Search Engine Optimization (Commonly referred to simply as SEO) is a very broad term that centers around the idea of optimizing for performance in search engines. Essentially, it’s optimizing your website and your business to rank higher in search results on Google and Bing. The idea behind SEO is that you want to do the right things – the best practices – that trigger search engines to rank you higher for your products and services.
The big thing to know is that there are two different ways to optimize your business for the search results: on your website and off your website. On your website you can do things to make it more optimized in order for your business to rank better in searches. Off your website you can do things online that can also help your business rank better in searches.
There are a lot of routes you can go down when it comes to trying to grow your business. SEO is just one of them. As the internet has become a large part of many companies, it is important to not forget options you could take a look at like a web fulfillment center, who can help make the process of business tasks easier, including the marketing side of it all. It is a goal for many companies, no matter how big or small, to grow to become the success all companies have the potential of becoming.
On Your Website
Your website is single biggest way to help your business rank better in searches of your products and services. Every time we design a website we have a set list of standard optimizations that we perform to help your business rank well. There is always more than can be done, especially outside of that, but here are some of the things we do to help you rank better:
- Get an SSL Certificate: Having an SSL Certificate for your website, in short, can help your website rank higher in Google, it adds a layer of security to your website, and creates trust for customers when visiting your site. To learn more about what an SSL Certificate is and why you need it, click here to read our post about it.
- Create Page Titles & Descriptions for Google: Typically, this is something we do for each and every one of our websites we design. Essentially it’s optimizing the titles and descriptions of each page. Each of your pages, in the code, has a specific title and description, which is what shows up in the Google search results. For example, when you search for Web Centre, the title says, “Web Centre | Website Design & Digital Marketing in Flint, MI” and the description says, “Web Centre is a website design and digital marketing agency headquartered in Lapeer, MI. We are your digital marketing team.” That’s what we told Google we want it to say, because it accurately describes are business and will help us rank for our products & services.
- Submit Your Website to Google: The biggest thing to do is to tell Google about your website. That is, to make sure that your website is properly submitted to Google for “indexing”, which is fancy for saying adding it to Google. All the webpages on your website should be submitted to Google so that they can put it in search results. That’s usually the first mistake a lot of web designers and companies make, is that they don’t submit it to Google. You want to let Google know, “Hey, put all these pages in your search engine.” Google can pick what they want to put in there, but that’s a big key.
- Content, Content, Content: There’s a saying in our industry: “Content is King”. Content is essentially how Google “reads” your website and decides if and how high it should rank your website for your products and services. If your website has “bad” content or content that isn’t in-depth enough or it doesn’t have very good ecommerce personalization then Google isn’t going to rank you as high. Think about it this way: If your competitor has an elaborate, well-worded, 2,000+ piece of content on their website about plumbing & heating and your heating and cooling business has just a couple of lines about what you do, then guess what, 9/10 times Google will award a better ranking to your competitor. The only reason I don’t say 10/10 is because there are always several factors that go into your ranking in Google. The point is that you need to have a ton of information about your business, its products, services, and much more – in order to separate your site from your competition. There are many guides about optimising your digital business available at The Final Steps website, this could be a useful tool for you to grow your presence online.
More About Content
The more content that you can put out on your website, the better. That’s why in our SEO Packages (that we have available for sale) we have professional writers that will write content for your website for you. Whether it’s a blog article, product page, service page; whatever is best for your business. This way you’re getting new, worthwhile content out there that Google sees and can then decide to rank you better in the search results.
Give it Time
The big thing to understand about SEO, and Google in general, is it’s a long-term game. If it were quick, then it would be easy to get to the top of the rankings and be gone the next day. Google works slow on purpose; they want to ensure that someone who is at the top deserves to be there. SEO is about building a great foundation that will keep your business ranking well for a very long time.
“But I Want it Now!”
If you’re looking for immediate results, business, and leads then Online Advertising is the service for you. If you pay, then we can create ads that are placed at the top of search results for your products and services. This ensures that your business will display first for everything you want it to. The only negative is that it can be very costly.
I always tell people that the difference between Online Advertising and SEO is that with online advertising you get the immediate customers – people looking right now – but you have to pay and once you stop advertising it’s over. With SEO you’re playing a longer game – ranking higher over time – but it will last for as long as your website exists. There are reasons to do either or both, but it largely depends on your budget and what your business is trying to accomplish.
Off Your Website
While your website is at the epicenter of your business ranking in Google for your products and services, it’s important to know that there are things you can do off your website to help your business rank better. Here are just a couple of things that we recommend and that we can help with:
- Claim Your Business on Google: The number one thing you can do to help your search results ranking in Google is to claim your Google My Business page (https://www.google.com/business/). This is the listing for your business on Google. This is essentially Google’s way for your business to show up when customers search for your business or businesses like yours on Google Search and Maps.
- What If I Already Have Claimed my page? If you already have ownership of your business listing on Google My Business, there is still more to do. Make sure the information Google has on this page is up to date, make sure the phone number, address, & hours are correct, add your website URL, add photos of your business, and much more.
- Get Reviews! Get your customers to review your business on Google. Good reviews can help with your search rankings. Now, Google hasn’t said whether or not this directly affects your ranking, but on average it’s found that the more – and better reviews – that your business has, the likelihood is that you will rank better. The key then is to get more Google reviews. In fact, in our SEO Packages that we have for sale, we help your business get more 5-Star reviews on Google (and other platforms).
- Update Your Business Information EVERYWHERE: Another ranking key is to have your businesses information updated and correct across the internet. We’re talking about Yelp, Yellow Pages, Facebook, LinkedIn – all of the websites you can think of that are “listing directory” websites. Google seeing that all of this information about your business is the same everywhere let’s them know you’re an active business that they can trust to rank better.
Quickly Update Your Information Across the Internet
We know that updating your information in a bunch of website could take forever. Luckily, as part of our SEO services, we can update your information across 50+ plus listing directory sites all at once. This way you don’t have to do all of the work that it would take to do this on dozens of sites.
Beware of Salesman Selling Bad SEO Tactics
Everything we listed above are the correct ways to help your business to rank better in Google’s search results. However, there are a lot of companies offering SEO services which are techniques that are very bad practice – and can actually cause your site or business to rank lower in Google. The main reason is that if Google sees you doing something they don’t see as rightful practice, your site/business can be penalized in the search results.
In order to help you avoid purchasing services/products that can hurt your business rankings, here is a short list of things that Google deems “bad tactics”:
- Guarantees: The biggest sham I see being sold by “SEO specialists” is something like, “We guarantee you the #1 spot on Google!”. This is a guarantee that they absolutely cannot make. It’s also misguided – the #1 spot for what? For every product my business sells? For every service my business offers? For simply my business name? What will I be ranked #1 for? Also, you can’t guarantee something like this anyways because Google has so many factors in choosing what the so called “#1 spot” will be. The other factor, for why someone can’t guarantee this, is Google doesn’t give the same exact results to every user. They give different results, per user based on: browser you’re using, area/location you’re located in, and if you’re on a laptop or smartphone. That means the results will be different based on all – or some – of those factors for every single user. Which means an “SEO specialist” would be guaranteeing a top spot – in any of those scenarios – which is impossible for someone to offer.
- The Purchase of Domains in Bulk for Ranking: If you’re ever offered an SEO service where the person has you purchase a dozen or more domains that you will redirect all to your website, this will have 0 affect on your Google Ranking. This was a tactic used in the early 2000’s and is still being sold as a service today. Basically, they tell you if you buy a bunch of domains that are the names of your products, services, and area of service, your main website will then rank higher. This is false. For example, if you’re a plumbing & heating company in New York, this person will tell you to purchase domain names like “plumbingnewyork.com”, “newyorkheatingcooling.com”, and much more. Then they will point them to your main website. This tactic has 0 influence on ranking and could cost you a ton per year in domain name fees.
- Using “Keywords” All Over the Place on Your Website: Have you ever visited a website and every other word or sentence has the word that company is trying to rank for in the content? It’s almost too hard to read because it’s clearly not written for their customers. I’ll give you an example:
- Aldridge Trucking is a trusted arena sand supplier in Holly and Grand Blanc, MI. As a trusted Arena Sand Supplier in Holly and Grand Blanc, MI, arena sand is a critical part in all good arena footing. The right type of arena sand, provided by Aldridge Trucking is important when it comes to performance. When you need to purchase arena sand for your horse stable or large horse show arena, reach out to the suppliers at Aldridge Trucking in Holly, MI. We are your premier choice for arena sand in Holly and Grand Blanc, MI.
- Do you see how hard that paragraph is to read for the customer? Because this person is simply trying to get their website to show up in Google, they have sacrificed the experience the customer will get once they get to the website. This practice is commonly referred to by Google as “Keyword Stuffing” – stuffing as many keywords into a page as you possible can. Google recognizes this and can penalize your site – by ranking it significantly lower – if your site does this.
- Duplicate or “Stolen” Content: I’ve seen a lot of business, over the years, either have the same duplicate content on all of their pages or simply take content from other websites. Both practices will hurt your website in search rankings.
- Duplicate Content: A lot of websites have similar content on every page – or they will stuff a bunch of keywords at the bottom of every page. Google recognizes that this content is on every page of your website and thus almost groups all of these pages together – as in – only 1 page gets any value in the search results. While it seems like a time saver, Google looks at it as lazy and content that isn’t of as much value.
- “Stolen Content”: If Google already has that content, why would they rank you? Non-unique content is not good for the search results. The main reason is that if search engines already have the same content in their index, there is absolutely no reason to index your web page since it has nothing new to offer. Content from others also has no benefit to your customers because then you’re simply putting on your website what your competitors have as well. It’s the same message.
In summary, SEO centers around the idea of optimizing for performance in search engines. The idea behind SEO is that you want to do the right things – the best practices – that trigger search engines to rank you higher for your products and services. We can help your business by doing all of these SEO Services for you! Contact us today to get a quote on SEO services for your business.