Look at any article or resource about getting started with a business today and one particular thing is common – people need to be found on the Internet, and the most used search engine is Google. This is not a foreign concept; most folks today use Google in some form or manner to find information almost daily. However, the mechanics of being at the other end of the picture, being one of the primary search results people find, is a lot more complicated.
Search Engine Optimization
In the early days, search engines found websites based on keywords in their web pages. This was the earliest version of search engine optimization or SEO. Some pretty bad examples appeared quickly, with poor websites posting half their HTML and page content with a spam-full glut of nonsensical words. Then, search engines like Google matured, and the playing field changed. Suddenly, sites had to be relevant and their material interesting. Spamming SEO was ignored. Thus, the golden age of web content was born.
Why bother with SEO still? Aside from any other operational benefit, the return on investment is tremendous. Few other marketing tools have the ability, reach and power to bring in as many customers as a well-placed ranking position in key search results. And now, with audio-connected devices like Amazon’s Alexa and Google around the house or office, people are searching even more. Compared to a magazine campaign, television commercials, mailing, and newsletter campaigns, an SEO project still costs less and can produce results greater than all the above combined. So, SEO matters a lot for a business that wants to see online e-commerce growth happen.
Getting Started Correctly
Again, however, successful SEO is not about just word stuffing on web pages and social media. It has to be part of valuable content that people want to see, read, share and revisit. This starts with understanding what people are searching for, not what businesses want them to search for. Google Analytics provides a critical tool based on its search engine data that can open windows into what terms are used by people, what phrases are used the most in searches, and which terminology makes the most sense for a given service or product. Based on this analysis, one has to create content that both triggers the SEO and creates popularity and interest.
The Google search algorithms specifically look for set criteria involving new content, lots of organic traffic, lots of active HTML links, and lots of backlinking relationships with other popular sites and channels. When a site is deemed popular enough by the algorithm, its search engine ranking shoots up, ideally to the first three pages of search results for given terms. This is the goal a business needs to shoot for with successful SEO.
Bring in the Hired Guns to Get Found on Google Quickly
To get found on Google, however, takes time to learn and develop. On average, businesses trying to create their own SEO campaign in-house take anywhere from six months to a year to see results, oftentimes because of making rookie mistakes learning the ropes. For those businesses that need to move faster and establish a market foothold sooner, the smart approach is to bring outside experts who already have the SEO development skills, data, and design capabilities. Their expertise can be applied strategically, cutting months out of the build and development cycle, as well as producing traffic and return on investment faster. While no one is required to take this approach, time and again, external skilled help has made a notable difference in SEO launches, especially when deadlines for results are a priority.