers are getting more creative with their online searches. Instead of searching for insurance, they are searching for affordable homeowners insurance in Omaha. Therefore, search engines have to be smarter about the results they provide. Today’s SEO is a fine art of not only the keyword phrase itself but how a website incorporates that keyword phrase into the content on the particular page (or “land”) that is being optimized. So it’s not just the content, but the context of the content.
And when you incorporate the keyword phrases you used on your website into your social media…you're getting the golden ticket.
How A Cup of Content helps with Organic SEO
One of the biggest mistakes we see businesses making with their online content is that they get so caught up in how they want to be known that they forget potential customers don’t know how businesses want to be known. Our job is to help businesses develop content in a way that best represents them, utilizing keywords potential customers are searching for, and put all of that together so search engines can present your optimized pages in SERPs and gets potential customers clicking and, ultimately, buying. Schedule a meetup today to see how our Organic SEO services can help your business move up in search!