The Internet has become such an integrated part of life that it has an enormous influence in the marketplace as well. Gone are the days where customers used a phone book or a neighbor’s recommendation to find local businesses to patronize. In some industries, the majority of business transactions are now being conducted online, so there really isn’t any such thing as a “local” market anymore. No matter what industry your business is a part of, you need to have an Internet presence to be successful.
People use the Internet to find and research businesses of all types. The basic rule according to customers is that if a business doesn’t have a web presence it may as well not exist. And websites aren’t just for online retailers anymore. A business in any industry needs to be findable through an Internet search. For example, a person looking for a lawn care service is most likely going to use an Internet search to find and research the local options. Even if you own the best lawn care service in town, that person will never know about it unless you have a website, even if it is just a single page with your name and contact information.
How Search Results Affect your Business
Once you have created a website for your business, you need to make sure that potential customers see it. An Internet search engine returns hundreds of results for just about any query, and no one is going to go through multiple pages of results to check out all the options. In fact, many people don’t even look entirely through the first page of results. Therefore, it is crucial that your business lands near the top of any search results in your industry.
The easiest way to ensure top billing in a list of search results is to pay for advertising. If you use any search engine to perform a web search, you’ll see several highlighted listings at the top of the list of returns. These are businesses that have paid the search engine to feature their business at the top of the list. It’s basically like advertising through a search engine, instead of in a magazine or on a billboard. However, it can be quite expensive to advertise this way. Many businesses don’t have the desire or resources to pay for search engine advertising, so they need to find another way to end up near the top of the list.
How Does SEO Work?
This is where Search Engine Optimization (SEO), which is a strategy for Internet marketing, comes into play. The term SEO basically refers to any method that affects a website’s visibility in the list of non-advertising results. There are several different methods within the SEO arena, and some of them are even guarded as propriety algorithms by SEO marketing companies. But in general, SEO companies use information about how the search process works in order to design an optimization strategy for each individual client.
If you decide SEO is the right Internet marketing strategy for your business, you’ll need to hire a professional SEO provider. Because SEO is such a complex process, many companies differ slightly in how they create SEO strategies. Some SEO strategies focus on the target audience for your business and try to determine what terms that audiences generally use to search. Those terms are categorized as keywords, and then the SEO company customizes your business’ web content based on those keywords. This is just one aspect of SEO strategy, and most companies use multiple variations on this idea.
Why you Need a Professional Company
SEO is a highly complex and specialized branch of Internet marketing. It’s not something amateurs can generally perform successfully, and most businesses find it’s best to hire a professional SEO firm. Because the Internet is a global entity, there are SEO firms all around the world. They are especially prominent in places considered economic hubs, such as large cities in the United States, Europe, and the Middle East. While it’s not absolutely necessary to work with an SEO company in your local area, it may be beneficial to your business, especially if your industry is localized. For example, if you run a business in the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.), you may want to work with a provider in Dubai. You can improve your company’s Internet marketing through SEO in Dubai from Flare, a local company with years of experience.
When you are hiring a company to provide your business with SEO services, you should be aware that there are two basic types of SEO activities: white-hat and black-hat. White-hat providers use SEO methods that are approved by search engines. Essentially, white-hat techniques fall within search engine guidelines and are not deceptive. In other words, white-hat SEO involves valid content created for customers, not merely to manipulate a search engine. Black-hat techniques, on the other hand, use deceptive methods to improve rankings. Some black-hat practices involve hidden text (i.e. text only seen by the search engine, not human users) or “cloaking” which is when a site returns a different page to humans than it does to a search engine. These techniques are not allowed by search engines and may result in the website being penalized. It’s best to hire a company that uses white-hat SEO techniques.
One of the most popular white-hat techniques involves link-building through blogger outreach. In this scenario, the SEO provider forms relationships with dozens of highly influential bloggers in niche markets related to your business. Then the SEO company provides those bloggers with content geared towards keywords devised to help your business. The content is then featured on the blogger’s site, which gives your business contextual backlinks in well-written, high-quality posts.
It’s extremely important to maximize your company’s visibility on the Internet. One of the best ways to do this is through SEO techniques that help your business climb to the top of the search results. If you want to put an SEO strategy to work for your business, hiring a professional SEO company is the way to go. You can rely on highly-trained professionals to dramatically improve your site’s ranking while you focus on running your business.
Austin K is an blogger and influencer outreach expert at Megri Blogger Outreach Services in New York and London. He writes about the latest developments in digital marketing and focuses his efforts on innovating customized blogger outreach plans for brands, business and startups depending on the industry and competition.