Written by
Seth Lancaster

Introduction to SEO

The letters S E O on a wood background

What is SEO?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of affecting your website's visibility and making it easier for search engines to find it. The goal is to get your website at or near the top of the organic search results. This is done by making sure the search engines know that your website provides relevant and quality content related to certain searches.

Why is it important?

SEO is important because it’s what will make your website show up in search results when your potential customers are searching for your product or service. If your website doesn’t show up on the first page of the search results, most likely, it won’t be found by potential customers because 75% of people never scroll past the first page.

There is a joke in the SEO community that goes: “The best place to hide a dead body is on page two of the Google search results.”

Showing up near the top of the search results is not something that will happen automatically. In addition to technical skills and knowledge, it requires knowledge of your potential customers and what they’re searching for, your competition and your market. It takes time and there are no secret short cuts so it’s important to start working on your website’s SEO as soon as possible.

What are some basic elements of SEO?

Here are a few:

  • URLs
  • Page Titles
  • Page Headers
  • Keyword Use & Density
  • Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI)
  • Image Filename / Alt Tags
  • Domain Authority 
  • Outbound Links
  • Inbound Links
  • Topic Relevance 
  • Site Maps
  • Crawlability 
  • And much more

We plan to cover some of these in more detail in future posts.

Should I hire someone instead of doing it myself?

For most people, the answer will be yes. SEO is not rocket science and most small business owners could learn to do it themselves, but it’s not worth it. This isn’t something you can learn in a few hours or even a few days, and it’s an ongoing process that you’ll need to dedicate time to. The time spent learning and doing your own SEO would most likely be much more valuable spent in other areas of your business.

Can you do it yourself? Yes. Is it a valuable use of your time? Probably not.

Should I hire someone instead of doing it myself?

There are a lot of quality people and companies out there offering SEO services. Unfortunately, there are a lot of sleazy people and companies out there just trying to take advantage of business owners’ lack of knowledge on this topic. They love to offer cheap services with promises that they’ve found the hidden secret to SEO and a lot of small business owners pay them hundreds of dollars and never see any results. 

So with that in mind, here are a few tips for hiring someone.

  • Avoid anyone who advertises secret formulas, hacks, Google partnerships or being a Google preferred agency because they’re all BS. There are no secret formulas, hacks or special partnerships with Google that give an advantage when it comes to SEO. Google treats everyone the same and any information they disclose about their algorithm and how it ranks websites is available to everyone. There are no shortcuts and anyone who tells you otherwise is lying. 
  • Avoid people who make guarantees about the success of your website. Statements like “Three weeks to the top of the search results guaranteed” should make you very cautious. There is no way of knowing exactly how long it will take for a website to reach the top of the search results, just educated guesses. Anyone making guarantees is either lying to you or doesn’t know what they’re doing. Both should be avoided. 
  • Avoid Cheap SEO services. SEO is no different than any other service in that you get what you pay for. Cheap translates into bad service and bad results. Be sure to get pricing from a few different people/agencies so you can compare them. If one is a lot cheaper than the others, ask yourself why.

Additional SEO resources 

Here are a couple of blog posts that go over the basics of SEO in more depth for those wanting to learn more. 

Feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions about SEO, we enjoy talking about it. And if you call us in the next 15 minutes we’ll share the top five SEO hacks that are guaranteed to get your website to the top of the search results in three weeks :)
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