That’s one question I never get tired of answering. The majority of people that ask me “What is SEO?” make up one very interesting group of individuals: our prospect customers. I couldn’t begin to explain to you how many times companies have come to Red Rocket looking for advice on the SEO for which they’ve already paid. What this means is that there are countless victims of what we like to call “SEO malpractice.” What’s scary about this is simply this: these people have been taken advantage of. Before we dive into what SEO is, let’s talk a little bit about what it is not.
- SEO is not an overnight fix to bad rankings in search engines. The majority of people that ask “What is SEO?” are asking because they didn’t get the full story. You simply can’t optimize a site and expect immediate results.
- SEO is not the answer to bad conversion rates on your website. Just because you’re number one on Google doesn’t mean that anyone actually cares about what you have to offer. SEO absolutely will not improve your conversions just because you’re visible. It’s important to understand how website marketing works too!
- SEO is not unethical. Yes, there are unethical methods of optimization, but that’s why it’s important to understand how search engines work as well as the dos and don’ts of SEO.
- SEO is not a one-time fix. It’s impossible to maintain rankings if you don’t work at them (assuming you gained rankings in the first place)!
- SEO is not just about putting keywords on your page. People often make the mistake of just stuffing keywords into a page without any regard as to how that might affect your website.
- SEO cannot be guaranteed. If someone promises you a number-one ranking, run!
Okay, those are great things about what SEO is not, but what is SEO?
- SEO takes time and patience. In order to properly get your site ranked, you have to be willing to let Google do the work for you. Sure, there is strategy and planning involved, but the search engines ultimately hold your website’s fate. Just because your brand new website launched yesterday doesn’t mean you’ll be at the top of the search results. Google has to trust you first, and until you’ve gained that trust, you may notice that your website does not rank well at first.
- So now that your website is ranked at the top, and your analytics reports show you’re getting a ton of traffic from searches, you may find that your conversion rates are low. Think about this for a second. Just because you’re at the top of the competition in visibility doesn’t mean you’re at the top in terms of quality. Your website has to be aesthetically appealing, as well as have relevant information for which your customers may be searching. Make sure to hire the right web design company!
- When you hear about search engine optimization for the first time, it might sound like black magic. Skeptics like to think of SEO as an unethical, free-for-all circus. SEO is quite simple: if it sounds like manipulation or something you shouldn’t be doing, trust your gut. At Red Rocket, we believe wholeheartedly in transparency, honesty, and excellence. We provide our clients with a step-by-step walk through of everything that we do to get websites ranked in search engines because trust is just as important to us as it is to our clients. Remember, this whole thing is about trust. In order for your website to be trusted, you’ll want to hire an agency that you can trust.
- Imagine SEO like a descending escalator, and you’re trying to run up against the conveyor that’s move down. If you work diligently to get to the top, you’ll eventually get there. If you only put in minimal effort, chances are you might move up or down a couple steps, but generally you’ll maintain the same spot. If you stop altogether, you’ll quickly be sent downward to the bottom. If you work at SEO daily, you’ll eventually get to the top. If you only put in minimal effort, your website will likely stay about where it is already ranked. If you stop working at it altogether, you’ll fall to the bottom in no time. SEO takes work!
- SEO is about quality content. Google’s algorithm isn’t only able to read the keywords you put on a page, it can also tell if your content is worthy of a ranking. SEO is results driven, and part of what will get you results is writing content that will actually benefit your readers. If all that you see on a page is keyword after keyword, and the content is thin, that page will not rank well.
- Never, ever, ever trust an SEO company that guarantees you a number one ranking. All of our clients rank number one for competitive phrases, but we never promise that to anyone. Google advises customers to run as fast as they can from any agency that promises you a number one spot. No one has control over rankings; only Google’s algorithm can dictate what actually shows up in search results. SEO takes planning, but one key item to remember is that Google’s algorithms can change on a daily basis. That means that strategies that work today may be outdated next week. The overarching methods still work, but how they’re implemented can change at the drop of a hat. One of the ways Red Rocket achieves the excellence we require of our staff is constant researching and learning about the ever-changing nature of Google – our business depends on it!
If you need more information about SEO, or if you’re interested in having someone on our staff review your website to see how you stack up to your competition on Google, give us a call at (970) 674-0079.