It’s safe to say that, in the digital world, one of the most commonly used term, and often misunderstood, is SEO, or search engine optimization.
93% of online experiences begin with a search engine. (Search Engine Journal)
We have all heard people tossing the words around. More and more bloggers, small business owners, and even freelancers talk about it; however, it’s quite shocking when you listen to what they really think it’s all about.
Are you an SEO blabber?
Thanks to the instant-gratification culture we live in today, most people expect instant results from any initial SEO efforts. However, SEO is constantly evolving, growing, and expanding as a result of search engines themselves, algorithms, and technology. So it’s best to work with someone who is constantly up-to-date on the latest changes and evolving as quickly as search engines do themselves.
After extensive conversations with different business owners, bloggers, and newcomers to the SEO industry, we thought it would be beneficial to share some SEO facts that most people don’t know and may find valuable. Our hope is that it will shed some insight and showcase the importance and need for SEO, no matter the business or industry you are involved in.
Before we jump into sharing a wealth of different SEO Facts that most people don’t know, let’s start with the basics.
So, what really is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization is the use of different tactics and strategies to positively establish a website’s reputation (or page) in the eyes of search engines, effectively impacting algorithms to track and showcase a website when specific trigger keywords are typed into the search engine.
The way that search engines are designed is that when a consumer types in a specific set of words, it will present to the customer the most valuable and related results. SEO specialists work to optimize all content on a website to help show search engine crawlers that their website is a reputable authority in the industry for that specific keyword.
With a custom SEO strategy, businesses can truly transform their business, revenue stream, and organic traffic. The benefits are immense – and potentially endless.
1. SEO is Easy to Do
Have you ever been talking with someone and one of the first things they claim is that SEO is easy? If so, chances are, they are not aware of the many different complexities or intricacies that comes with search engine optimization. There are numerous different facets of an effective SEO strategy that many business owners often don’t think about.
For example, not only does the content on a website impact the way search engines rank a website, the content that is posted on social media and other related sources can play a role as well. In the SEO industry, we often refer to this as on-page and off-page optimization. Granted, this is still only two means of optimizing a website to improve its ranking.
So, if you are a business owner looking for an SEO agency, should you ever hear the words, “SEO is easy,” that should be the red flag to walk away. A true professional in the industry will be honest and say, “SEO is a complex and volatile industry. It will take time; however, with a carefully constructed SEO strategy, we are confident we can bring your website up in search engine rankings.”
2. Keywords Are NOT Everything!
As an SEO professional, one of the most frustrating things to read or hear is when someone claims that keywords are everything. Yes, keywords play a pivotal role in SEO development and optimization; however, they are not everything. Like we said above, there are so many different facets of website optimization that, to say it’s all about keywords is just a misconception.
According to Andrey Lipattsev, Search Quality Senior Strategist at Google, high-quality content and link building are the two most important signals used by Google to rank your website for search. (Search Journal)
They, like everything else in search engine optimization, are more of a catalyst or contributing factor. In other words, having the right keywords is essentially 25% of the optimization journey. You also need to work on metadata, backend work, linking strategies, local directories, schemas, and so much more!
A good SEO specialist can locate high-volume keywords whereas a professional SEO specialist can transform those keywords into results and leads for your business.
3. SEO is NOT a Scheme
Among many small-to-medium business owners, there is a belief that SEO is a scheme or a means to take money from them. The truth is SEO is not a trick, it’s real and requires a strategic approach in efforts to bring results. Before ever signing a contract with an SEO agency, always ask what their approach is, how they tackle tasks, and what their estimated timeline would be to show results.
61% of marketers say improving SEO and growing their organic presence is their top inbound marketing priority. (Hubspot)
Today, the way that search engines are designed is that websites need to perform a list of different, intentional daily actions to improve its reputation with search engines.
4. SEO is NOT Free (or Cheap)
For businesses that are looking for cheap SEO services, you’re looking in the wrong industry. If a company is charged cheap, the results you will see will be cheap. We often say that search engine optimization is a cost-effective inbound marketing technique, which it is; however, it’s long-term. It requires a constant investment of time and efforts, which can add up over time.
In 2018, the average firm is expected to allocate 41% of their marketing budget to online, and this rate is expected to grow to 45% by 2020. (Web Strategies)
Many businesses want to spend as little as possible on SEO services; however, this is counterproductive. An effective SEO strategy requires time, strategic execution, and a set of professional, analytical eyes.
5. Google’s Penalties Are Detrimental
Let’s take a minute and talk about Google’s penalties. If you do some research, you will find that many agencies or businesses seem to believe that these penalties are merely “minor” warnings. To put it bluntly, if you receive a penalty from Google, it can be detrimental and impact your website’s ability to rank well on Google for months, or even the year. Evidently, the severity of the impact will depend upon the penalty itself.
Now, we want to follow this up by saying, this is why working with a professional SEO agency can help to avoid any potential Google Penalties. Those who are certified and professionally trained in the industry understand that many of the penalties issued are a result of manual efforts. Black Flag Creative ensures that, when performing any SEO actions, our actions are by-the-book in accordance with Google’s standards.
Most businesses who are struggling to rank high on search engines are potentially experiencing this because of penalties. For example, if you have pages on your website that search engines can’t track or there is duplicated content on your website, you can be guaranteed Google will not show your website when customers are looking in your industry.
6. Backlinking is NOT Spam
Backlinking is NOT spam – when done properly. If done improperly, without a proper SEO strategy from a professional in the industry, then it can lead to spammy links across different websites, resulting in your website getting flagged by Google.
What is backlinking? Backlinking is the concept of creating valuable content and getting it published, with your domain, on highly-visited, third-party websites.
To make it simpler for our readers, look at it this way: the more value you put on the internet for search engines to track, the better. There are countless ways for businesses to generate backlinks that can boost their SEO efforts. One route that small businesses can utilize is online local newspapers or magazines. Since these are local websites, it can prove to be incredibly beneficial, boosting a website’s authority in the region.
7. SEO Does Not Require Technical Skills
Search engine optimization does require technical skills. There are many blogs and websites that advertise that SEO is simple enough that almost anyone can learn and understand the ropes. While this is true, to an extent, there are many technical skills that are required to be successful For example, common issues that happen with websites happens on the backend or in their source code. If you are unaware of how to read coding, you could actually do more harm than good. (Reference Google Penalties for a potential consequence.)
8. SEO Strategies Are All The Same
What makes Black Flag Creative such a prominent SEO Agency in Sacramento is that we only give our clientele custom SEO strategies. Professional SEO specialists should never utilize the same SEO strategy for different businesses – and there are reasons why. Every single business is ranking for different keywords, different industries, and even different locations. On top of this, every single website is in a different position – rank-wise, health-wise, and content-wise. With that being said, to utilize the same approach and strategy is actually doing the client and agency a significant disadvantage.
If you are looking at hiring an SEO agency to help with getting your website on the radar, it’s essential to ask about how they create their SEO strategy. Do they focus on a website audit? Do they start with keyword analysis? You deserve to have a custom SEO solution dedicated and designed for your business. If you want to learn more about this, contact Black Flag Creative and we can answer your questions!
9. You Don’t Need SEO Tools
To perform SEO effectively – and create a dedicated custom SEO solution, it’s imperative to have access to only the BEST SEO tools available today. All professional SEO agencies in Sacramento own numerous SEO tools, which help provide valuable insight and analytics as to what’s happening with your website. These tools often highlight backend and frontend errors, metadata problems, and even directory inconsistencies.
Black Flag Creative shares all our insights and research with our clientele with open communication and reports. Before you sign with any SEO agency, be sure to ask what tools they have – and perhaps you could ask more about how those specific tools can help benefit your website.
10. Once a Website is SEO Optimized, You’re Done! Wrong…
The biggest misperception that surrounds the SEO industry is that, once a website is optimized, the work is finished. If this is what you are being told, don’t believe any of it! There is never a moment when SEO work is complete or finalized. In fact, failure to continue SEO strategic efforts after noticing results can result in a relapse. In other words, if your goal is to be #1 on search engines for a keyword and you stop all SEO efforts, it’s likely that in due time, your website will drop down in the rankings once again.
Any professional SEO specialist will tell you that this type of work requires daily, weekly, and monthly maintenance, including check-ups and reports. This is where SEO coincides with social media marketing, content development, and even email marketing to some degree. The rule of thumb is: never stop optimizing your website, optimizing content, or publishing new internal or external content.
Stay relevant by being relevant.
In the digital age, it’s pivotal to stay ahead of the competitive curve, especially when it comes to search engine optimization. From our telescopes, the Sacramento industry is incredibly saturated – and many businesses are amplifying their SEO strategies. Take a minute and ask yourself: what is your current SEO strategy?
If you are lacking in this department, don’t worry. Our crew has created some quick tips to help stimulate some SEO traction for your website.
1. Valuable Content
First and foremost, get valuable content on your website. If your current website is not informative, packed with valuable content, chances are, your website won’t rank well in the eyes of search engines. Today, valuable content is equally, if not more, important to other SEO tactics and actions. Here’s another quick tip, take the time to look at what your competition is posting on their website. Having some ideas is always helpful in crafting content – just make sure you don’t copy it!
2. Keyword Research
To properly get your website listed on search engines, it’s important to know what your audience is searching for on search engines. Now, there are two primary ways that you can accomplish this. You can either partner with a Sacramento SEO agency or purchase SEO tools, which can be costly. Whatever route your business chooses, having a list of keywords with applicable search volumes and competitive indexes can help in properly optimizing your website.
Black Flag Creative is currently offering 10% off all SEO services and packages. Contact our crew today for more information!
3. Get Social!
If you haven’t heard this before: get on social media as soon as you can! Social media is becoming more and more important when it comes to off-page optimization. It’s one of the easiest things that a business can do to at least jump-start nominal SEO efforts. Create a posting schedule, offer sales and specials, and be consistent on the date and time of your posts. Make sure to include your website link, a phone number, stunning graphics, and make the text catchy, intriguing, and inviting. By combining these, you will start to notice engagements over time.
By this point in our article, we hope you are sailing away with some deeper insights into the SEO industry. As we have pinpointed, the industry is complex and often misunderstood. If you are looking to improve your website and brand’s SEO efforts, Black Flag Creative is currently offering a FREE SEO Audit to any companies that contact our SEO crew members. Let us evaluate your website and showcase how we can jumpstart, improve, or enhance your website’s ranking abilities and search presence.
Earn the loot you deserve by contacting our crew at Black Flag Creative. Let’s Set Sail!