The first thing a new client often likes to ask us is what can we do to help them rank better on search engine results. For many business owners, search engine optimization (SEO) is perceived as the “silver bullet” to help their business rank better in search engine results and lead more traffic to their website. While we agree with this, there are a number of things associated with SEO that every business deserves to know.

1. SEO is a Complicated Animal

SEO is made up of two different types: On-page SEO and off-page SEO. On-page SEO is including relevant keywords on your website that are related to your business in order to rank high in those key areas. Off-page SEO is creating content focused on those same keywords that gets visitors to link that content (and link back to your website). Those links act like points that help you rank better and tell Google that you’re legitimate. You need both to find success with SEO. 89% of all customers (b2b or b2c) depend on search engines to help them find new businesses and services. And the top five results get 75% of the clicks (Hubspot). On-page SEO (optimizing your website) helps let everyone know that you exist, while off-page SEO helps improve your rankings.

2. SEO is Not Effective By Itself

FACT: We love SEO (especially our CEO, Pam!). It’s an extremely effective marketing tactic that we recommend for all of our clients. That said, the first thing businesses need to know is that in order it for it to be most effective, it needs to be combined with a complete online marketing strategy. The purpose of SEO is to drive quality traffic to your website, but what happens after visitors find your site? While SEO helps catch them, pieces like video, content marketing, and lead generation helps keep them interested in your brand, products, and services. SEO needs to work with other pieces of your marketing to create profit.

3. Your Website is Your Conversion Foundation

SEO success is determined by how effective and engaging your website is. Without a website to keep visitors interested, all SEO goes to waste when a visitors goes on your site and then promptly leaves. We see many companies invest heavily in SEO only to find that it’s not working as well as they wanted it to because they failed to invest very much in their website. A beautiful, functional website is what helps boost your SEO efforts and helps your new customer acquisition. A website that’s slow to load, has broken links, and doesn’t function properly on mobile devices, for example, will have trouble ranking and finding it’s place among the top search results.

4. Think Through Keyword Rankings

Everyone wants top rankings, but just because your business has the number one spot in search results doesn’t mean you’re getting the ROI you want or deserve. Ranking number one under specific keywords that don’t drive conversion or sales won’t be beneficial to you. The right keywords need to be considered in order to rank high and they should be well thought out and tested frequently to see what’s working and what isn’t. This requires an effective search engine optimization strategy to guide you and keep you from flying blindly (and it saves you money from investing too much in all the wrong places). Google Analytics provides in-depth information on where visitors are coming from and where they’re clicking when they’re on your website. This can be a great tool to help you find what keywords and phrases to focus efforts on. Remember, a few quality keywords are better than a bunch of keywords that spread your business too thin on the web.

5. And Link Building

Another request we receive from clients is helping them build and include more backlinks to their website to help their search rankings. While backlinks do help with this, many business owners and marketers go misinformed that it’s the quantity of links that matter and they get upset when they’re penalized for too many low-quality backlinks on their website.

Many businesses will even grow impatient and take up on black hat offers that provide thousands of low-quality, spammy links for only a couple hundred dollars populated by shady automated software.

This is not the way to build links and often times, this causes high-caliber damage to your website and penalizes your website from ever ranking high again. It takes time and patience to build winning SEO. One quality backlink has much more value than a thousand spam links. Taking the higher road can save you thousands of dollars and prevent you from unnecessary costs.

The Takeaway: Make SEO Work for You

Search engine optimization is a tactic that requires a high amount of split testing, diving into numbers, and figuring out conversion rates in order to be successful with it. It’s great when a business gets website traffic and conversions, but in order to get revenue (money, money, money!), a business needs to look at their own website form submits, phone calls, and visits to truly see how it’s working for them. Testing needs to be implemented to see what’s working and what’s not working. Every business is going to have different conversion goals, profit margins, and a different online marketing campaign. Your SEO strategy needs to be tailored to your business to help you accomplish YOUR goals.

About Small Screen Producer

Small Screen Producer is a full service, marketing firm located in Houston, Texas that specializes in online digital media marketing through a 4-step process. Step 1: WE PLAN a custom web presence strategy for your business through website design and development, mobile development, social media account creation and branding. STEP 2: We then POSITION your brand through Pay-Per-Click advertising and search engine optimize tactics that include on-page and off-page SEO that are Google and Bing approved. STEP 3: We then PROMOTE your brand using an Inbound marketing strategy or a content marketing strategy to help you accomplish your marketing goals. We do this through blogging, video production, infographics, call-to-actions, landing pages, and free educational offers. We help you build trust and rapport with your customer base. STEP 4: We then PROTECT your brand’s web presence with a reputation management program that monitors social media and on line reviews. Get started today with a free online marketing assessment of your company’s web presence. Your company deserves it.