Search Engine Optimization – What Every Business Owner Should Know

Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, may be defined as the set of methods and techniques used to make a website more “attractive” to search engines like Google and Bing, resulting in more traffic to the website from these search engines.

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The Higher Up the Better

Simply put, the goal of SEO is to appear as high up on page one of the search engine results page (SERP) as possible.  There are 10 natural (unpaid) search engine results displayed per page.  As you would expect, the closer to position #1 your website appears, the greater the traffic to your website. In fact, traffic drops off very quickly from position #1 to #5, and by the time we reach position #10, the traffic benefits are minimal.  The percentage of traffic from page 2 and beyond is virtually nil, so if your business fails to appear on page 1, it is almost invisible to people seeking your types of products and services online.

Keywords and Links

At the most fundamental level, there are two critical factors to achieving strong SEO: the proper use of keywords, and the quality and quantity of incoming links to the website from other websites.  Beyond that there are dozens of lesser factors that relate to or reinforce these 2 key goals.

Links: Strength Matters

What helps more, having 5 low-level (weak) websites linking to your site, or one high-level website linking to your site?  A single high-level website will have the greater impact on search engine optimization because search engines regard a link from a popular website as a vote of confidence in your website.  Having lots of strong incoming links is roughly half the battle in terms of achieving positive search results. In other words, having strong incoming links allows your website to ride on the coattails of the influential websites linking to your site. On the other hand, links from weak websites have little or sometimes even no SEO value.

Keywords: Do the Research, Then Build Your Pages

Do you know the keywords your potential customers are likely to type into search engines when seeking your types of products or services?  You may think you know, but why guess when you can find out for sure? An SEO expert can perform the research to establish how often various keyword phrases or “search strings” are used in a typical month.  Armed with this knowledge, you are then well positioned to design each web page using the most popular keywords.  Your SEO expert knows the many factors required to optimize your keyword usage within the page, including how frequently to use the keywords, where to place them on the page, and other factors.

How Much of a Difference Can SEO Make?

A big difference! For example, by following these 2 primary principles along with other SEO techniques, American Insuring Group, an insurance agency located near Reading, PA, achieved 171 page-one Google rankings within a week of going live with their new website.  They immediately began receiving inquiries from new leads in areas far beyond their previous service area. For more information on their search engine optimization results, see their press release.

Are you satisfied with the amount of traffic and new leads coming to your website? At Power Marketing International, a web design and Internet marketing firm located near Reading, PA, and serving Philadelphia, Harrisburg, Allentown, Bethlehem, and York, PA, we take the time to do SEO right. We offer a free initial SEO consultation, and we’re here if you need us: (484) 297-6395.