Search Engine Optimization: An Example Of Virginia SEOSearch Engine Optimization: An Example Of Virginia SEO

 

A very important component of a successful website for the majority of businesses is Search Engine Optimization or SEO, yet most business owners either don't understand it or don't even know about it.

Let's break it down into pieces.  Search Engines are designed to search for information on the web.  They process hundreds of millions of search queries, sort through billions of sites and come back with what they feel are the most relevant information you were searching for.  The most well known search engines are Google, Yahoo!, and MSN's Bing.  These search engines are the yellow pages of today.  They allow people to find absolutely anything they are looking for in a matter of seconds.  Because of their ease of use, millions of people turn to search engines for answers to questions, social engagement, recommendations, entertainment and to buy things. 

Optimization is just that—optimizing your site for the search engines.  Search engines uses a series of sophisticated algorithms (really geeky stuff) to determine which websites are most relevant to search queries. 

                        Virginia SEO

Let's take a look at Virginia SEO as an example.  Let's say you sell tires in Richmond,VA.  Someone in your area needs tires so they go to Google and type “tires richmond va” into the search bar.  This is a great example of Virginia SEO so if you are near a computer, type it in and see what comes up. 

Without going to in-depth on what these search results reveal, you'll notice that the top 3 are in a lightly colored box and those are referred to as “Paid Ads”.  These, along with the listings along the right column are called Pay Per Click ads and are part of Google Ad Words.  For the purpose of our Optimization discussion, we'll be looking at the “organic listings” that follow the first three listings.  These organic listings are the result of website owners who's sites are optimized for the search engines (in this case, Google). 

The first free, organic listing is Dyke Tire.  Out of 422,000 relevant searches that Google returned for my search of “tires richmond va”  Dyke Tire is coming up first (as of the time of this writing).  Imagine how many customers Dyke Tire receives because they are on page one for this search.  And imagine all of the other companies in Richmond who sell tires who wish their site was in that position.  This is an example of what Virginia SEO is all about, and it's the same no matter what state you are in.

                        How SEO Works

Search Engine Optimization is the process of on-page and off-page optimization of your website so that it shows up (if done properly) on the first page of the major search engines for your keywords.  Taking the example of Virginia SEO, if you are selling tires in Richmond, how important do you think it is to have that listing?  I think you get the idea. 

Your website without SEO is like a Ferrari with no engine.  It may look great, but it's not going anywhere.  For 95% + of business owners, SEO is imperative if you want your site to attract the largest amount of traffic (potential customers).  Without it, your site will be adrift on the world wide web, floating alone out in cyberspace.  The only people that will see it will be those people who directly type in your site, or find a link to your site somewhere else.  Without SEO you risk missing out on the entire organic search market—people who are searching for your product or service and will end up going with someone else (that has SEO on their site). 

Like with web design, you may encounter a wide range of price quotes from $20/month to thousands of dollars a month.  And much like with website design, you get what you pay for.  SEO is harder to sell but without SEO, your website is not going to perform like you want it to.  SEO is an ever evolving, moving target that requires someone with a lot of knowledge about what happens behind the scenes on your website.  As I mentioned earlier, there are hundreds of factors that play into SEO, and a true SEO expert must be aware of many of them, all at once, in a constant state of flux.  This work is probably some of the most undervalued, underrated yet most important work on the web.  And with Google and the other search engines constantly changing and modifying their search algorithms, it's not getting any easier. 

by Dynamicweb
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