Nearly every business owner with an online presence has heard of search engine optimization, or SEO. Perhaps you, too, have been vying for Google's attention in an effort to edge your business' website further up the search rankings. But, where so many business owners go wrong, whether they own a small local business in Grande Prairie or a chain with multiple stores across the country, is that they're still under the impression that they can 'do' SEO in their spare time, build a few links here, share a couple of blog posts there, and sit back and watch as their site skyrockets to the search rankings' coveted top spots for dozens of keyword terms.
The long and short of it is that some common search engine optimization misconceptions are holding businesses back from succeeding both on and off the internet. Check out the following, the first in a two-part series on common SEO misconceptions. Maybe you, too, are in need of an SEO strategy overhaul.
Search Engine Optimization is a Marathon, Not a Sprint
Probably the most common misconception regarding SEO, many people are under the impression that a quick fix of SEO is enough to get their site on track for achieving top rankings. While it may have been possible to temporarily dupe Google with an SEO quick fix 5 years ago, it definitely doesn't fly today. Every single day, Google makes changes to their algorithm and no matter how big or small these changes may be, they affect the way that sites are crawled, rated and ranked. Especially when the search engine tosses out an algorithm change of Panda proportion, there's no way that the search engine optimization strategy you tested out for a couple of months will have any lasting effect on your rankings and/or traffic. Even if you managed to rank on the first page for a few key terms with a couple of months of SEO, one algorithm change can - and likely will - send your site's rankings into the abyss.
Instead, if you're looking to rank well for dozens of keyword terms, drive more traffic to your site and customers to your door, expect to commit to a long-term search engine optimization plan of action.
No Matter Your Target Market, You Need a Mobile-Friendly Site
If I've heard it once, I've heard it a dozen times; "My customers don't use cell phones, so I don't need a site that's mobile-friendly." If you want your business to be found online, you do need a mobile-friendly website. Every day, more people use cell phones to search for the goods and services they wish to buy. It's no longer surprising to see a grey-haired grandfather texting from a smart phone or a middle-aged mom face-timing with her kids, so even if your business' largest market is seniors, you need a site that's mobile-friendly and for two key reasons:
1. Mobile-friendly sites provide a better user-experience for those searching from smart phones (and a whole lot of people are!). When people are searching from their smart phones and stumble upon a site that's not mobile-friendly, meaning they're unable to see or easily read half the content on the page, they'll leave your site as fast as they entered.
2. Google knows that more and more people search from smart phones, and in an effort to provide their users with the best possible experience, the search engine now penalizes websites that aren't mobile-friendly - that's right, sites that aren't easily searched from a smart phone get less-than-awesome rankings.
This post isn't meant to seem like a slap on the wrist for anyone whose understanding of SEO is a little out of date or misconstrued. Consider it a wake-up call because the days of DIY SEO are long gone. Besides, you've got enough on your plate already, and your focus is where it should be - on growing your business.
Instead, trust a team of SEO professionals who are capable of bringing your website in-line with what it takes to succeed online today. Call us at 780-539-SALT for more information.
Saltmedia Inc operates on the traditional territory of Treaty 8 in what is now known as Grande Prairie. We value the First Nations, Métis, and Inuit who lived and cared for this land long before Canada was founded, and we recognize that it is a privilege to operate our business here.
Our Prince George site operates on the traditional territory of the Lheidli T’enneh.
We are grateful to the Elders and Knowledge Keepers who are with us today, and those who’ve gone before us.