Does SEO actually work? Have you ever heard 'SEO is dead?' Optimizing your website for search engines, more than anything else in marketing, is surrounded by a veil of secrecy and confusion. The work required to perform SEO correctly is time-intensive and requires a hefty amount of research. Well, call us crazy because we do it differently and we have for years! We know how to make your website relevant- you don't need authority to play this game.
Can people find your business on Google?
Maybe you've hired an SEO agency to help you rank for top terms like 'IT Support' and 'Managed IT Services' but you never experienced any results... How do you know where your business ranks in Google for the services you offer?
There is one very simple way to learn your business's visibility on Google- use it! Try googling a service you offer plus a city in your service area.
For example: IT Consulting Manhattan, Office 365 Support Manhattan, Network Security Consultant Manhattan, etc.
Does your business show up in the search results? If your website listing doesn't appear when you are searching, how would a potential client find you? Are your competitors showing up on Google for the services your business wants to rank for?
I paid an SEO agency to rank #1 for 'IT Support'...
And it didn't work? No surprise here, unfortunately. There are thousands of SEO agencies out there trying to sell you on their services. Ranking on the first page in Google is invaluable for your business and your marketing team needs to include an SEO plan in your marketing strategy!
To rank #1 for 'IT Support' could take an SMB 5+ years and tens of thousands of dollars to achieve, only to stay in the #1 position for a couple of months. This isn't an ROI positive means of performing SEO. There are too many competitors in the IT space for MSPs to rank #1 for the necessary short-tail umbrella terms.
There is another way. By targeting intention-based search terms and services your business can rank #1 for THOUSANDS of terms. This isn't a smoke and mirrors show- you will be able to search for services your company provides on Google and SEE your website in the search results!
If you can find your site, potential leads can also find you.
How does SEO work?
H1, H5, Metadata, B7, backlinks- Have you heard of these terms in your practice or research of SEO? What do they all mean? Which do you need to focus on to be #1? Are these buzzwords fact or folklore?
The landscape of Google has changed greatly throughout the years as machine learning and user experience have become paramount to search results. Maybe you've heard of penguin or panda updates? These are several of Google's strides toward ranking and showcasing the top sites in the SERPs (search engine results page). A variety of over 300 factors help to determine which websites own the top real estate, winning more website traffic and potential leads.
Let's mythbust the most common SEO buzzwords we hear:
- Headings (H1, H2, H3, H4, H5): These CAN help you provide contextual relevance, but not in most use cases that we have seen.
- Metadata: Drafting a relevant meta description can show searchers that your business is the right one to get the job done. We create metadata for every page on every site.
- Backlinks: They can be hard to come by, but the right backlinks are 100% necessary to rule the world. Here's the thing, you don't need 1,000's of backlinks to have a shot at ranking. You need a handful of relevant, earned & trusted, do-follow backlinks on your website.
- Mobile Responsive: With over 60% of search taking place on mobile devices, your business is on the sidelines if your site isn't mobile-friendly.
- HTTP v. HTTPS: Another non-negotiable. If your site isn't secured with an HTTPS certificate, it's later days my friend. (Google may even show a warning to every user visiting your site!) With security on the frontlines in this day and age that's the LAST thing you want as a first impression.
SEO is an investment in your business.
SEO is the trusty steed to carry your business into the future. Yes, this is a long-term play, BUT there is no other strategy to win more leads for your business and gain market share from your competitors.
Whether you are actively performing SEO or you've never attempted it, the universal starting point is to assess your current standings and website health. We work with companies to support their internal SEO efforts and can help you identify opportunities. If you are currently working on SEO and are doubtful of results, reach out. Let's unpack what's going on behind the scenes.