We live in a world dominated by 24/7 connectivity to the Internet. That makes website SEO more important than ever to a business owner. Even if your company is the absolute best at what they do, the Google gods won’t automatically rank your site accordingly. Like children and pets, search engines must be educated in their own language. You have to tell search engines exactly what they need to know in a form they can understand. That’s where website SEO comes in.
Search engines abide by their own set of rules. These rules evolve constantly. That’s why a professional SEO consultant is an absolute must for a company that uses a website as a marketing tool. When a potential customer searches for something online, how many results pages do they actually click through? Search habits differ, but if a website isn’t listed on Page 1 (AKA: The First Page Club), your company is already at a disadvantage for being found online.
The Google machine can be a funny thing. It can be your best friend one day. After some routine tweaks in their proprietary algorithm, it can make you pull your hair out in frustration when your website sinks in the rankings. Website SEO experts help you avoid problems with algorithm updates. They can also help you recover if there’s a problem.
You have more important things to worry about, like running your business and making it the best it can be. It’s smart business to let a website SEO firm do the online worrying for you.
Expert Website SEO Pays for Itself
Great SEO experts never get comfortable. They constantly keep up on new developments in the industry. If they didn’t, they would quickly fall behind, and the results they achieve would slip. You need expert SEO help on your side if you plan to stand out from the rest of the pack. Website SEO is an integral part of growing your business.
Local SEO services is another factor to consider when you search for an SEO consultant. Different businesses have different needs. If you’re a local business, you need to make sure you’re capturing all the business in your neighborhood. Other businesses need to compete for customers on a national or international level.
Some SEO consultants use what’s known as the shotgun approach. They try to increase your website’s online presence and authority, but only in a very general way. A local business that specifically serves the nearby community can’t afford to compete nationally for keywords. That’s why local businesses must find SEO consultants who understand local search, and concentrate on it.
Ranking Highly on Search Engines Matters
Think about your own search habits if you’re not convinced that your website needs help from an SEO company. Do you click through to page 5 and 6 when using Google to search for local shops and services? Few people do. For the most part, it’s more efficient to rely on the algorithms employed by search engines to rank sites than to do the work yourself. Even very good Googlers know that you’re much more likely to find useful results on the first page. Your potential customers will likely do the same. SEO companies make sure that your business fights for search engine results effectively.
It’s important to remember that your competitors are probably using an SEO company already. You won’t be able to compete for rankings if you don’t fight fire with fire. Google, Yahoo, and Bing try to serve up the best search results to their visitors. If your website isn’t telling them what they need to know, then you’re bound to have problems with low rankings. SEO consultants are skilled in giving search engines exactly what they want. If your website isn’t optimized by SEO experts, then you’re leaving money on the table.
Providing SEO marketing services is a skilled profession. Optimizing a website to rank highly for particular internet searches has only been a definable process for a few years, however. Search engine optimization techniques change rapidly. That makes it even harder to evaluate the competing claims of SEO providers. Despite this churn, the industry is mature enough to draw some conclusions about the basic skills necessary to be a competent SEO company. There’s a problem. Very few SEO companies have these skills.
Almost anyone can (and does) hang out a website shingle that claims they can crowdsolve your resource-leveling convergence and synergistically reintermediate your paradigms. They’re all passionate, whatever that means. Unfortunately, no amount of buzzwords and passion is going to make your cash register ring. Here’s a list of the only skills that matter when you’re shopping for an SEO company:
They Put Their Money Where Their Mouth Is
You’re probably going to find a potential SEO company by using internet searches. If your SEO company doesn’t show up in searches for an SEO company, they’re probably not very good at their job. If they do rank highly, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ll be able to help your business. When you’re selling widgets in Los Angeles, the ability of a company to show up in searches for Los Angeles search engine optimization won’t help you.
Your SEO expert should be able to set up and optimize a profitable website about anything, not just the service they offer. If the only tool in the toolbox is an SEO hammer, everyone’s website looks begins to look like an SEO nail. SEO techniques are the process, not the product. Make sure a prospective SEO business has a proven track record at making other businesses more profitable.
They Understand Technical and Non-Technical Issues
Filling a website with optimized content and then making it prominent in search engines is a technical problem. A soup-to-nuts small business marketing firm must understand a large number of highly technical things in order to deliver consistent results. Producing content that engages customers is as much an art as a science. That art will be wasted if the website loads slowly, has a confusing site structure, or displays strangely on different devices. Make sure your SEO marketing team can bridge the gap between the technical demands of a website and the marketing challenges of getting your message out.
They Understand Customer Conversion
Many SEO companies become fascinated with your website. Unless you’re strictly an Ecommerce business, that can be lethal to your bottom line. For most businesses, the purpose of a website is to attract pre-qualified traffic in order to convert them into customers. It’s that last bit that escapes amateurs in the world of SEO.
Attracting people to your website is a cost. This cost must be more than offset by converting visitors into paying customers. Many SEO firms fixate on the website. They’ve forgotten that the website is only a reflection of the business, not the business itself.
They Are Project Managers First
What exactly is SEO marketing? If you’re a business that wants to compete for eyeballs on the Internet, you’re undertaking a definable project. Projects require project management.
Never listen to any SEO expert who says that one simple trick will put your website at the top of the rankings. Getting noticed on web searches requires deep analysis of your business, astute copy writing, and innovative engagement with prospective customers. You’ll need real expertise in blogs, email marketing, Pay-Per-Click advertising, social media, and linking. Google and other search engines are always on the lookout for one simple trick SEO techniques, and penalize businesses that use them.
Ask a prospective SEO company questions about how they’ll handle the process of analyzing your business and your customers. Find out how they’ll communicate with you. Ask them where they will go, how they will get there, how long it will take, and what it will cost. That’s what project management is, and they should be able to handle it.
They Can Spell
When you receive an email filled with misspelled words and weird word substitutions, you immediately suspect that you’re reading spam. That’s because poor grammar and spelling destroys the three most important signals your web copy can provide. Google ranks websites using their assessment of the expertise, authoritativeness the website deserves. If the content on your site is unprofessional, you’ll have a hard time convincing customers to trust you with their money.
More words are not a substitute for better writing, either. Websites should engage and convert visitors into customers. If the content on your pages is long-winded and wordy, people will click away. Your SEO company should use clear, direct language to deliver your message to visitors. That’s the only sure way to deliver customers to your cash register.
If you’re in the market for SEO services in the Los Angeles area, contact Nimbus Marketing. We’re proud of our proven results for businesses just like yours.
It’s a mistake to populate your website with content and then expect it to attract customers forever. SEO work is a lot like gardening. Planting is only half of it. You must tend to it constantly or the weeds will take over. Our Los Angeles SEO company is often asked to improve an existing website’s performance in search rankings. This can lead to surprised looks on our customers’ faces when we achieve it by fixing what’s already on the webpage instead of simply adding more content to the mix. Here’s a list of 5 Simple Mistakes That Are Killing Your Website SEO, and what we do when our Los Angeles SEO company finds them:
You’d think that trying to trick Google by repeating a few keywords over and over would be a thing of the past. You’d think wrong. Content providers that serve SEO link building companies are still advertising keyword rates of up to four percent. Google’s not interested. Search engines have become a lot better at determining context on the pages they crawl. They’ve also become much more interested in ranking the amount of attention your website receives from sites that feature your keywords. Chanting your keywords over and over doesn’t work. Readers have become very savvy about spotting keyword-stuffed writing, and they’ll quickly click away when they see it. Google knows what your site is about. Concentrate on saying something interesting or useful about the topic you’re trying to rank for. Preferably both.
Neglecting Your Images
The people who work at Google are really smart. You can’t tell them much about Search Engine Optimization that they haven’t heard already. Google’s search engine is really dumb, however. You have to tell it everything. Search engines rely on you to clue them in on every aspect of your business. Google, Bing, and all the other search engines reward sites that supply their users with rich content. They like images, and they reward you for adding them to your pages. They need you to explain what the images represent, however, because their spiders can’t effectively look at pictures or watch videos.
Optimizing pictures is generally the lowest of low-hanging fruit to quickly improve a new client’s website. We make sure that photos have appropriate alt tags. That lets Google know how they fit in with the text on the page. It’s also helpful to put a description of the photo in plain English.
Misunderstanding What Mobile-Friendly Means
Google has done a great job with their Mobile-Friendly Test for developers. If you enter your main website page, or an interior page, the utility will show you what it looks like to Google’s spider. It’s a pass/fail type of test. It’s useful, but there is one problem with it.
The Mobile-Friendly Test only analyzes what your website looks like to their bot. It measures important things, but the actual appearance of your site to a person on a mobile phone isn’t one of them. Your website can be easy for a search engine bot to read, but awful for a real user. Our Los Angeles SEO company also checks our work with Google’s Page Speed Insight utility after checking for mobile-friendliness. The utility can point out many problems on both mobile devices and desktops, with suggestions on how to fix them. It’s a great resource.
Botching Duplicate Content
If you’re a conscientious webmaster, you’re always adding fresh content to your website. That can eventually lead to problems with duplicate content. Most SEO advice instructs you to simply avoid having any duplicate content on your website. That’s easy to say and hard to do. If search engine spiders can reach the same content from multiple URLs, it’s duplicate content. There are many reasons why you might want to be able to do just that, but not incur a penalty. Smart SEO strategy is to use canonical tags to let spiders know which content is the primary example, and which is similar but secondary.
Busted Pages and Bounce Rate
Search engines hate broken pages and dead links, and they’re really not crazy about a lot of redirects, either. It’s really important to clean up anything on your site that interferes with visitors finding what they’re looking for. One aspect of dead links that’s overlooked is bounce rate. Google measures how long visitors to your site stay and look at the content. People don’t stay very long on a dead webpage. That increases your bounce rate and lowers your search rankings. Fix those 404s!
If you correct these 5 simple SEO mistakes, your website will be more attractive to search engines. That’s bound to increase traffic on your site. If you need help with these aspects of SEO best practices, contact our Los Angeles SEO firm for a more thorough analysis of your website.
If you’re a parent, sooner or later you’re required to have THE TALK with your children. You know, the one about the birds and the bees. Honestly, it’s not that big of a deal. It’s a lot easier than explaining to your children what you do for a living if you’re an SEO consultant.
New Industries Require New Definitions
SEO link building and website SEO have only become a regular occupation in the last few years. Before that, search engine optimization was handled by the person who was writing copy for the website, if it was given any attention at all. As the Internet gained importance as the primary place for commerce, the need to hire an SEO consultant to boost a company’s visibility grew quickly.
Search engines are extremely sophisticated in the methods they use to rank sites. They perform a multi-factor assessment of the content displayed on every website, and then modify it by the amount of attention the website attracts from other websites, news outlets, and social media accounts. If you don’t know how to write to make search engines happy, you won’t get found.
An SEO Expert Knows a Particular Kind of Writing
SEO writing is a form of technical writing. There have always been writers who specialize in producing text that isn’t destined for a book or a newspaper article. One form of technical writing, advertising copy, is a lot older than the Internet, as you can see if you watch an episode of Mad Men.
The definition of a technical writer is a person who conveys specialized information to the public in the clearest and most effective way possible. Because the information that needs to be communicated is often complex, it’s important for a technical writer to be able to understand the topic fully and then present it in plain language that is easy for the average person to read and understand.
That’s an excellent summation of what an SEO consultant does for their clients. The best SEO company is one that understands the customer’s business, and then uses that knowledge to deliver well-crafted content that attracts and engages the right consumers.
Technical writing is an important job that is generally overlooked by the public, at least until they are forced to assemble a bicycle on Christmas Eve with nothing but a crescent wrench and five pages of instructions. Well-written assembly instructions are just one more example of good technical writing. An SEO consultant will make sure you’re able to find a bicycle in the first place when you search for it online.
Found By Machines, Read by Humans
SEO writing is trickier than more traditional technical writing techniques. Before the Internet, a technical writer’s output was always geared towards being read by humans. An SEO expert understands that there is now an intermediate step between the content and the customer: Search engines.
Search engines are machines. It takes a very particular set of skills to be able to produce text, photos, and video for a website in exactly the right format for a web crawler to read. It also takes a lot of hard work and skill to make sure that attention is drawn to the content, which attracts incoming links that will boost the website in the search rankings.
Optimizing a website to be highly ranked by machines while still being useful for readers is a difficult job. That’s why a SEO consultant is so essential to commerce in the Internet age. If your website has interesting content, but search engines don’t understand it, no one will ever find you. If your website has content that’s unreadable because of unsuccessful attempts to optimize it for SEO, the readers will quickly click when they arrive.
Helping People Find Things Is a Noble Profession
Most people say they hate advertising. That’s only partially true. What people actually hate is being bombarded with advertising for products and services they have no interest in. An SEO firm helps companies target interested consumers without resorting to a barrage of advertising on everyone. It’s not only counterproductive to show advertising to consumers that don’t need your product or service. It’s expensive, too. Spending a modest amount of money on SEO services pays bigger dividends by attracting only the people who are hungry to hear your message.
So if you get stuck while trying to explain to your kids exactly what an SEO consultant does for a living, tell them that you help some people find things, and you help other people to get found. Then tell them to look up the birds and the bees on Wikipedia. The information is easy to find. It’s Search Engine Optimized.
So, who is the world’s greatest SEO expert? If you look around websites devoted to SEO link building, you might get the impression that it’s a 10,000,000-way tie. Everyone claims to be number one. They’re all wrong. There can be only one, and it’s Google.
Google’s opinion about Search Engine Optimization is the only one that matters, because when it comes to search engines, Google is the elephant in the room. It’s important for webmasters to pay attention to Bing and Yahoo, but let’s face it: If you don’t rank on Google, you’re nowhere. The problem for webmasters searching for the best method of SEO link building is that Google never comes right out and explains how their search algorithms work. You can’t blame them. If they did, every SEO company in the world would spend all their time gaming the system instead of advising their clients to put great content on their websites. That’s why every SEO expert was just one more blind man describing the Google elephant.
The Six Blind Men and the Elephant
If you’re not familiar with the story of the Six Blind Men and the Elephant, it goes like this: A king tells six blind men to describe an elephant. They cannot see the elephant, so they use their hands to feel around, and each man describes only the portion they can reach. One man says the elephant is like a rope, because he is holding its tail. Another says the elephant is like a wall, because his hand is on the animal’s side. Another says the elephant is like a tree trunk, because he can only feel its leg. Working alone, the blind men can’t ever tell what the whole elephant looks like.
That’s exactly what it’s like for an SEO expert. You try different approaches to make sure your client’s webpages rank on Google, but you can never be sure what the entire process looks like. People who specialize in website SEO like to compare notes with others to improve their approach, but you never know if other people have more reliable information than you do. Only Google knows if you’re right, because they make the rules. If you make a mistake because someone suggests a forbidden technique as a shortcut, you can get de-listed by Google.
The Google Algorithm Is Based on Human Opinion
Recently, the great Google elephant has finally spoken. Google released a copy of their Search Quality Rater’s Guidelines, and it’s as close as they’ve ever come to explaining how website SEO works on their search engine. For an SEO expert, it’s a treasure trove of useful information. It’s not a copy of the algorithms they’re using. It’s more like a blueprint of the information they use to come up with their algorithms.
Google uses human judgment to determine which sites should be ranked highly, which should be de-listed, and everything in between. They have a team of search quality raters who pore over websites using the methods outlined in Google’s guidelines, and then assign a score. Google needs to automate this process, because they can’t possibly have humans looking at every site on the Internet. They use the results from their raters to set their algorithms, and then they crawl the web ranking websites. If you follow Google quality rater’s guidelines for content, you’ll be an SEO expert in no time.
A True SEO Expert Always Wears a White Hat
The guide is not as useful for people who don’t use white hat techniques to increase their search rankings. The document has over 150 pages of information. If you try to cheat, the news is all bad. Google quality raters are given hundreds of parameters to check when determining the relative importance of one website over another, and it would be almost impossible to fool them for very long. If you do discover a way to get around one metric they use for ranking, one of the other parameters will catch you.
A true SEO expert isn’t afraid that Google’s information is out where anyone can see it. It’s not as if webmasters can now perform all their SEO work on their own. Google’s list of important details for websites is so long and complicated that no amateur could possibly make use of it. It is a great tool for SEO consultants to see exactly how accurate their methods have been in the past, and how to stay on the right side of Google’s preferences for SEO link building in the future.
Google’s Search Quality Rater’s Guidelines show once and for all that website SEO is best left to the professionals. Website SEO is too important to overlook, and it requires a lot of work to get it right. It also pays to remember what happens when the roles are reversed. When the king asked six blind elephants to describe a man, the first one stepped on the man and said that men were flat. Then all the other elephants stepped on him, and agreed that men were flat. Don’t get stomped flat by the Google elephant! Let a SEO expert use the Search Quality Rater’s Guidelines to help you keep the Google elephant happy.