SEO 101 for Small Business — Search Engine Optimization Part 2

What is SEO? Do I need it? Can I do it myself or do I need a professional? Search Engine Optimization is incredibly important to the success of your website. Today we are going to talk about SEO as an ongoing process. Your work is never done. Getting to page 1 is just the beginning. Once you get there, you have to stay there!

In part 1 of this series, we talked about the parts of SEO that are an exact science. No matter what business you’re in, the information from part 1 applies. If you haven’t checked that out yet, take a look.

What is Search Engine Optimization?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the ongoing process of making your site appealing to search engines like Google. When people talk about organic search results, they mean non-paid results. Search Engine Optimization is how you make those results happen. If you want people to be able to find you, then you definitely need SEO.

Can I do it myself?

SEO is something you can do for yourself the same way I can do plumbing and electrical work myself. I know how plumbing and electrical systems work. I can replace a faucet or a light fixture. When it comes down to it, I don’t have the expertise to crawl in an attic or crawlspace and run new lines. Even if I did, it would take me more time than it’s worth. To do these complex projects, I need to hire a professional. That’s the only way I know it’s going to be done right. Besides, I’m trying to run my own business. I don’t have the time or energy to also learn to do those projects.

Am I ever done with SEO?

The short answer is no, SEO is never done. You can do many foundational things to give you a good start. Ongoing maintenance is important for several reasons.

  • Google’s algorithm changes — Google has very complex equations by which they determine who shows up in the search results. To them, the most important goal is that their users can find the information useful to their search. Every few months they change this algorithm. When they do, it can dramatically change how well you show up in search results. This is true of the other big search engines, but let’s be honest. Google is the heavy hitter.
  • Activity matters — When search engines see things happening on your site, it attracts their attention. As a result, it’s important to either have parts of your site that need regular updates (like monthly specials), or it’s important to put up new information regularly (like a blog post). If you’re able to provide information that’s interesting to people searching, then even better.
  • Your competition — Being in business is a constant struggle. We all know that it takes hard work, dedication, structure, and a lot more. What we also know is that our competition is out there working just as hard. Everyone else is also fighting for page one at the same time. Constant attention and vigilance can prevent you from getting knocked down.
  • Actual results — For organic search results, there is a lot less space than you may realize. Go to Google and type in Search Engine Optimization. The first four or five results are paid spots. That’s why it says ‘Ad’ in front of the URL. After that, you’ll probably see a definition for what SEO is. THEN come the organic results. There are only eight to ten of those, followed by three or four more ads. Often times, result pages have even less space for the organic results. Try it out. Search for a service you provide. Think in terms of how your customers search. “Drywall repair contractors” or something along those lines, and see how many results are actually available. Fighting for those spots takes expertise and constant work.

So how do I start?

Obviously there are parts you can do on your own. I would encourage it. If you like to write and you want to start blogging about your services, let me know. I’ll give you tips on how to get started. You have to decide how much you want to put into getting your name out there. Just remember, the better you show up in search results, the more clients you’re going to get.

Next time we’ll talk about the parts of SEO that apply directly to Service Area Businesses. These are businesses like plumbers, electricians, HVAC, contractors, painters, and landscapers. Any business that goes to a client’s location to do business is a Service Area Business. Until then…

Questions? Ready to Get Started?

If you have questions or would like to get started, please give us a call at (312) 834-7787 or visit our website to request a free quote and consultation.