When we (business owners) optimize our own website, the end goal is to have the search engines index the site, and then rank it high in relevancy for keywords that we think potential customers will use to find us. The online marketing industry calls website optimization, “Search Engine Optimization” or “SEO” for short. Ever since the internet boom, SEO has been used and abused by website owners to try and gain the coveted number one spot on Google (or AltaVista.) Search engines, such as Google, have been cracking down on SEO tactics used to game the algorithm. This can either be good news, or bad news for your website, depending on whom has been optimizing your small business website.
In the past, business owners needed to know basic HTML coding to add certain optimization tags and edit the content within their website. If you weren’t decently educated on how to edit code on your website, you would have had to hire a developer to make the edits for you. As technology continues to grow, it has become easier for small business owners to go into the backend of their website and tinker with “SEO Settings” on their own. Unfortunately, most small business owners either don’t know what they’re doing or they know enough just to be dangerous. Either situation can be detrimental to your web presence now and in the future.
The Consequences of Bad SEO on Your Website
What’s the harm of doing your own SEO incorrectly? Well, there’s a chance that your website could drop significantly in rankings. If it hasn’t dropped yet, time and web standards will continue to increase, and the likelihood of your competitors creating well optimized content grows everyday. This means that not only does your site need to be updated, but you’re going to need to maintain a certain level of internet marketing education in order to stay current.
Whether you do your SEO yourself, or outsource the task, you also run the risk of being flagged for using spam tactics that game the system. When Google finds you guilty of this, they will remove your website from their index. Before pursuing tactics for yourself, or hiring an SEO agency, make sure you have a decent understanding of what will be done in order to optimize your website.
Who Can Optimize Your Website?
Well, you can always give it the “old college try” and attempt to optimize your website yourself. You could also hire your nephew in college who took a few programming classes, but has no marketing or real world business experience. Your other options include hiring an internet marketing agency to optimize your site for you. This is probably the best option for the small business owner who would rather focus on their business than running the marketing for the business.
If you’re ready to start looking for an internet marketing company that can provide SEO services for your small business, then it’s time to learn how to sort through the SEO agencies that use questionable optimization tactics. See the infographic below to get an idea of what makes up quality search engine optimization.
Remember this; you want to find an internet marketing company that will optimize your website for humans first, and search engines second. Creating quality content for your target market will attract and convert potential customers. Search engines continue to reward sites that focus on humans, and making the internet a better place.
Infographic by SEO Book