Business Technology AnalysisSEO Process

Back in the day, if someone needed a product or service, such as a plumber, they would flip through the Yellow Pages. Today, people are searching for these services by using a search engine, such as Google, then reviewing several listings. However, the vastness of the internet can make it hard for potential customers to find a small business. On top of that, people do not search past the first page or even the first few listings. Your business needs a way to draw people to your website, and either make a phone call, fill out a contact form, or buy a product online. SEO may be the solution for you.

SEO or Search Engine Optimization is the process of getting website traffic from free listings on the Google and Bing search engines. These search engines use a special formula, called an algorithm, to determine where a listing will rank in the results. The more relevant the listing is to the search request, the higher the listing will appear.

Why should my business use SEO?

  • Customers use internet searches to find businesses: Consumers rely on online searches to find products and services more than newspapers, word of mouth, television, and radio. According to Yelp, 85% of consumers use the internet to find local businesses.
  • Attracts potential buyers to your website: When you include keywords in your website, social media, and directory listings, consumers are more likely to find your business in the search engine results.
  • Allows you to control how consumers see your company on the web: By claiming listings and editing the listing information, you are not at the mercy of how anyone and any site portrays your business. You can track your online reputation and respond to any issues that can damage your business’ reputation.
  • Builds trust and credibility for your company: Customers tend to view listings at the top of the search results as their best choice.
  • Encourages in-person sales: Consumers usually research their options online before buying a product or service in person.

To start your SEO efforts, an SEO consultant can help you research the terms people will use to find your business. Ideally, these words would have high average monthly searches and low competition. For example, if you are running a plumbing business in Irvine, CA, you may come across these keyword variations:

  • Plumber Irvine
  • Emergency plumber Irvine
  • Plumbing repair Irvine
  • Find me a local plumber
  • Plumbing repair services
  • 24 hour plumber

What areas should you optimize for search engines?

Once you find keywords, you can insert them into your website and referral sites. Here are a few properties an SEO consultant will help you concentrate on in your efforts:

  • Your website: First, if you do not already have a website, create one. It is your primary point of contact for your internet visitors. Then, incorporate your keywords as much as you can without sacrificing readability. Use in your headers, pages, images, URL, title, alt tag, and description.
  • Local directory listings: Create listings in popular online directories, such as Google Maps, Yelp, Foursquare, and Manta. It is a quality method of getting prospective customers to come to your website. Encourage people to leave reviews for your business by including a banner in your email signature and leaving postcards at the reception desk.
  • Informative content: Create content to position your business as an expert with your online visitors and search engines. A few examples include blogs, press releases, interviews, and whitepapers.
  • Social media sites: Popular sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram, are also another way to get traffic to your website and distribute your informative content. Make sure to fill out each account’s About section by inserting your keywords and a website link. Plus, any likes, retweets, repins, and comments can contribute to a search engine ranking boost.

What SEO methods should you avoid?

However, there are some SEO methods that either no longer work or result in your business getting penalized by Google. We do not recommend the following:

  • Anchor links: Do not embed a link to your website on one of your keywords in the content you share with other websites. If for example, you distribute a press release for your law firm, do not hyperlink Irvine Law Firm.
  • Link Farms: These types of websites are set up with the sole purpose of getting a link to point to a website using a group of unrelated sites. The search engines do an excellent job pushing those sites down in the results listings.
  • Guest blogging: This method was once a respected way to reach people and get a link back to your website. However, spammers have abused the method and posted unreadable content on low-quality websites. Thus, former Google web spam team leader, Matt Cutts, declared this method dead.
  • Article Spinning: This method involves taking an original article, then replacing existing words or phrases to get a “unique” article. Then, the SEO specialist will distribute the article to spammy article directories.
  • Meta keywords: This method involves adding special tags to the head section of your website to help Google index the website. However, spammers abused this method by stuffing this section with too many keywords.

If these efforts seem too time-consuming, a marketing consultant can help. SwiftTech Solutions can help you create an SEO strategy that can get more visitors to your website. You can call 877-794-3811 or email for a free consultation.

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