Straight Talk About SEO

Search engine optimization is what we do to get you into the top spots on the search engines. It's the big deal for most SEO companies, and on top of that, most of the general public, as well as most professional SEO's think it's the best source of website traffic on the web. So let's break this apart so you have a good understanding of what SEO is, and what it is not.

Search engine optimization will get you the good ranking for keywords that are relevant to your site, and if those keywords are typically typed into the search engine's search box by people who want to buy what you offer, then good for you. SEO helps the search engines figure out what people to send to your site. The better SEO you do, the better targeted and more visitors you get to you website, and the more likely you are to sell them something.

What it will not do, no matter how hard you try, is make the sale for you. Your website does that. Also, no matter how much SEO you do, or hire done, you cannot keep your top spot once you stop. The internet is always changing, the search engines are always getting better, and there is just too much competition in most markets for it to be realistic that you can do nothing once you get to the top, so what you pay for SEO should fit nicely into your marketing budget and the traffic you get from the SEO you do should pay for itself.

Here's what most SEO companies aren't going to tell you, that we've been telling our clients for years. If you do great SEO but don't give the visitors what they're looking for on your website, not only are you wasting your money, but you're also working against yourself and you'll pay for it in the future. For years now Google has been keeping track of how satisfied the searchers are with the sites Google serves them, and if you don't give the visitors what they want, Google knows and will move your site down in the rankings. That means you're actually paying for SEO services that aren't helping, when you should be paying for web design services that would help you serve your potential customers better and make your business run more smoothly.

Why Do Search Engine Optimization?

The internet is made up of over 346,004,403 websites comprising over 20,000,000,000,000 (that's 20 trillion) web pages. That's over 15,000,000 terabytes of information. Google, the most popular search engine only has 200 terabytes of the internet indexed, that's less than half a percent of everything out there. Finding your website would be like trying to find Carmen SanDiego, somewhere in the eastern half of the United States with no clues. You're 7 times more likely to win the state lottery than you are to find that one website, so if you havn't won the jackpot in a state lottery...

Now to further complicate matters there are 3 main search engines, not just one. And each of them have different criteria they use to rank pages. Getting your website ranked well on each of the search engines takes a good bit of work.

And finally the most important part, being what people are looking for. It doesn't matter how high you get on the search engines if people "bounce" back to the search engine in seconds because you weren't what they were searching for. The search engines keep track of that and you'll lose your ranking to someone who does a better job of showing that visitor what they wanted. In a nutshell, this part is 50% content and 50% presentation and delivery. The key is to engage your visitors so that they know you've got what they want and you'll make it easy for them to get it.

Before You Hire An SEO Company

You should know what you're in for. SEO is the one area of internet marketing where the cute and cuddly idea of online sales gets fiercly competitive, the landscape changes rapidly, and fluctuations in it can bring businesses to their knees. Think about this for a moment. If 7 days from now you went from where your business currently is, to getting over 80,000 orders a month, could you handle it? What if you went from where you are now to zero orders per month? Or worse, 80,000 orders per month to zero orders per month? What if you did $200,000.00 in orders next month but couldn't collect the payment for them for 9 months because your credit card processing company held your funds, but you still had to ship the product? When it comes to SEO, you need to work hand in hand with the company you choose so that you can meet your business objectives without the pitfalls that ruin businesses.

Before You Start Doing Search Engine Optimization

You should know what you're getting for your money. Most SEO companies will tell you that they can't guarantee results, and while that is true, they don't tell you that you could end up spending thousands of dollars per month and never make a dime from it. At Insight, we believe in accountable marketing. That means we can tell you what you can expect in dollars and cents before we ever take a dime of your money for SEO. Isn't that the kind of knowledge you pay a professional for?

Where SEO Starts - On Page Optimization

All SEO starts with your website. It may need a remodel, a complete re-design, or you may be one of the few fortunate businesses that put so much forethought into your web presence that it just needs a few touches here and there. When your website is well organized, has good navigation, and is easy to use and find what you want on, it's halfway done. There's a lot of behind the scenes stuff that goes into SEO to make it easy for the search engines to know what your site is all about. The hardest part for most people to grasp about SEO is that you can do everything right presentation wise, and still not get the top spots because the behind the scenes stuff isn't right. Also, if your competitors are doing "black hat" SEO, where they're manipulating the system with stuff that could get them banned, the game gets even tougher.

Our search engine optimizers have experience in many different markets and have accomplished feats of SEO like getting clients ranked for their competitor's name without ever mentioning it on the client's site. We've even had some run in's with manufacturers who didn't appreciate their distributors getting higher ranking on the search engines than they had for their own brand name, all of which were settled amicably. Please understand we don't bring these things up to brag about how great we are, but so that you know the kinds of problems we're capable of solving for our clients. For our SEO's, more challenging is more fun, and makes success all the more enjoyable. If you're in a very competitive market, we should be your choice.

The Flipside - Off Page Optimization

SEO starts with your website, and continues with off page optimation. This is the side of SEO that never ends. On the internet, most of your "credibility" comes from your relationships with other websites. The more your website is mentioned by other websites the more "popular" you are, and the more authority your website has. The more popular your website is, the more the search engines like it. There are several things that pass credibility from other sites to your site, the biggest of which is inbound links. When other sites link to your site, they're telling their visitors that your site is a good site to go to, and that makes you look even better to the search engnines. Directory sites, article sites, news sites, fan sites, blog sites, forums, and others are all popular places to promote your website with, and most SEO companies spend a lot of time getting links for you from those kinds of sites. The reason that off page optimization never ends is because all of those sites are owned by other people and are outside of our control. They can change their content at any time, and there's nothing we can do about it.

Multiple Domain Strategies

Years ago the major players in the most competitive markets started seeing that if they controled those other sites, they could build a competitive advantage over time that would make it very difficult for new players to enter their markets, so they started using several and in some markets dozens and hundreds of websites to market their products. In the home mortgage market one of the biggest companies has almost 1000 different websites making it nearly impossible for newer mortgage brokers to break in. We always recommend building your online presence in such a way that over time you make it harder and harder for your competitors to take your market share. If you don't build up a competitive advantage in your marketplace, you can lose everything you have built up online in 6 months to a year.