Let’s face it; the internet today is not what it was 10 years ago. And, as much as online marketing today is compared to the phone book of yesterday, there are a few key differences. One of the big ones is that paying for listings on Google isn’t going to give you full visibility; studies have shown that about 75% of online users will skip paid ads and only click on organic listings.
This is where effective search engine optimization comes into play, and it’s not something you want to mess around with; employing a company that uses shady posting tactics could actually harm your overall ranking.
Most businesses today aren’t going to be doing their SEO themselves. That said, it helps to know the basics so you know what not to pay for. Here are three tips on what effective search engine optimization should look like.
1. Your Keywords Fit Your Budget
If you own a pizza shop in Buffalo, NY, it might seem logical to rank on terms like “pizza” and “pizza delivery”. However, the competition for these terms is incredibly high (629 million websites for “pizza”), and you could easily spend $10,000 on SEO without seeing your rankings budge.
An experienced, effective search engine optimization company will work with you to make sure that your keywords help in the rankings that matter, and make sense for your budget. “Pizza delivery in Buffalo NY” for example, is more likely to target the customers that will actually be interested in your product. It would have a small fraction of the competition for “Pizza”.
2. Effective Search Engine Optimization is NOT Advertising
This is an essential concept that many business owners do not understand: effective search engine optimization is not the same as advertising. Why? Think about the end goal, which is to improve search rankings. The best content for boosting rankings is original and informative. Consumers are more interested in reading about “5 tips for making an AMAZING pizza” than they are about reading “why our company is the best”.
Great content makes you visible to online users and establishes your website as an “authority” on the subject, which will lead to better inbound links. Effective search engine optimization is a great alternative to outbound advertising because SEO leads have a close rate of 14.6%, compared to 1.7% for direct mail and print advertising, according to <a href=”http://www.searchenginejournal.com/24-eye-popping-seo-statistics/42665/>Search Engine Journal</a>.
3. Google Isn’t Playing Around
When you engage in questionably effective search engine optimization tactics, you’re risking risking a Google penalty. A Google penalty isn’t just a “better stop now” email; they can remove your entire website from search rankings. Google doesn’t care if you knew what was going on, so “my digital marketing company was behind those illegitimate links; not me!!” is not going to cut it as an excuse.
How can you avoid this? It’s not too hard. There are several well known black hat SEO techniques these companies use, including duplicate content, spinning content, keyword stuffing, and invisible text. You can also pay attention to what companies promise. Anyone who promises significant SEO results within a few days is likely using aggressive SEO tactics that Google does not approve of, not long-term quality, effective search engine optimization techniques. That may work for a few weeks until you get hit by a penalty, and need to disavow thousands of questionable links.
Effective search engine optimization is within your reach; just make sure you’re paying for the real deal! You can read more about our effective search engine optimization options here.