What is SEO Anyway?
SEO rings as a familiar sound to the business world today. There are all sorts of beliefs about what SEO means and its level of effectiveness for businesses today.
But what is SEO? This combination of widely used letters stands for Search Engine Optimisation, which refers to a mechanism that enables a website to rank well on search engines like Google, Bing Yahoo! and others too.
The work involved with SEO happens on your website. First works include the improvement of written content, checking for any links that may be broken, speeding up the time it takes for pages on your website to load. This work not only improves website visitor experience but it also contributes well to website performance on search engines.
What is ‘Off Page’ SEO?
Now that we know what SEO is, in general terms at least what is meant by Off Page SEO, a term not so widely known.
Off Page SEO refers to activity that is carried out outside of your website. Good examples of this would be publishing informative blog posts on other websites that refer back to your website as being the source.
For example, were you a supplier of hand tools you could write a short article about tools, the quality materials used to make them and the best tools that are available on the market. Your article could be submitted to an online tools magazine where you can refer to your own tools website as proof of your knowledge of tools.
It is essential to bear in mind that search engines are working to provide the best possible answer to whatever user type into search boxes. Part of getting your website to rank well involves positioning yourself as a trusted adviser and the best source of knowledge for the searches being made.
Is SEO Important to Local Businesses?
Relentlessly local businesses are competing against each other for customers. Businesses that win are those that offer customers something different, something of value and are those that have a reliable and locally-known reputation.
Competing for business on the Internet is no different, not least because the competition is on a much larger scale. Obviously, this means the competition itself is much harder and more demanding. But, there’s good news! To level this out, search engines are placing significantly greater focus on delivering local results to search requests.
In practice, this means that someone searching on their phone in Southampton for an electrician will usually see the details of local electricians before they see electricians farther afield, even up country.
As a rule of thumb businesses that attempt competition nationally without winning locally will find it difficult to get the results they are looking for.
How Long Does it Take for SEO to Work?
Those who deliver SEO services will often fudge this question or avoid it altogether, if given the chance.
But if SEO is the solution to online ranking success why can’t the answer be clear and definitive? In short, the answer isn’t easy to give simply because there are so many variables involved that make the answer difficult to explain. And, once the answer is explained (hopefully with not too much jargon) the client seeking SEO services may find they are being offered a seemingly long term, even open-ended programme of work all at cost!
However, while the answer isn’t necessarily easy, it isn’t impossible.
What is essential to know is that SEO does take time, sometimes months. It takes commitment too. Whatever you may have been told SEO isn’t a quick fix or silver bullet to your marketing needs. SEO isn’t a one-time fix with endless rewards.
It is important you know the longer-term commitment involved for SEO to be effective. Why? Because of the costs and the work involved. It is this simple.
Take a look at ahrefs blog. This case study concluded that 95% of new pages on the Internet won’t make it into the top 10 results of Google within their first year.
Now, let’s be balanced. Is this article anti SEO? Certainly not! SEO is worth the investment if the necessary resources – time and money – are available and if you are going to be realistic about when the rewards will roll in.
Don’t be duped!
So, with the above in mind please be persuaded that anyone who promises to get you and your business to rank at number 1 on Google within a specific amount of time is not being honest with you or themselves. Investing in someone of this calibre will result in giving away money you’ve earned from other advertising and marketing that has performed well.
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