Out of all of the services we offer at Cloud9 Marketing, SEO certainly has the most confusion surrounding it. Not only do many of our clients not completely understand what it encompasses, but they often have unrealistic expectations on how quickly it works. Properly implemented SEO will help a website rank well on search engines, with everybody’s goal being that coveted first page spot. Results for SEO aren’t overnight, and it’s important for businesses to realize that its an ongoing process. Here are the top questions we get from small businesses about SEO.

#1 What is SEO?

SEO stands for search engine optimization. In short, it’s how websites get found online with the common number one goal; to be displayed on the first page of the search engine results page. Keyword research, content marketing, back-linking and user experience are all aspects of SEO, but none will be completely effective without the other facets.

SEO is probably the most complicated aspect of online marketing. Involving so many layers and disciplines, some of which can only be properly employed by techy types with knowledge of web design and HTML.  With every business wanting more organic traffic, SEO is the way to get it. Of course you can pay to get traffic to your site, but organic Google rankings convey authority and trust, and SEO is how businesses get there.

#2 Should we pay for SEO in our business?

Although every online business could use SEO, not every business should allocate marketing budget to this area. In some cases, small businesses simply do not have the budget to compete with competitors for the top spots on search engines.

Businesses looking for immediate results will not benefit from SEO as SEO strategies take time (three months minimum for any impact). For small businesses operating in a competitive online space, who don’t have the budget to compete with online titans or who are seeking immediate results should opt for paid advertising, or other online marketing methods instead.

#3 What services does an SEO company provide?

Some SEO companies provide the gamut of SEO services while others focus on specific areas such as content creation, on-page optimization or link building. Having an audit done of your website is the first step to establishing your SEO needs.

Once you know what you’re dealing with, and understand the market in which you are competing, you can decide if and which SEO company can help you reach your goals. You may need someone who can cover every aspect of SEO from the technical to the content, to the links and authority; or you may simply need someone who can make some changes to the back-end of your website so it’s more search engine and user friendly.

#4 Can we do SEO ourselves?

There are some things businesses can do themselves to help optimize their website. Installing an SEO plugin such as Yoast can help ensure pages and posts are properly optimized for search engines using meta descriptions, title tags and focus key words. Blogging is an excellent way to increase organic page rank and can be done internally. By using popular key words for your business and industry you can generate more rankings for specific search terms. There are also a handful of free and cheap tools online that allow businesses to check their SEO status;, Ahrefs and Google Keyword planner are some excellent places to start.

#5 Why aren’t we getting instant results?

As a marketing agency that provides SEO services we are constantly abating client concerns about the lack of overnight results. It takes a minimum of three months for SEO results to flow in, and this can be even longer for websites that have had particularly poor performance or in ultra competitive market places. Patience with SEO is key. Understanding that SEO is a long game not an overnight miracle worker will help set realistic expectations when trying to improve your businesses SEO.

If you’re looking to rank on the first page of google and up your organic game on search engines, we can help. Cloud9 Marketing offers free SEO audits at no obligation.