SEO is short for Search Engine Optimization. It refers to the process of optimizing the code and other factors related to a website for best placement in search results. The goal of successful SEO is to generate more visitors to your website through organic search results. The alternative to organic clicks is paid clicks, which can be quite expensive, so SEO is normally a more economical option.
We recently visited with a business that had been working with another provider for their SEO. After doing a basic evaluation of their site, it became obvious that none of the normal "first steps" in SEO had been performed.
Since SEO is a service that is difficult for most business owners to understand, it is even more important that you work with a reputable firm that can show you documented results from the work that is performed (see our Snake Oil Marketing Services blog post).
The first step in successful SEO is to identify a list of search terms that your site should be listed under in search results. It is very difficult for a single webpage to rank well for more than a small number of search terms (2 or 3) so product or service specific pages should be used and optimized for specific areas of your business.
Once you have identified your keywords, you should make sure that your website very clearly talks about those keywords. The actual keywords should appear multiple times in the text of the page as well as be in the description of the page, the page title, image file names used on the page, etc. Search engines want to give their users relevant results so why would they list your page under "Widgets" if the page doesn't talk about widgets? By making sure your keywords are used well, you will have a good start on improving your search results.
While Google's actual algorithm for ranking sites is "top secret," it is generally accepted that there are over 200 factors that are taken into consideration. Once your keywords are determined and properly placed on your site, it's time to start work on those other 200 factors. You can use our SEO Audit Tool to check your current status for some of these. There are plenty of blog posts that explain more about the other ranking factors so we won't go into detail here except to say that we are ready and available to help. Just get in touch.