You know its name. You’ve seen it on social media. You can’t go a day without hearing the word “Google.” But you’re still not quite sure what it all means. We get it, it’s a lot. And in this post, we’re going to break it down to help convey the importance and the nuances. So, let’s get started.
What does SEO even stand for?
“SEO” stands for Search Engine Optimization, but that has two meanings. SEO can refer to both the act of optimizing a website and the profession. Yep, you can have a team of SEOs doing SEO. Welcome to the world of multi-meaning acronyms.
How does SEO work?
Ever wonder who/what/where/when/why about the websites that show up at the top of Google when you do a search? It’s not Harry Potter-like magic, that’s SEO at work.
The act of optimizing, or doing SEO, is two-fold with the ultimate goal being that your website shows up in the top slots of the search engines for targeted, important phrases.
The first part of SEO includes making regular updates to the physical website itself. This is called on-site SEO.
From clean HTML code (the behind-the-scenes structure of your site) to the text on your pages, it all needs to be optimized to stay relevant.
The second part of SEO includes the signals the search engines look for that are not on your website. This is called off-site SEO.
Pay attention to your off-site SEO.
Social media activity, how your name/address/phone number are listed on other websites, links from other websites, reviews, and more all count to your rankings. These off-site variables need monitoring and adjusting since they provide more context about you to the search engines.
For example, a clue to the search engines that you are a reputable wine seller would be the link from an article posted on Wine Enthusiast.
The only constant you can count on is change.
I lied, there are three parts to this. The third aspect to SEO is keeping up with the constant change.
The search engines refine the criteria that determine which websites appear in the top slots in order to keep the Googlers happy with relevant material and weed out spam.
Why do you need SEO?
At this point in the digital game, SEO is no longer an option; it’s a necessity. And if you have one of the 342 million registered domain names (as of the third quarter of 2018), and you want it to do more than linger on the web, it’s important. Here’s why: It keeps your business in front of customers, it builds your reputation, and a well-performing website is a virtual lead magnet.
In 2017 alone, 88% of consumers pre-researched online before they made a purchase… And that’s only going to increase.
Is SEO a DIY or in-house project. Or should you contract for SEO services?
Are you ready to handle the never-ending, ongoing website updates, and willing to do the work to stay current on changing search engine criteria? It’s enough work that thousands of people make it a career. Whether it’s one person or a team of SEOs doing SEO for your website, if you’re doing business in the world today, it’s critical.
Clients often wonder if it makes the most business sense to hire their own in-house SEO team or an agency that’s ready to go. It’s a new-age conundrum.
Look for our next installment where we discuss what you need to think about when deciding if SEO is a DIY project or if you’re bringing in the professionals.
As always, if you have questions or want to chat, Red Chalk Studios is just a phone call away; we’d love to partner with you.