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Understanding the Basics of SEO for Your Business

For a business of any size, search engine optimization (SEO) must be implemented in order to stay competitive. For smaller businesses, they may not have a clear understanding of what SEO is and how it can benefit their business. Before you start utilizing SEO for your company, take time to gain a basic grasp on what it is and what that means for your business.

SEO is, at its core, an assortment of multiple tactics, techniques, and best practices (and sometimes theories) that work together to help improve how your website ranks in search engines. It ranges from fairly simple strategies to much more technical tactics that require plenty of skill and knowledge to successfully implement. With SEO, you will not see instant results and it’s much more of a marathon than a sprint. However, utilizing SEO for your business can give you a significant advantage against businesses that do not do so. Many small and medium-sized businesses are not implementing SEO and are missing out on great opportunities.

Remember this fact about the influence SEO has on your business: the results on the first page of Google receive 71% of search traffic clicks. This number has been as high as 92% in recent years. The likelihood of someone clicking on content on the second page of your search results is much lower than if you are on the first page. 

There are different types of SEO. At the top level, SEO can be split between “white hat” and “black hat” techniques. Several years ago, many companies implemented “black hat” techniques because those were often simple and provided fast results. For example, your site’s ranking is often improved by an increase in and interaction it receives from users. Initially, it was possible to pay for all of this traffic or spam your site with comments and clicks from paid services. Now, technology is sophisticated enough to tell the difference between excessive paid traffic and genuine organic traffic (with a little bit of paid thrown into the mix). If your website is poorly built with content that has little value, but you’re suddenly getting thousands of hits, it’s apparent that the traffic is not organic.

This technique is just one of many that “black hat” SEOs used to implement. Now, Google and other software have gotten much better at identifying “black hat” tactics. Oftentimes, websites will be penalized for using “black hat” tactics. You’re much better off playing by the rules and executing “white hat” techniques.  Though it’ll take time, create a solid UX on your website and generate original, quality content that people actually want to read. Engage with followers and build your base. Make sure the more technical aspects of your SEO are covered, such as optimizing the backend of your site and cultivating high quality backlinks. Other “white hat” SEO tactics include: creating consistent, original content, gaining links to your site from other, reputable websites, regularly performing SEO audits for your site, employing best practices for labeling images on your site, and ensuring that all meta descriptions and title tags are properly filled out.

 No matter your business, you should be utilizing SEO. It is primarily used to improve how your website or related profiles show up in search results, but it also has the benefit of driving more traffic to your website and creating a better user experience. It can help your business show up for the keywords you want to associate with your company and make it easier for consumers to find you. It also makes accessing your website on mobile easier.

If you want to learn more about how to implement SEO for your business and what benefits it offers, reach out to Gary Peterson today at: or call 717-823-6939.

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