SEO and Why It Matters to You
Read Time: ~13min
If you own a business, run a company, write for your personal blog, or maybe you are simply web-aware, you have heard of this mysterious “SEO” movement lurking in the deep dark depths of what a website should and shouldn’t be compared to other highly-ranked websites.
So what the heck is SEO, and why is it so important anyway? There are so many resources out there to help you begin the proper SEO process for your website. I am here to help explain SEO in a simple human way. From one human to another, SEO does not have to be a nightmare! It can be a lifelong process, but once you have your main bases covered, the rest can simply be maintenance.
So sit back, grab your snack, and read along with me for a short guide to all (some) things SEO!
- What is SEO?
- How does SEO affect my business?
- Do I need SEO tools as a small business, or is that for the big leagues?
- Where do I start with SEO? (it sounds like it will take up a lot of my time)
- Is there a way to cheat the system? (yes….but please don’t do that)
- How do I know how much traffic I am getting?
So, what the heck is SEO?
Allow me: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process in which a website is ranked, searched, and seen by a particular audience.
Now, let’s hear it from a super professional SEO big league, Neil Patel; “Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing your online content so that a search engine likes to show it as a top result for searches of a certain keyword.”
Okay, now we’re beginning to understand this whole SEO thing a bit more!
If optimizing a search engine to produce a website’s best appeal, one needs to create not only an aesthetically pleasing website, they ALSO must create content that is relevant, substantial, and guides viewers to the correct information.
Dang. Mind blown.
How does SEO affect my business?
Too often, we think if we only had the most beautiful website with perfectly edited photos and hilarious content that all the humans will come rolling down the world wide web tunnels and click all over our fabulous new website.
We either paid a lot to have our website done or designed it ourselves entirely without eating or sleeping for an entire month.
Naturally, this is the American Dream.
The fact is, no matter what your website looks like, you may never see growth in visits to your website.
Now, I hear you, ugly websites are, well, ugly. You don’t need that in your life.
So, absolutely have a website designed with your vision, logo, branding, colors, etc., in mind and make it something you can be proud of!
Here’s the tricky part; CONTENT COUNTS.
I greatly apologize for slapping you in the face with a notion so time-consuming and terrifying but believe me, I do have your best interest in mind as a content developer myself.
When you can add relevant content to your website’s pages, it will be screaming at your audience to come to see all you have to offer.
Why is it that you have heard so much about adding keywords to your content lately? Because keywords are helpful tools that allow you to step into your audience’s shoes and predict what they may be searching for when trying to find the service you provide.
Are you a local boutique? Your audience may search “local hair salon” or “cheap hair salon near me.”
Are you the owner of a coffee shop? Your audience may search, “best coffee in (city)” or “best local coffee shop.”
Now that you know what they may be searching by placing your fingers at their keyboards, now what? Plug those little suckers into your content within your pages! Add the words or phrases that your target audience will search for, and the search engines will notice too.
Search engines do not always rank by who pays more for their ads.
Today’s searching technology is looking for relevant content that is not redundant, that holds at least 1800-2500 words per page (I know…yikes, scary!), and they are looking for the best websites that will give searchers what they are looking for.
That is the job of a search engine; to find links that will bind the audience to authentic websites.
Because writing that amount of information can feel intense for each of your umpteen pages (umpteen is an accurate word; I checked), hiring a content writer can truly be a game-changer for your business. Content developers know how to find and portray your voice to your audience, and they will have the tools needed to research your target audience and find the relevant connections to add to your website.
However, if you like writing, go at it!
Write away and make sure to treat yourself when you hit your page quota.
It’s always a good idea to put your website through a quality control process before launching too!
Do I need SEO tools as a small business, or is that for the big leagues?
Let’s get real here; you are the big league! Think big, do bigger!
You’re welcome for your daily inspiration juice.
I understand why small businesses tend to neglect SEO implementation for their website onboarding tasks only because it does not feel relevant when starting a business. There is SO much going on.
Here’s the deal: SEO doesn’t merely offer traffic to your website; it is the driving force that will set you apart from every other bakery in town ranked a little higher than you and, therefore, gets way more business than you.
You are an authentic and unique business, and you deserve to have a long-lasting, authentic audience.
Remember that, Pete. Remember that.
SEO for small businesses means sharing your story with your audience. It means using your voice to display your passion and see results because otherwise, what is the point of having a website in the first place? So people can simply find your phone number and address? Facebook can do that.
Let your website be all that you need it to be and actually drive traffic to your e-commerce site, services, appointments, and any part of your website that provides you with a profitable outcome.
Where do I start with SEO? (it sounds like it will take a lot of my time)
I feel like we hear this question all the time. With even this article right now, I am improving our own website’s SEO search ranking score. Talking about relevant topics within your website’s pages is a fantastic way to start! I have barely brushed the surface on all things SEO, but what I really want to drive home is content, content, and also some content, if you are able.
Taking the time needed to make sure your voice is understood can be tiresome, especially after a long day of launching your dream to fruition! However, that feeling when your hard work meets its payoff can be priceless while also adding the bucks to your wallet. Brand recognition is so critical, and we know you’re worth it.
Our team at Vexing Media is amazing because we not only design websites from scratch, we do it all with formatting in mind so that your SEO is our top priority along with aesthetics. We also have in-house content developers and marketing specialists to aid you along your development journey, from alt text, meta descriptions, and title tag health to keyword curation and addition. We got you!
We understand that creating an entirely new website is the light at the end of the tunnel for some. Still, I recommend contacting us for a free quote if SEO, content development within your current website, rebranding, or a complete website design is a part of your business’ needs at this time.
Is there a way to cheat the system? (yes….but please don’t do that)
Many people (and I mean m a n y) flood search engines with hidden text, duplicate content, improper linking to other sites or internally, linking schemes to bump traffic, etc. This form of cheating the system will put you on a form of “watch list” by top search engines and penalize your site for a duration unknown. This is not a fun party for a thriving business and can create a headache down the road when trying to gain business.
If you do the work, results pay off.
A large portion of creating a business is building the trust needed to keep consumers coming back. If you see an increase in traffic to your website, GREAT! Is your audience relevant, though? Do they purchase items or call your store or make an appointment?
Traffic isn’t everything, and while it will help your website rank higher on search results for your specific audience, you don’t want to lead those astray that genuinely need your services.
How do I know how much traffic I am getting in the first place?
Numbers and analytics can seem daunting.
First, they tell you to dream big and start your business. Now they ask you to analyze everything to make sure you are gaining the right amount of traffic? But how?!
Analytics does not have to be so overwhelming that you want to tear your hair out.
We find analytics rather fun. I know, I know. We are super-nerd weirdos.
However, without analyzing your traffic, audience, and trends, it will be impossible to know if you are truly optimizing your website’s search capabilities.
Whether you spend one evening each week running your analytics or whether you hire an SEO strategist, knowing your numbers will set you up for success and show you what forms of SEO are working and, more importantly, where to focus your energy throughout your website.
Having tools that help you understand your website will give you a sense of ease, knowing your audience sees precisely what you want. You can feel empowered while you gain new customers with a click of a button!
Like I said before, you have to put in the time to see the results. Great SEO doesn’t happen overnight. But after investing in your website and knowing what it can do for your business, you will never go back.
You are worth the investment! We believe it, so should you.