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Study Part 4- Explaining SEO

In this article, we are going to focus on Search Engine Optimization (SEO), or how to rank high in Search Engines.


Manny MandrusiakManny Mandrusiak CD.
Vocational Rehabilitation Consultant
Vancouver Island Works Project

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Welcome to Part Four of our online case study where we redesign an electric contractor’s website so that it can start working at getting him more clients.

What is SEO?

In Part 3 of this five-part case study, we talked about the value of selecting good images.  In this article, we are going to focus on Search Engine Optimization (SEO), or how to rank high in Search Engines.

It is a fact that most of us under 65 will turn to our smartphones to search for an answer to a problem or question that we have.  The way that we type a question into a search engine is the first step that SEO experts look at when they are optimizing webpages. 

When I say optimizing webpages what I’m actually talking about is adjusting the content of a webpage to reflect a keyword and key phrase that people will search for.

Example: I will not want to spend a lot of time trying to compete to rank for a broad term like “electrical contractors.” What I will do is look at ranking for more specific terms such as “electrical home renovations,” “electrical upgrading” or electric car EV station installation.” These are usually followed by a specific city and or province / state.

The process above is called Organic SEO.  It is a way to organically get search engines to rank your website without committing tons of money in fees to an agency.  Typically referred to as part of long tail marketing, organic SEO takes more time to be effective but generally yields better results for the client.

Paid Services

Anyone who has been in business for more than a month has probably received a call from Yelp, the Yellow Pages, or another company offering to increase your search engine rankings and make your website #1 in searches.

The truth is that no one can ultimately guarantee a number one organic ranking with any degree of certainty as algorithms are constantly changing.  The typical guarantee is that an agency will be able to get you on the first page of Google quickly, but it will cost you money. 

For services like Yelp and Yellow Pages, this comes in the form of a monthly fee with a possible year commitment.  I provide these types of services to start-ups or businesses with a good reserve of liquid cash as they can be expensive.  If you are running a business on a budget, then you really need to consider if a $300.00-dollar investment to advertise on Yelp is worth the possible return.  My general rule is that you should see three times your investment back in sales every month for the advertising investment to be worth it.

If you are going with an SEO firm, it is buyer beware time.  Most companies are pretty honest and will explain your rankings and results, but there are those out there that just take your money and run. Make sure that you are getting what you paid for.  I know a company that paid an SEO company in Vancouver, BC, Canada $2,000.00 to improve their search engine rankings and never actually logged into their website once.  They simply said that it could not be improved and kept the money.  This is not typical, but it does happen.

Content

Part of a good SEO strategy is to have good content on your website.  By good content, I mean content that speaks to what the reader actually needs.  I use the rule of 3 (if anyone reading this article sees a pattern I like to use the number three in most of my business practices). 

My rule of three means that someone coming to my website should be able to find exactly what they need in only three clicks of a mouse. 

My Rule of 3 Clicks

1.    The end users found me through a search engine and clicks to come to my website.
2.    Navigation is easy to use, and the content is clear so that they see what they want. Click 2.
3.    The content tells the end user that they are in the right place and the 3rd click is to call or email me for a quote, or more information.

That’s it for Part 4 of our online case study.  The tips that I gave above are some simple ways to improve SEO when working with an agency.  It’s always better to be informed when walking into an SEO company so that you understand a little about the process.  After all, it is your business and your hard-earned cash. You need to invest it wisely, starting small, and let it work for your website over time. 

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