It is likely that you have heard of or tried search engine optimization (SEO), the process of getting your website to rank well in the search engines for queries related to your products/services. What you may not know is whether you can actually do SEO yourself.
Some people, mostly SEOs themselves, describe the service as the equivalent to hiring an accountant or attorney. In fact, most SEOs charge $76-$200/hour and charge between $1,000-$7,500 per project or as much as $5,000 for a monthly retainer.
SEO is a highly specialized skilled but is a skill that can be learned. Here’s some considerations for those entrepreneurs wondering whether they can save money on outsourcing this vital cost.
SEO is very time-consuming because much of it involves getting the search engines to trust your website. As Google, the most popular search engine, uses about 200 algorithms to determine how you rank for various searches, you’ll spend a great deal of time reverse-engineering these algorithms to determine the best approach to gain some traffic share.
Google and other search engines index all the webpages on the internet sort of like a library indexes all the books in its system. The search engine “robots” crawl through your site and “read” your content, using it as a major factor in your ability to rank. Because real people will also be reading your content, you’ll need to learn how to appeal to both search engines and people.
It’s good to know that a substantial correlation study revealed that the average content length of the top 10 search engine results was over 2,000 words per page.
Once you create good articles, blogs or visuals, you’ll want to actually get some eyeballs on them. If you spend time reaching out to other people in your industry – and especially those influential people with large social media following – you’ll have a great chance of getting more traffic to your website. The idea is to have a big social network yourself and have people with a large social network share links to your content on their networks.
Correlation studies of top ranking sites reveal that backlinks are amongst the most important ranking factor for SEO. The sheer number of backlinks, the quality and relevancy of the pages they come from, and the words used in the hyperlink text to link to your site are all important factors that will contribute to increased ranking.
Then there is the fact that Google became the world’s most popular search engine because it greatly bases its ranking criteria off of following links from site-to-site.
At the end of the day no amount of SEO can help save a bad product, service or business model. SEO helps people who are looking for your products or services – through searches – find you. If they don’t like what you’re selling them it might not be an SEO issue but a business issue!