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What is SEO and Why Do I Need It?

When the ConsumerView Remote Marketing Services team meets with new potential clients, part of the mission is always to elicit a clear understanding of which particular marketing strategies will work best for their unique situations. We find that most respond very well to visual imagery, and so I will tend to put pen to paper and actually draw out the options, or, compare these ideas to something visual, and easily communicated. This is how we explain the benefits of combining many marketing strategies, to make sure your business is being found when clients are looking for you.

Stand at the side of a very still pond, and throw one stone. Watch the ripple effects of the water; how far does the ripple travel? Take a handful of stones to the same very still pond. Throw in the handful of stones. What happens? The ripples all start at different times, connect together, overlap, and the waves travel much further. Now imagine that your current marketing is a ‘one stone’ effect. With a multi-strategy marketing plan on your side, your efforts can become a ‘handful of stones’ effect. If you haven’t already done so, consider adding SEO optimization to your marketing plan.

With SEO optimization, you will literally be giving Google a greater opportunity to allow people to find you on Search. This is why you need it. Now for the ‘what is it’ part; For a deeper explanation of SEO optimization, I defer to my local expert, Brian Richardson of 368 Durham. Brian contributes the following article to the SEO story today:

What is SEO, and Why do I need it?

Search Engine Optimization is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s unpaid results – often referred to as “natural,” “organic,” or “earned” results. So what does that really mean? Can I change a few things on my website and expect to climb to the top of search engines results? Well, Yes and No. Let’s dive into that now.

Search Engine Optimization (or SEO for short) has been around for several decades. It’s hard to imagine a world without search engines, as we now rely on them for a large amount of our information needs, hardly giving a thought to how that information is displayed to us. If I type up the search term “Best apples in Durham Region” does the top result truly reflect the best apples? How does Google know that? Do robots eat apples? Whomever has used the phrase “best apples in Durham Region” in their content may come up earlier. Good for them, as they have been working on their SEO.

Google bots use hundreds of factors to rank a website on its search results (and it’s a closely guarded secret how it fully works) but generally we know it operates on a few basic points.

1.  Great Content Matters. Having effective content is one of the top factors to achieving a successful listing on Google. You should always see your website as an essay, and a ‘voice’ for your business. The homepage shows a description of what you do, subsequent pages give the full rundown, and your contact page sums it all up with a quick paragraph and all contact information.
2.  Google ranks your website via a “crawler”. Google’s crawler can’t see your images and it can’t read your flash website. You need to have a website that takes advantage of ‘alt tags’. Alt tags are descriptions that go with your images that help Google know what it is looking at.
3.  Changes take time. Major design and content changes can take time to fully reflect on Google. Plan any major changes will this in mind.

4.  Make your website friendly with design. A strong foundation is the best weapon to help you achieve a high rank. Hire a good web developer and designer, making sure they know their craft; it’s generally better to leave SEO to the professionals to achieve the results you desire, as this allows you to run your business and let someone else focus on the web side of things.
Having an SEO expert evaluate your website is the first recommended step. They will make suggestions about your current site, then re-designing your online presence with precision. Businesses can often re-direct the resources budgeted for other advertising to a concentrated SEO campaign, and have excellent results. One important thing to remember; how much did you lose when potential new clients were looking for your product or service, and found your competition first? Were they coming up on Google before you? Google your services, product, or offerings. Where do you currently rank on Google Search?

For example, my recent client, Vinyl Alibi is a small independent online record distributor located in Bowmanville, Ontario. It truly is the definition of a ‘small business’. Their focus is on selling new & used vinyl records across Canada. Good, clean design, and employing the best SEO practices have made this online business successful! They spent no money for online advertising and still managed to reach the #1 spot when you search used vinyl in Canada on Google Search. Try it now. Type in ‘used vinyl in Canada‘. Vinyl Alibi is the first organic ad on the list. The result of a great SEO campaign shines for this business. How can you achieve similar results?

Having a basic understanding and the right professional to guide you will give you a leg up against the competition. After all, you have spent all this time building the business, investing in advertising, and the next step is…who can find you? SEO, all the way. Contact us to discover how SEO can help your small business compete in the online world.

Article contributed by: Author: Brian Rutherford

368 Durham is based out of Bowmanville, Ontario serving Durham Region. We are a husband & wife team ready to help plan, design and develop your website while providing on-going support in the future.

We build websites that you’ll love and are accessible on any device while working with your budget. We understand that building a website for your business can be hard and time-consuming but we are here to help!

Search Engine Optimization

Our search engine optimization services are guaranteed to deliver qualified traffic to your web site. Through on-site optimization and proper link development we can improve your visibility in all major search engines.