There is a lot of misinformation regarding Search Engine Optimization, but it really isn't that hard to understand. It does, though, require work, research and imagination to get good results. And in many cases, specific industry knowledge is essential.
Search Engine Optimization is basically fine tuning your web assets – websites, YouTube channels, social media channels, etc., to attract more visitors. The idea is to get high ranking on the various search engines, but truthfully, ranking on Google is what really matters. The fine tuning means tweaks to page and link structure, adjustment to the written content on the page, in some cases changes to navigation on the entire site. There are also factors beyond your website ("off the page") that can affect your ranking.
We worked on a site that sold recording equipment, including microphones built by the Shure Corporation. We took a guess that people often misspelled Shure, and research confirmed that people searched for Sure Microphones more often than Shure Microphones. We made a page optimizes for the misspelled name, and sure enough, that page received more hits and visitors than the properly spelled page.
That's SEO: research, industry knowledge, and a bit of imagination.
A consultation could reveal a trick or two for you...
Because the way Google calculates ranking is secret, most of what is written about SEO is a guess – a highly educated guess but a guess nevertheless. Anyone who promises “getting your website to #1 on Google” is overreaching or flat out lying, especially if they have no knowledge of your market. There is no guarantee you'll win at a game when the rules are unknown. But there are definitely things that can be done that will move the needle for your website, raise your ranking and bring you more visitors.
To be found, you must know what people are looking for. They might be searching using industry buzz words and phrases, but they might be using questions to search, regional or colloquial terms, or something you'd never expect. So, the SEO process starts with research: What is your market all about? What keywords and phrases are people using? What are your competitors doing on their websites? What are the competitors missing and doing wrong?
The cornerstone of successful SEO is good content. Google is adamant in its mission, which is to help people find the best information that best suits their needs as quickly as possible. It is almost impossible to rank high on Google with badly written, bullshit content. A well-constructed page with useful information is basis of everything. That useful information is built around a keyword or a key phrase – the thing you anticipate people will search for. The site structure is next: The way pages are titled, how pages link to the rest of the website is critical because that is how search engines move through your site to find your pages. Management of an SEO campaign is about fine tuning of all this, and a constant analysis of what is working and what isn't.
Links from other websites that lead to pages on your website are incredibly important. These links, backlinks as they’re called, are analyzed by search engines to determine the popularity and trustworthiness of your web page, and this plays a huge role in a websites ultimate rank. Getting quality backless is priority and can be a total game changer depending on the business and the market.
SEO is time consuming to do and can take months before there's a firm result. Sometimes a campaign can produce an immediate increase in traffic, but generally this is a slow growth endeavor. It can take years to climb up Google. And there are situations in which SEO, no matter how well executed, isn't going to move the rank on your page in a significantly. The market can be too competitive: You can't outrank Google for the word "Google." But in most cases, SEO is a really good investment.
Successful SEO is marriage of knowledge specific to your industry and solid research... topped off with some intuition and imagination.
We specialize in putting these elements together, and then correctly managing the campaign so you get the results you need.
Before we take on any SEO work we schedule a discovery session with you. Why? Because depending on the market and the competition, sometimes an SEO campaign can be a waste of time. A highly competitive market with a lot of keywords that are locked up by smart companies is going to suck up your money. As an example, getting page one ranking for "wedding photography in New York:" would be nearly impossible.
But the discovery session might reveal other ways of gaining rank. Is there a smaller wedding market in New York you could rank in the top five? Orthodox wedding photography New York? Gay wedding photography New York? Ski vacation wedding photography New York? Generating these ideas - this is what the discovery session is all about.
There's an online form component to start the process, which you can either fill out on your own or with our help.
The discovery is exactly that: finding out about your business and market, and coming up with the keywords and phrases and the tactics required. We charge for discovery, and whether you choose to work with us or not, you'll find process incredibly valuable.
If you choose to work with us, and we think that an SEO campaign can succeed, we generate a proposal that takes into account your current web assets, your website's design and structure, and the goals of the campaign. We recommend website modifications (and in many cases we implement them), as well as content writing or refreshing. We set up monitoring tools, and we fine tune everything for maximum success.
We've managed short term campaigns for new websites that want to establish a foothold in the market, and long term campaigns that have evolved and grown. It depends on what you need, and what sort of effort and resources you want to apply to the problem. The price varies on the specific services needed, but a good idea as to what needs to be done to manage your SEO and the cost of it can be found here.