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Organic SEO

In spite of all of the hype surrounding social media websites, search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing, and others continue to be the best sources of the best kinds of traffic to any website for two reasons:

  • The volume of searches that people carry out every month continues to rise dramatically as data on search volumes for December 2009show:
    • US – 22.7 billion searches (up 22% over the previous year)
    • United Kingdom – 6.2 billion searches (up 35% over the previous year)
    • Canada – 3.7 billion searches (up 28% over the previous year)
    • Total global search volume – 131 billion (up 46% over the previous year)
  • People who use search engines have a high propensity to take action – e.g., download a report, request more information, subscribe to a newsletter,  visit a store, buy something online –due mostly to the fact that when people are searching because their needs for information, answers, and solutions are at peak levels

Search engines have the power to put your website directly in front of millions of people at the precise moment in time when they are in need and are most likely to take action.

SEO is a Gift the Keeps on Giving

Of course, in order for your website to attract any of that highly targeted search engine traffic, it has to be highly visible to the search engines. And high visibility means that you’ve got to take care of the fundamentals – several of the more important of which are:

  • Identifying the right keywords to target for a local business – those that have a worthwhile monthly search volume and that are not so competitive you’ve got no hope of achieving a top ranking
  • Analyzing top-ranking websites of the businesses you compete against locally andmodeling the best parts of their SEO strategy
  • Using your keywords in all of the key positions on the pages that make up your website – title tag, URL, header, image alt text, and so forth – as well as in the anchor text of the links on the websites that link to yours
  • Ensuring a consistent site architecture that is both user-friendly and search engine-friendly
  • Deploying different linking strategies between the pages of your website and between your website and others that are like it

And although there is a wealth of free information available online that is intended to help you boost your rankings for your target  keywords, the reality is that the SEO process is so complex that you need to engage an experienced SEO consultant like myself if you hope to see any of your content ranking at or near the top of the first page of search results, which is where approximately 90% of clicks come from.

The Best of the Worst Often Make it to the Top

Although search engines generally do a great job of ranking search results – they scan their indexes to find, rank, and display search results in descending order of relevance to the keywords people use – they can only work with what they’ve got in their search indexes.

And the reality is that a lot of what they’ve got in their indexes isn’t really very good in terms of SEO – in fact, a lot of it is downright awful – because the vast majority of websites have been exposed to little or no SEO effort whatsoever.

This means that, more often than not, results that rank at the top of Google and other search engines rank where they do more by default than by design. They are, in a sense, simply the best of the worst.

And the situation is even worse at the local business level, where if a business owner even has a website (and, in the case of small businesses, that’s only about 50%), it is virtually guaranteed that there has been no SEO effort on it whatsoever.

This means there is a huge opportunity for you to dominate the search engines for your target keywords simply by making an effort to optimize your website for the search engines.