SEO – Voodoo Nonsense, or Data-Driven Marketing?

Most businesses and organizations see search engine optimization as voodoo – a way for salespeople to squeeze precious dollars from the pockets of businesses.  In some respects, they’re not wrong.  There are so many “solutions” to building SEO, and honestly, most typically don’t work – or at least work like they should. But SEO done the right way?  Well, it’s a beautiful thing.

What is SEO?

SEO stands for search engine optimization. In other words, tactics to help your website rank higher organically in the eyes of search engines thereby increasing relevant and quality traffic to your website. SEO orbits around basically every piece of organic information about a websites and business’s digital footprint: website, local listings, social sites, review, and lots more.  And to dive even deeper, the information on your website, including backend information that a user never sees, Google’s spiders do.

How does SEO work?

Spiders play a huge hand at this. Not the creepy, crawly, eight-legged pests that live in the dark corners of your basement.  Search engines have “spiders” that crawl websites to analyze all pieces of information to see if a specific website is a relevant result for a search query. If I search for “Pizza shops near me”, Google (for example) will crawl the world wide web and find all websites that show as “restaurants, pizza, X-location, etc.” and present that to me as a user to call in my sausage, mushroom, and onion ‘za. Sounds easy, right?  Nope.  It’s not.  It’s quite complex, and that’s where the magic vs. science comes in.

Tips and tricks to improve your SEO now

1. Make sure that your website is mobile friendly, and preferably optimized.   In other words, if a user needs to pinch and zoom to see your website on a mobile device, you need a new website, preferably a responsive one.  Why?  Because search engines are all about the user-experience, and websites that present clean on a mobile device gives their users a better experience. 2. Check to see how quickly your website loads.  Again, user experience (see a trend happening here?). Search engines want your website to lead fast just as much as users do. The digital world has made us impatient.  We want instant gratification, and a website that takes too long to load will just frustrate the world 10x over and negatively affect your bounce rate on your website (how quickly a user gets on and off your website). 3. Claim and manage your Google My Business Page.  As the largest search engine in the world, Google enjoys when businesses use their products, so much so that they’ll show you some love in search rank. But you’ll need to manage your page the right way.  Make sure that your address on your My Business Page and your website are flawlessly identical. I mean not having any subtle difference such as “Rd. vs. Road”, or “Ste. vs. Suite”.  Google’s algorithms are smart, but not that smart. Their algorithms are a little OCD on consistency, so play along – you’ll benefit in the long run. This only skims the surface of everything that goes into a holistic SEO project for a business’s website.  If you’re interested in learning how your website ranks in the eyes of search engines, please reach out to Kevin Berrier, Marketing Director at kberrier@mddcpress.com.