WHAT IS SEO?
If you are in the digital industry or run your own business, chances are you’ve heard of SEO, or search engine optimization. But what is it?? Well, it is the process of driving traffic to your website by appearing as high as you can on Google search results. Not to confuse SEO with pay-per-click, SEO is the ORGANIC process of achieving this success, versus paying advertising dollars to appear at the top of search results.
Before we get into the nitty gritty, let’s talk about Google. Over 2 trillion searches are made every day for answers to anything from the best hair salon to random trivia facts to settle friendly disputes. Google makes money because more often than not, they are great at giving you the answers you need.
At its core, Google is a referral system. Think of it like this. You ask a friend where the best pizza joint in the city is. You go to that pizza joint and the next morning BOOM, food poisoning. What do you think the chances are that you ask that same friend for a recommendation in the future? Not likely.
Google needs to know that the businesses they place on the first page of their search results are credible businesses. Because just like the pizza example, if you find that over time the recommendations and answers that Google gives you aren’t quality you stop using Google, and they start losing money. They need to feel confident when referring your business. How does Google determine which businesses go on the first page? Well, now we arrive at the subject of SEO.
SEO AND YOU
Throughout the rest of this blog, I want you to think about your website and overall online presence as the human body. In order to achieve a high level of health and wellness, there’s a lot you have to take into account: diet, exercise, sleep, hydration, mental wellness, etc. I could go on for a while listing what plays into the overall health of a human being, and that is exactly my point with SEO.
The folks at Google are known for keeping us on our toes by continuously updating their methods. Even when we start gaining additional insights—BAM!—Google has updated their search algorithm again.
Google crawls websites across the web every several weeks. During this process, they look at various factors such as website security, domain authority, multimedia, and they will even check Google reviews. Last but most certainly not least, they crawl the content on your website. This is why content is still king. Google pays attention to key phrases within your content so that when a user performs a Google search they can properly match that user to a source based on relevance.
For example, let’s say you’re a plumber who offers emergency services. More specifically, your main areas of focus are drain cleaning, sewer lines, and even water-damage cleanup. It is important to have “drain cleaning”, and “water-damage cleanup” mentioned in your content. That way, when I have a damaged sewer line and perform a Google search for “sewer line repair near me” Google will know that you’ve mentioned “sewer line repair” on your website so you are relevant to this particular user’s search.
Similar to maintaining a healthy body, the work isn’t done just when you’ve drank a glass of water and gone on a light jog. There are a million factors you need to pay attention to and even website content isn’t always enough. Google’s algorithm is even smart enough to recognize when you’re “plugging” keywords in an attempt to trigger a search, so the content has to sound and flow naturally versus listing “sewer line repair” a thousand times.
Also like the human body, SEO takes time for results to show, and ongoing maintenance. In other words, once you’ve lost weight, you can easily gain back the weight if you don’t continue to pay attention to the health of your body, or in this case your website. Ensuring your website has a strong SEO performance is an ongoing initiative.
SEO TAKES TIME
Have you ever thought to yourself, “Okay, I had an SEO expert go in and make updates last week, why am I not on the first page yet?” The answer is quite simple: SEO is the organic process of achieving first page search results. Would you hire a trainer or dietician and go back to them in a week upset that you haven’t lost 30 pounds yet? The answer is no. Depending on variables such as geographic location (first page in NYC vs. first page in Wilmington) you should expect to see results in around 3 months.
If you can’t afford to wait that long and need immediate results, there are more aggressive tactics such as Google ads and other methods of paid advertising. Even then, SEO plays a role in that as well. If you have a Google ad talking about “drain cleaning” and your landing page has ZERO mentioning of that term or service, you will get a low quality score. Low quality score=higher advertising costs.
All of this can be a lot to digest. The realm of digital marketing is evolving faster than agencies can keep up and what is required is time for learning and practicing. Our T/G team has years of combined experience and have countless clients who have found success. Getting to know our clients and watch their businesses grow is what keeps us coming into work every day.
Interested in improving your rankings? Want to learn more about SEO? Let’s chat.