So What is SEO Anyway?
At Colorado Internet Solutions, we get this “what is SEO” question almost every day when talking with small business owners. Marketing your business on the web is a complex and extremely fluid undertaking, and to try and share everything about the topic would take a lot longer than you would want to spend reading about, so we’ve shared just a few insights with you on this page and welcome your call or question. The good news is that SEO for any business is possible and profitable if you have the expertise and patience to tap into this marketing channel for your business.
Search Engine Optimization or SEO is all about the processes a website goes through to get organic, sometimes referred to as “FREE”, traffic from the organic search results of the major search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing. Google is by far the 300-pound Gorilla in the room as you might have read about on our “Getting More Google Clicks” page and will be the search engine we refer to in this article because of it. It’s not that Yahoo or Bing are or should be ignored, it’s just that they follow the lead from Google and what’s good for SEO on Google typically translates directly to Yahoo and Bing.
The search engine results pages or SERPs can be a little confusing if you’ve never been trained to understand it, so look at this image below for an explanation of the different sections. FYI, these results pages are constantly being changed and beta tested by Google, but we’ll try and keep this current if we are aware of changes, sometimes they don’t announce it and this can happen several times per month. Here is a search for “pizza delivery near me”.
SEO efforts can be directed towards an endless number of channels as detailed above and there are typically many different prime keywords for a each particular type of business. There is a lot of research and strategy that is involved in creating an effective SEO program to identify them and then capture positioning to attract it to a website.
Many small business owners have never done this type of work for their website and are even unaware that it’s necessary to do SEO for their HVAC business. In years past, a website could get ranking for a business just because of the application of what is called “on-page” SEO factors. This is defined loosely as the proper development of a website using best practices and the application of META Data that gave instructions and insight to Google when the website was crawled by the Google Spiders. That number is decreasing as Google’s changes continue to increase in frequency, in particular to local SEO (the maps), and more owners see their online business dwindle. Some owners have also invested in SEO for a few years and have garnered a significant head start on their competitors across town. The good news is that you can catch up by educating yourself and spending a lot of time, or better yet, hiring a professional SEO company to handle this.
All SEO firms are different as you can hire a high-end boutique firm and look to pay large setup fees with stiff monthly retainers to continue the work. There are also so-called SEO experts that call you daily promising page-one rankings in the first 30 days for just $199 per month. If you were to pretend you owned Google and made $20 billion dollars per quarter year selling AdWords paid advertising, would you create a system that could be bypassed by someone selling guaranteed ranking for $199 per month? The answer is of course NOT, but small business owners get taken by this “too good to be true song and dance” every day. What these companies are selling is either a small Pay-Per-Click AdWords campaign or a business listing or citation service. Citations are an extremely important part of the local search puzzle, but you don’t have to pay for the rest of your life, at least not $199 per month forever
SEO is a creative and technical process that involves a regular long-term commitment to accomplish what most would define as a successful outcome. It’s about creating and fresh and engaging website with lots of great, high quality content. It’s about having your business correctly listed across trusted online directories on the web, known as citations. It’s about regularly creating and publishing high quality content and capturing your clients who are using the web to learn about your product or service. Social Media pages like Facebook, Twitter and all the rest are critical to creating buzz amongst your followers, driving more website visits, higher rankings, and most importantly new customers.
Finally, there are companies like Colorado Internet Solutions. We provide different platforms and SEO programs that deliver a more balanced and affordable approach that has been helping small business owners throughout Denver and Colorado for over seven years. We hope you will contact us here or give us a call at 720-458-3046 to discuss your business.