Search Engine Optimization. Everyone does it, or wants to, but they don’t know how, or don’t do it well, or make a half-hearted attempt and give up.
Without SEO, the web can be a lonely and frustrating place. When you try Googling yourself, you find that your website just barely makes the top ten, after your social media profiles and a news article that was published three years ago. Even worse, when you try to make a more generic search for your business, you find that your site isn’t even on the first page of results.
While the best way to draw people to your web site is to make a web site worth visiting, SEO can give you a boost when you need it. Think of SEO as a sugar rush, something that’s temporary, but potentially useful long term if you take advantage of the increase in visitors. Although it might have once been possible to sustain a web site on SEO alone, the increasing sophistication of search engines make it necessary to create web sites that are worth visiting. But, if you need to prime the pump, here are a few things you can do at any budget.
If you’re creating a website on a tight budget, you probably don’t want to spend extra money on SEO efforts, but there are a few things you can do to make it easier for your customers to find you. For example, if you’re running a WordPress site, you can add the free plug-in WordPress SEO, which allows you to see how your website looks to a webcrawler, and makes it easy to add information that will make your site more inviting to search engines.
On a more prosaic front, you can also use old fashioned publicity techniques, such as writing guest posts on more popular sites, or sending out press releases in hopes of attracting local media coverage. After all, you don’t want to attract random people to your site, as they won’t provide you good business. By using traditional publicity methods, you’ll set off a wave of good publicity—and quality links—that will increase your search engine ranking organically.
With a larger budget for your website, you might consider investing in some readymade SEO solutions. For example, you can upgrade the WordPress SEO plug-in so you can reach customers in a certain location, make it easier for customers to find your videos, or receive special training assistance. You can also consider using other services, like All-In-One SEO, which gives you even more tools to optimize your website.
If you’re spending a lot on your website, you’ll also want to invest in paid SEO. You can do this two ways. First, you can buy PPC (Pay Per Click) advertising through Google or other search engines, which will guarantee that your page shows up when someone searches for particular key words. While you’re paying for new visitors, eventually they’ll drive up your unpaid, or “organic,” search numbers so you can scale back your PPC spending.
Second, you can hire someone to help you deliver the specific traffic you need. For example, if you run a lawn care business in Texarkana, Arkansas, you can ensure that anyone in your town who searches for “lawn care” or “yard work,” finds your business.
While we might not like to admit it, we all need a little SEO help to get our website performing like we want it. Whether you’re willing to pay hard cash for an extra boost, or just want to make sure you’re getting as much as you can out of the hard work you put into making and updating your web site.
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