Need SEO and Web Design in Houston, Texas but not exactly sure what it is? This article is for you.
If you have made it to this page you’re more than likely a website owner in the Harris County area. If you are serious about search engine optimization and internet marketing you won’t mind reading the remainder of this page.
Don’t worry, I have made sure to include everything you will need to make an educated decision on whether or not you need someone to help you with your online marketing.
Let’s start with… What the heck is SEO anyway ( quick version) ?
SEO is the optimization of a website and an online presence to increase your rankings on search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo. Many people know that there are a variety of factors that determine how you will rank, but most people grossly underestimate it.
Google looks at about 200 different factors when determining how they will rank your site. If you rely on your website for lead generation or sales you already know why SEO is so valuable. Not only will you reap the statistical rewards of being on the first page of the search engine results, you will do so organically, meaning free!
So what are the factors that determine rankings?
We will use Google for reference since they are the dominant search engine. Google is not as transparent as marketers would want them to be when it comes to disclosing algorithm changes but there are some factors we can count on. We’ll talk about a few…
When search engines were in their infancy it was relatively easy to rank for keywords using content because all you really had to do was repeat the keyword you wanted to be found for over and over and Google would assume you were a great result for that query.
As you might have guessed, it has gotten exponentially more difficult. If you are serious about ranking some content you will want to write over 1,000 words on the subject as a best practice. Remember it is Google’s priority to deliver the best results to the user for their search term (query).
There are many factors other than length determining your rank such as bounce rate, links, semantic terms, etc. For the purpose of this article being aware that thorough content is import is sufficient enough.
Backlinks or simply links
Links play a huge role in SEO because it shows Google how many other websites reference your page as a resource or authority. Quick side note: keep in mind websites do not rank as a whole, instead individual pages on the website are what you end up seeing in the SERPs (search engine results page).
Once again, not too long ago you could spam your website link all over the web and achieve hundreds of backlinks to increase your rankings. It is not that easy anymore, it is far better to earn real backlinks to your website from relevant websites.
Basically, if anyone were to ask why a website is linking to one of your pages you’ll want to be able to justify the reason. If you can’t, you may receive a manual penalty from Google which will dramatically decrease your rankings.
This would not be a helpful article if I did not mention Google’s machine learning algorithm. In 2015 Google announced an A.I. (artificial intelligence) which laid dormant for a while but has gained a lot of attention recently.
Rank brain’s job is to produce the best result to the user based on their search intent. It is able to do this by looking at a multitude of factors and determining what the optimal results would be.
This is a paradigm shift in the SEO industry because it has scared lower tier professionals out of work because the amount of “shortcuts” you can take in SEO are getting lower and lower. These shortcuts are referred to as “black hat techniques” and may produce short term gains risking the health of your website in the long run but we won’t dwell on negative tactics. Simply put, optimizing a website is much more difficult because of this implementation but SEO is not dead.
Where does this leave you?
It goes without saying, there are MANY more factors that go into optimizing for search engines but I won’t bore you with the details. However, if you want to know what you can improve on your website, contact us for a free audit.
Most people I meet with go one of three routes…. Some decide that the need to hire an internet marketing agency to do this work for them, which is a great option if it is in the budget to do so. Others try to optimize as much as they can on their own and often end up in a much better place than they were. The last group I see ignore a lot of the technical aspects of SEO and focus on other forms of generating website traffic, more times than not this will be done through paid ads.
Do you need the help? Can you DIY?
If you are wondering if you can do any of this yourself and save some money, the answer is absolutely. However, what you will find is that it is time consuming and tedious work to optimize a website and the learning curve can be overwhelming to say the least.
You will also have to find and invest in some software ( I use over 20 software tools regularly) that all have learning curves of their own. With that being said, I never discourage DIY, it is a big reason I provide free audits. I have met a lot of business owners that have taken the opportunities I found and implemented the changes themselves, and I think it is awesome!
Hiring an SEO
Now you know that you can DIY but if you are like many business owners you have to prioritize your tasks and sitting down doing 6 hrs of link building and keyword research may not be the best use of your time. Taking the time to consult with an SEO is crucial if you are serious about your business goals. Goals will need to be clearly defined and aligned with overall initiatives.
This brings me to a very important point, and probably the biggest takeaway. SEO is a strategy not a tactic, which means it takes time. Anyone who guarantees you quick results is not being honest and you should not work with them. Here is what Google has to say about hiring an SEO ( I wanted to include a non bias and informative video).
Hopefully this article has helped you learn a the basics of SEO and moved you closer to determining what your business needs are. However, if your curiosity has not been satisfied please check out Google’s explanation.
If you have more questions about any of this content please do not hesitate to call us. Further, if you are ready to increase your organic rankings and drive website traffic call us today!