SEO, or Search Engine Optimization is a phrase you have likely heard lately, especially if you set up a website or blog for your business, but what are these seemingly magical combination of letters and why are they important to you?  Let’s explore the fascinating world of SEO and why it’s the buzzword for small businesses across Canada.

Keyword Rich Content

When you want to find a product or service on Google, Ask, Bing or any other search engine, you type something into the search bar.  Those words you type are called keywords or a keyword phrase.  Those keywords do not have to be proper sentences or even a grammatically correct phrase. For example, “Best Vancouver spa” will get you similar results to “spa in Vancouver”.

What an SEO analyst does is look at your website and your products and services, then reviews what keywords people are using to search for what you offer.  These keywords are then used to design a specific campaign to bring your website to the first page of search engine results, particularly, the first page of Google.

Now here is where the “bad” grammar can get tricky.  Let’s say the analyst notes that a keyword phrase, such as “groom pet Richmond” will bring web traffic to your site in droves.  Can you imagine fitting “groom pet Richmond” into an article or on your website without looking like you made a typing error?  This is where the second phase of SEO comes into play.  SEO agencies work with writers that can take those tricky phrases and turn them into SEO marketing gold.

Make Your Site Visable on Search Engines

Without SEO, it is very unlikely you will be noticed by the people that need and want your business.  We are far past the days of hanging out a shingle, taking out a newspaper ad, putting a listing in a phone directory and then waiting for people to show up.  If you are not proactive in getting a useful website, a social media presence and making sure you are quickly and easily found online, you are losing valuable business and ignoring hundreds of potential clients.

How to Implement SEO

Now that you know the need for SEO and how an SEO agency will help you, you must be sure to pick the right one.  Anyone can claim to be an SEO expert, and since most interaction with SEO providers can take place over the phone or online, you cannot measure their services by the size of their office or awards on the wall.  If you do not get a reputable SEO provider, your marketing budget is completely wasted.  Ask your entrepreneur friends and it’s likely one or two will have a story of being promised big SEO returns after investing large sums of money.  Sadly, these stories are far too common.

You know your SEO agency is the right one when:

·       They take the time to help you fully understand SEO

·       Packages for services are offered

·       The agency or provider has a top notch website

·       There is a clear payment and refund policy

Should you do SEO by yourself? You are welcome to try.  All you have to do is optimize your website, create a campaign based on blogs and articles, submit said blogs and articles to a bevy of sites that have stringent rules about what is accepted, keep on top of the ever-changing Google algorithms, print yourself a monthly report and reanalyze the keywords on an ongoing basis….after, of course, you figure out what your best keywords are.  Or you can trust the SEO professionals that do all this and more for a very reasonable fee, giving you a great return on a smart investment.

These days SEO is as important as business insurance.  Without it you may survive, but your chances of success go up dramatically with it.  The trick to selling your services is to get noticed online.  Without SEO, you’re missing the biggest piece of the Web marketing puzzle.