28 / January 2016, Matt
In today’s business environment, having a website serves almost as a point of entry into the marketplace. Domain names and hosting are inexpensive, and web searches have replaced the phone book as a way for people to find companies that meet their needs. Without a business website, you place yourself almost immediately behind all of your significant competitors.
Once you have a website, though, you have to work on it before it can work for you. And this means much more than putting up an “About Us” page and a phone number. In addition to being able to tell people about your company, services, or products, you need to build up your website in a way that allows customers to find you.
SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is the tool that accomplishes this. It does so essentially by creating a map that search engine algorithms use to find their way to your site. The better your site is optimized, the higher it will rank, and thus the more people will see your site online before they see those of your competition. No one can buy from you until they find you. SEO helps give your business an audience, an opportunity to show potential customers what you can provide them.
Some people think of SEO as a way to deceive people, to dupe them into coming to a site that they weren’t looking to find. While some have certainly used it that way, a more accurate way to think of it is a translation tool. Search engines like Google and Bing use increasingly sophisticated algorithms to rank and list web pages in response to a search. They do this not by collecting poll data or asking friends, but by running analytics across search terms to determine what sites best fit the terms being searched. SEO, then, gives these analytical tools a way to read the site and determine where it should fit among the search results. It gives customers a way to find the information they are looking for by directing them to your site.
Keywords still represent a component of SEO today, but the search algorithms have adjusted to these tactics. High keyword concentrations (over 5-10% of an article or post) will weaken your rankings with the search engines, because they indicate the site is engaging in keyword stuffing rather than providing meaningful content for those conducting online searches. The term should occur organically and naturally within the content, which in most cases will only be in a 1-2% concentration in the website text.
One of the trickiest aspects of SEO is that the algorithms are always changing. If you are running a business, you have enough on your plate without trying to keep up with the latest trends in Google’s machinery. Unless you run a web copy business, this is probably not the job you signed on for.
This is the space 1st in SEO steps into for you. We are well-versed in current trends, and we read and research every day to keep up with changes and adjustments that affect the ability of your site to attract readers—and ideally, potential customers. We speak the language of search engines and can make sure your website does as well.
Of course, bringing people to your site is only one part of the equation. If your readers don’t like what they see and read, or if they don’t come away convinced that you are an expert in your market, the conversions won’t follow. We don’t just optimize your site for search engines; we optimize for your readership as well. Good writing and SEO need not be mutually exclusive. We provide tight, engaging posts, articles, and copy that attract and retain people so you can do business with them for a long time to come. Contact us today to get started!