Digital marketing agencies constantly encounter questions and confusion about Search Engine Optimization (SEO). The field of SEO is a great mystery to many business owners.
Pretty much every company accepts that they need to improve their online presence through Content Marketing and SEO, but very few understand what this entails. It is because of this confusion that numerous misconceptions rear their head. We at Fringe Digital Marketing Agency have made it a point to field all of these questions in a timely and concise manner, but since the questions always seem centered on the same topics, we decided it would be best to provide a one stop listing for our top five questions. Here they are in no particular order.
1. Is SEO a one-time thing?
We hear this question a lot. Many business owners believe that SEO is something that they pay for once and then they never have to think about it again. This is far from the truth. Highly-effective SEO is an ongoing process that requires a serious dedication of time and energy. Google and other search engines are constantly updating their algorithms and criteria for what a high-ranking site should look like. It is an SEO specialist’s job to stay on top of these changes and make the necessary adjustments to clients’ sites accordingly. This specialist should also experiment with different strategies to make their clients’ sites as user-friendly as possible. None of this is rocket science, and if a business owner has the time and energy to do the research, identify best practices and implement them, then they can effectively run their own SEO campaign. What most business owners who attempt this discover however is that the time commitment alone is too much to overcome. Most business owners do not have an abundance of extra time to spend on things like SEO and once they have seen how much work it actually is, the price for an SEO campaign starts looking extremely reasonable.
2. My website is about to go online; when is the best time to start my SEO campaign?
The most spot on answer to this question is “yesterday.” There is no reason to wait for your website to go online to start an SEO campaign. SEO techniques and best practices should be utilized in every stage of development for your wenbsite. Your site developer should be working side by side with your SEO Company to assure your site is built in such a way that will produce the best SEO results for you. Content marketing is another aspect that heavily influences an SEO campaign’s effectiveness. From the second your business takes shape, you should be releasing content online that solidifies you as an authority in your field. You can set up a blog in five minutes (or have your SEO Company do it for you) and immediately start releasing engaging articles that are relevant to your product and service. You should set up all the applicable social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+(possibly the most important yet also the most overlooked), Linkedin as soon as the paint on your logo dries (you do have a clever, highly-recognizeable logo right?). Make sure to set a schedule for posting on all these outlets, and make sure you are updating and posting multiple times per week if you want the biggest SEO payoff.
3. Can’t I just buy a bunch of links and throw my keywords in the meta-keyword section of my site to rank #1?
This is an outdated mindset that traces back to the earliest days of black-hat SEO. It is true that backlinks are important to a great SEO campaign, but purchasing a thousand low-end, third party links from sites that were built specifically for the purpose of selling links will actually hurt your SEO campaign more than help it. As mentioned earlier, Google is constantly updating its search algorithms. Google uses link reputability as one of their main factors for assessing the quality of a website. Having a handful of backlinks from great sites that are relevant to your field or business is far better than having ten thousand links from shady spam sites. Also, forget about the meta-keywords tag in your website’s code. Google stopped taking this section into account years back, and nowadays it is only useful for competing SEO companies to track what specific keywords you are targeting in your campaign. Ignore this section, or set it and forget it. Focus your efforts on techniques that will produce results.
4. I provide services in a local area; why do I need SEO?
Many businesses think that just because they offer services in one local area that they will automatically rank number one on search engines. This is simply not the case. A high percentage of Google searches are local searches, and with the recent boom of mobile search, local searches are becoming even more prevalent. Local companies need to make sure that they are properly optimized to show up when people search for their services by computer or phone. With Google’s recent implementation of the Knowledge Graph it has become even more important for local sites to utilize SEO. Google (even though they say they are not) is favoring Google+ for localized search results, and you must have an SEO specialist who can set up and utilize your company’s G+ account to its full potential. With the Knowledge graph and the saturation of directories and listings for localized services, Google real estate is very slim when it comes to showing up on the first page of organic rankings. Because of this, companies need to implement every possible SEO strategy that they possibly can to make sure they show up when someone needs their service.
5. Do I need to use an Adwords campaign to get the best results from Google?
In recent times, Google has really been trying to push businesses into pay per click campaigns. This has been great for Google who is experiencing all time high profit margins in this field, but it is not necessarily great for the businesses that are shelling out thew money. There have been countless studies on where people gravitate to on search engine results pages (SERPs), and these studies have shown time and time again that people tend to focus on the top three organic listings when deciding which search result to choose. Google and other search engines have tried to combat this by making their paid results more difficult to spot, but even this has not been very effective. Most searchers do not like to click on paid search results, so it is in a company’s best interest to do everything they can to capture one of the top three organic spots on Google. Doing so will get them the greatest amount of potential customers to their site.
These questions are by far the ones we hear the most in the SEO field. SEO carries a certain mystery to it, but once it is looked at in depth, it is really not that difficult. It is however EXTREMELY time consuming and it requires a great deal of due diligence. Most, if not all, business owners simply do not have the time and resources to conduct an effective SEO campaign on their own. If you want to experience the riches that a well-executed SEO campaign can produce, it’s probably better to leave it to the experts.
If you have any questions about SEO or content marketing, please list them in the comments section below, and we will answer them in a timely manner.