January 1, 2013

How Important is Good SEO for my Business Website?

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ttwd-tentAs a business and website owner you are most likely inundated with companies trying to sell SEO (search engine optimization) services via email and telemarketing. In this post we dissect the two sets of users who are trying to find your business online and summarize the importance of SEO for each case, helping you decide what is right for your business website.

There are two distinct sets of user groups who use search engines like Google to find out more about you and your business. As a business owner it’s important that your website places well in Google for searches performed by both user groups in order to retain current clients and to capture new business leads and sales.

The first user group is those people who already have some familiarity with you and your business. Maybe they have been referred by a happy client, have seen your company’s advertisements around town, or have driven by your storefront location. These users are motivated to find your business specifically and may not even be interested in your competitors. They will perform multiple searches in Google until they can locate the information they are looking for which is typically your business website. They will typically use some combination of your name, business name, location, and business type when searching Google. In order for this user group to find your business online, a clean and professional website with basic SEO including proper meta tags, well written content, sitemap, and search engine submission is sufficient.

The second user group is those who are looking for products and services that your company provides but are not sure from where to purchase them. This user group provides your business with the highest potential for new business revenue. This user group will use typically use a combination of terms including service or product type and maybe a location designation (e.g. Santa Cruz web design) when searching Google. Most importantly this group will most likely only perform one search before finding the information they are after. In this case your website will be competing for first page placement with all other local (and sometimes national business’s) who do what you do and competition can be fierce.

In this case, depending on your industry competition, your website will need to employ a much broader SEO strategy. Just like in our first example, your website should present itself in a clean and professional manner and include proper meta tags, well written content, sitemap, and search engine submission. In addition to these fundamentals, strategies for website cross linking, proper use of heading tags and special on-page HTML markups, social media integration (including review sites such as Yelp), and business listing pages (e.g. City Search) should be developed. It is also very important to add a consistent stream of new relevant content to your business website using terms that your potential new clients use when searching Google.

Search engine optimization plays an important role in helping your website get found by the two user groups we have discussed here. If you have questions about how to help your business compete in the online marketplace, contact Tree Top Web Design. We would be happy to help guide you in sorting out fact from fiction in developing an SEO strategy for your small businesses.

Ross McClenahan

Ross McClenahan is co-owner and Lead Developer at Tree Top Web Design, a Santa Cruz Web Design firm.

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