What Is Search Engine Optimization: The Plain Truth

There have been a lot of articles, books and online discussions about SEO, and for the small business owner all that talk can be quite confusing. What is search engine optimization exactly?

In essence, SEO is about configuring your website to how a search engine operates. Google doesn’t have real people looking over websites and then manually ranking which websites best fits a certain keyword or keyword phrase. It’s all done with technical tools, and these tools look for technical indicators on your website. Thus, with SEO you have to be mindful of how these tools work so you can then set up your website so that it can be highly ranked by search engines on the keywords that are relevant to the subject area of your business website like what we are currently doing for a Oahu pet care business.

Do you need search engine optimization for your business?

The answer is an emphatic YES. Having your website come in the first page of results in Google searches can dramatically increase your web traffic. The more people you have visiting your site, then the more people you can potentially turn into customers. Serve them well, and they can be repeat customers who can bookmark your site so that you don’t even need a search engine to entice them to come back to your site.

You have to understand that for many people who go online, the web experience often involves searching for something. Google’s reach is so pervasive that it entertains 3.5 billion searches per day—that’s about 40,000 search queries per second. The search engine is the most common way for people to find your website—it beats any other “word of mouth” method.

Should I hire someone to do SEO for my business’ website?

Again, the answer here is yes. It is true that you can perform some DIY tactics that can improve your SEO without the help of an expert. But then to truly excel in this area, you need a pro who can do it for you. You simply don’t have the expertise and experience that a professional professes.

If you persist on doing this yourself, you can waste valuable time and effort that you could have expended on other areas of your business. You’ll need a lot of time to learn these things and it can eat up many hours of the day. What’s more, you can still end up doing things wrong. You may be tempted to employ shortcuts that Google doesn’t approve of, and you can even end up blacklisted so that Google won’t show your website at all.

How much does SEO services cost?

This depends on too many factors. You can hire a freelancer or a consultant, who can charge on a per-project. SEO firms can also ask for a monthly retainer to maintain your SEO on a regular basis. Per hour, you may pay anywhere from $75 to $150, while the retainer may reach $1,500 to $3,000 a month. The price depends on the expertise of the pro and the services you may require.

So let’s sum it all up. What is search engine optimization? It’s the lifeblood of your online marketing. You need SEO and you need an expert to get it done right. Pay up—the increase in your business profits is more likely to be greater than the fees you have to pay.