With so much conversation about the overall health of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) within industry news, it’s hard to know what to believe sometimes. Some believe that this online marketing strategy is no longer useful, but our SEO experts at Intertwine can tell you first-hand, SEO is not going anywhere anytime soon. Not only is this form of online marketing not going anywhere, it remains one of the most important aspects of establishing a company’s brand presence and an honest search ranking. Does your company not have an SEO strategy in place? Here are a few reasons why SEO is an important investment for your business.
SEO Boosts Your Brand Awareness
With the right SEO strategy, your company can be a household name! By working with an SEO expert, you can nail down important and accurate keywords that relate to the service or product your company offers. By adjusting your keywords when necessary, potential customers will be able to see your website every time they search, even when they slightly adjust their search terms.
“By having strong search engine visibility your brand message will be amplified to more and more places,” Brad Pitzl, SEO Manager at Intertwine Interactive, said.
By continually showing up within search results, you are establishing a strong brand awareness and instilling a sense of trust within those searching for a particular product or service. By gaining the trust of those searching for what your business offers, there is a big possibility that a potential client can become a lifetime customer.
SEO Contributes to Credibility
Let’s face it, how often are you contacting a company that shows up on Page 3 of a Google search? Do you even look as far as Page 3? Landing on that sought-after page 1 of a Google search not only gives your company visibility, it also aids in earning your company credibility. Even though it may be unintentional, consumers who are searching for a particular product or service are going to typically select a company that is listed early on in a Google search. How come? Because Google recognizes those particular websites as being valuable, so why shouldn’t the consumer?
“To be a leader in your industry, you need to be looked at as a reliable source. By showing up on the first page of industry-related search results, you will do just that,” Pitzl said.
If someone who is searching industry-related terms that pertain to your business continually sees your website with a high placement within search results, there is a big chance that they are going to view you as a reliable source of information and will be compelled to visit your website.
Understanding Your Potential Customers with SEO
Another great aspect of establishing a strong SEO strategy is that it can generate traffic to your website. An easy way to gain valuable insight into who is visiting your website is by reviewing your website’s Google Analytics. This data can show you not only the demographic of who is visiting your page, but also their region, how they are searching, when they are searching, what terms they are using and even what kind of device they are searching on. An SEO expert will be able to monitor your website’s Google Analytics and give you insightful information on when and how to tweak certain aspects of your website. By making small adjustments here and there, you can be sure that you are putting your best foot forward when it comes to reaching your target audience.
On October 13, Google announced that they would be removing the demote sitelinks feature within the Google Search Console. This tool that was first launched in October 2007, gave Webmasters the ability to tell Google that they didn’t want a specific URL to show up within the featured sitelinks section within Google search results. Google reported that they are removing this feature for the sake of simplification.
What exactly are sitelinks? They are the popular links that can be found in Google search results under the snippet.
“Over the years, our algorithms have gotten much better at finding, creating, and showing relevant sitelinks, and so we feel it’s time to simplify things,” according to the Google+ announcement Google published.
With this recent adjustment, what are webmasters going to do about sitelinks they don’t want showing up within the search results? Here are a few suggestions Google provided within their announcement:
- If you have to remove a page from search results completely, use a “noindex” robots Meta tag on that particular page.
- Use Fetch and Render to ensure that Google can properly index the essential pages of your website.
- Lastly, be sure your website has a clear structure. The best way to do this is to ensure that your website has a relevant internal link strategy and informative anchor text that isn’t repetitive.
If you still have any questions or concerns regarding this recent change, Google encourages webmasters to check out the Webmaster Central Help Forum.
Google My Business recently published a new addition to their help section that encourages business owners to seek out help from local SEO professionals. Despite Google My Business being a free service, Google says getting help from a third-party is beneficial for a number of reasons. A third-party will not only help business owners maintain their listing, but they will also be able to offer unique insight when it comes to answering customer’s questions and responding to reviews. Google also stressed the importance of business owners understanding the benefits of investing in a third-party in order to get the best return on their investment.
Some of the best practices Google suggests for business owners who are looking to partner up with a local SEO professional include the following:
- Be selective in your search
Experience is key! It is important to know if the local SEO professional you are meeting with has handled other businesses accounts with similar budgets and target audiences. Third-party companies that have managed accounts of all sizes are likely to be very familiar with Google My Business. Also, be sure to check if there are any other services they can offer your business to help grow your brand.
- Work with one SEO professional at a time
Be sure you are only working with one third-party at a time. Even though you may feel like dividing your budget up amongst a few SEO professionals may be the way to see who comes out on top, it is important to focus your budget on one party. Dividing your budget up will not allow you to see the full effect a third-party is having on your business’ online presence, especially since a listing can only appear once on Google.
- Become familiar with Google My Business
When you go to meet with a local SEO professional, be sure you are up to speed with all of the features Google My Business offers. There are a number of resources and FAQs that Google My Business offers to ensure you understand how everything works. By staying on top of all the latest features and perks, you will be able to make more informed decisions about your local SEO strategy.
- Monitor your brand’s overall performance
Make it a priority to regularly check in on your business through Google My Business. Checking in every month or so allows you to evaluate how customers are finding and interacting with your brand on Google. You can also see what kind of results you are generating from working with a third-party and where adjustments can be made.
Remember to stay clear of third-party companies that are promising your business overnight success when it comes to placement on Google. Third-parties do not have any influence as to where businesses will appear within search results or Google Maps. Be sure to also have an official copy of your contract with your third-party on file to ensure that there is never any confusion over pricing. It is essential that business owners feel confident that the local SEO professional they have hired has their best interests in mind. By establishing a transparent relationship with your local SEO professional, you will always know exactly how users are interacting with your brand and all the data that includes.