SEO…the acronym you hear muttered by the lips of web developers, social media gurus and techies alike. So what is SEO anyway? It stands for “Search Engine Optimization.” Does that clear things up? I didn’t think so. In simplistic terms, SEO is a form of marketing that increases the amount of traffic that your website receives via search engines. What are search engines you ask? The main search engines are Google, Yahoo, and Bing with Google being the most heavily utilized. Your website doesn’t do you any good if clients can’t find you! Search engines provide the means to help people find the products and services they are looking for. Your goal is to help search engines associate your website with products/services that are typically searched by users. For example, if a user types “web design and development company” into Google, we at Gettingraphic LOVE when our website pops up on page one of the results presented to the user. Search engines can be your ticket to increased web traffic which can potentially translate into sales for your company.
Do I need SEO?
Search engines are good but they are not that good. Let’s face it, there are a lot of websites out there in cyber space making it an increasingly competitive environment. Search engines regularly “crawl” websites looking for meaningful content to help serve their users better. Their technology is always changing and improving. Those individuals who perform SEO to strategically place content where search engines can find it are at an advantage. Whether you hire a professional SEO guru to work on your site depends on your marketing plan. Do you have a brick and mortar shop that derives the majority of its business from walk-ins or do the majority of your sales come from online?
Some guy on Craigslist created my website for $300. Do you think its SEO ready?
Well, unless this guy likes to work for pennies per hour, you get what you pay for. There are numerous tips that Google has suggested to increase your web presence. A website needs a strong foundation and needs to be coded properly in order for Google to even crawl it. A good web developer is aware or the basic SEO concepts as promulgated by Google and incorporates them into the website. Some of these items include but are not limited to the following:
- Title tags
- Meta descriptions
- Meaningful content
- Alt tags
- Simple and clean code
If your web developer glazes over when you ask about any of the aforementioned components, keep looking.
SEO is a complex beast.
The intent of this article was not to explain all the concepts and techniques to you but rather to make you aware of a very powerful marketing tool that is available. Think of your website as your baby. You can’t just give birth to it and expect it to thrive without assistance. It needs to be nurtured, maintained, and it has to learn to adapt to an ever changing environment.