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You probably know you need SEO but you might not know enough about it to feel comfortable formulating a strategy and hiring a company to help you with it. Here is a guide to get you started.


SEO, search engine optimization, is a way to help get your business more visibility online. When people use a search engine, such as Google, to look for the products or services that you offer, you want your business to show up at or near the top of the results page. Search engines want to present the most relevant results to their users and SEO is a way for you to signal the search engines that you are the most relevant option when someone searches for what your business does.


Unless your business is SEO, you’re probably going to hire someone else to do it for you. Just like buying a car, though, you’ll want to know a few things before doing business with someone for SEO. You’ll want to know if you can trust the company to deliver the results it says it can. Look for online ratings and reviews from other people who have used the SEO company to determine what their experience was. You can also ask the company you’re thinking of hiring to let you contact other clients to talk about their experience.


You’ll also want to understand some basic terminology so that you can have a meaningful conversation with the companies you’re considering hiring and know that you will get what you want. Here are some terms you’ll want to understand so that you can pick the right SEO strategy and the right company to help you implement it.

  • Keywords - Keywords are what people type into search engines to find what they’re looking for. They can be single words or longer phrases and they are the topics and ideas that define what your content is about. Keywords are important for SEO because they tell search engines about the content of your webpage and they are part of what drives traffic to your web pages and websites.
  • Backlinks - Backlinks, sometimes called inbound links or incoming links, are when one website links to another one. Backlinks are important for SEO because to a search engine they represent a vote of confidence from one website to another. If a lot of sites link to your webpage or website, search engines will think that your content is worth linking to and also worth presenting as a result to people when they search. 
  • Page Speed - Page speed is the amount of time it takes for the content of a webpage to load. Page speed is important to SEO because it is important to user experience. Faster pages are more efficient and provide a better on-page user experience. Pages with a longer load time tend to have higher bounce rates and lower average time on page, which are bad. Search engines want their users to have good user experiences so that they keep using the search engine.
  • Page Rank - Page rank is where a page shows up on the results page when someone does an online search. Page rank is important for SEO because it’s one of the factors that search engines use to determine which results show up at the top of the results page, and can be easily seen when someone does a search. The better your page rank, the more likely you are to be seen when someone searches for the products or services that you offer.
  • Domain Authority - Domain authority is a way to tell how well your website should rank using a scale from 0 to 100. Domain authority predicts how likely your domain is to appear in search results compared to your competition. Google doesn’t use domain authority as a factor when deciding how to rank your website, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t important. It’s a good indicator to help you assess how your website will perform versus the websites of your competitors.

The benefits of SEO for your small business include more web traffic, consistent web traffic, and free, or organic, web traffic. Beyond implementing your SEO strategy, you’ll want to track your results to see how your strategy is working. You can either do this yourself or hire a professional to do it for you using tools such as Google Analytics.  

If you want to know more about SEO, you can read our article, “How To Hire An SEO Company”, or contact us.

Tags: SEO, ABCs

Geoff Strauss

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