What is SEO and Why Does it Matter?

Do you know how many of your customers found you online? How much of your business came from a search engine? In the contemporary work world, pretty much every type or size of business imaginable needs to have some kind of web presence. The more visible your company is on the internet, the easier you'll be to find. The easier you are to find, the more customers will come to your website.

But how do make sure customers can find your services when they go looking? Search Engine Optimization. Every business, no matter how big or small, should have some understanding of SEO practices if they want to remain competitive in the online marketplace. If you want to get business, your customers have to know you exist. Here's a beginner's primer on what SEO is and why you should care about it.

What is 'SEO'?

Whenever you search for something on the internet, the search engine you use applies the keywords you searched for to their algorithm. The purpose of a search engine's algorithm is to find websites that are relevant to what you searched for and put them in front of you. If you looked up "office technology supply company red wing" on Google, for instance, you'd probably see this page pretty close to the top. That's because, as an office technology supply company with a local branch in Red Wing, we'd be very relevant to anyone searching for those keywords.

Even if your business is highly relevant to the searcher, however, it won't show up if your site doesn't make the case that you're relevant. That's what SEO does. The reason our Red Wing page showed up in the example search is because that page does a good job of explaining why a prospective searcher would want to end up on that page. We did this by including words we thought customers would search for and speaking directly to that customer with unique, clear copy that was actually written by a human being.

The search engine sees this information and considers it relevant, so it puts our page high on the search results list. Hopefully, a person looking for a local office technology supplier in Red Wing would search for some of those terms, find us, click the page, and get the info they need to contact us. Not only does the page have all that, it also explains who we are and what we do, along with links leading to our relevant services. Whoever wrote that page must really know what they're doing!

Why Does It Matter?

Think of SEO as a type of advertising. No matter how good your businesses' services are, you won't get much business if no one knows you exist. If you want to attract customers, you need your customers to be able to find you. What do you do when you need to find something? No matter what it is you're looking for, you probably google it, right? Good SEO practices will help make sure that when a potential customer goes looking for a service you can provide, they can easily find your business, learn what they need to about what you do, and contact you.

As internet business becomes more robust, search engines have to continuously improve upon their search algorithms to maintain a competitive advantage. Big search engine companies constantly refine their algorithms with the goals of making sure only the most truly relevant sites appear in searches. By keeping up with your SEO practices, you can make sure your site ranks as one of the most relevant in your industry. Remember: the more you show up, the more business you'll bring in.

How Can I Improve Mine?

There are a lot of ways to improve your SEO. A lot of companies make the mistake of learning about SEO and then deciding to take shortcuts. Instead of designing a good site with helpful, clear content that will be legitimately relevant to a prospective customer, some companies design their site to essentially trick search engines into listing them high up. Techniques that attempt to trick search engines are known as "Black Hat" SEO. Luckily, Black Hat SEO has become less effective as search engines become more advanced.

The better way to improve your SEO is simply to design your website with the customer in mind. Think about what a customer looking for your services would search for. Think about the kind of information and tone that would draw them to your site. Once they're on your site, think about how you could "pitch" your services to them, to convince them that you're the right choice for their business.

Focus on what you do best, make sure your customers understand why you do that best, and convince them that they should choose your services. If you design your site with these guidelines in mind, search engines will take notice, and you'll see your page visits steadily increase. SEO that actually tries to help the consumer is called "White Hat SEO." It's what we use, and it's working out so far. You're reading this, after all!

All this talk of core competencies and helping the consumer reminds us: if you're looking for an office supply company that gets to know your business and actually wants to help you succeed, consider getting in touch with Coordinated Business Systems. Our full-service office management offers the best technology, the most attentive customer service, and answers to any questions you'll have. See what we're doing here? We're helping you with our SEO. Next level stuff like this is the kind of hustle you want in a partner, so call today!