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Kate Gingold
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SEO for the Common Man

This article was updated on 3/6/2019 with the article entitled "Getting Started with Do-It-Yourself SEO."

We attended the Search Engine Strategies show in Chicago earlier this month and in talking with the vendors there, realized that Big Business is no longer the main target. That observation is backed up by the proliferation of marketing via email, direct mail and telemarketer promising "first page of Google" results to every mom-and-pop business.

You no doubt use search engines yourself, so you know SEO is important for EVERYONE with a website. Below are just a few things people are looking to do online:

  • Buy product from a store
  • Get guidance and referrals from a government agency
  • Make an appointment with a service business
  • Ask for help from a not-for-profit or make a donation
  • Find advice from an expert
  • Confirm details for a community event

Why wouldn't you make it easy for visitors to find what they need? But don't sign up with that telemarketer just yet. Educating yourself on SEO will help you make wiser decisions. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • While there are hundreds of search engines, Google is still number one by a wide margin.
  • A Search Term can be a single word like "Pizza" or a phrase like "Deep Dish Pizza."
  • Geographical words make great Search Terms, like "Naperville Pizza."
  • Some Search Terms are so desirable it will be difficult and/or expensive to rank highly for them.
  • Individual computers personalize searches on the fly. What ranks highest on my computer won't rank the same on yours, even for the same Search Term.
  • Older websites with longevity rank higher than newly-launched websites.

Search engines exist to spit out the best possible results to a visitor's query so your goal is to figure out what the visitor is asking for and be that best possible result. Keeping that in mind, the first steps to optimizing your site include:

  • Researching and choosing the best Search Terms.
  • Using those Search Terms in your site's content.
  • Bolstering your site's association with those Search Terms everywhere possible.

Next time we'll provide details on how to make the most of those Search Terms if you're looking to do your own SEO. But even if you hire a specialist, knowing a little bit more about SEO will help you weed out the inept and the unethical. Contact us today if you have questions. We're happy to help!

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Kate Gingold

Kate GingoldKate Gingold

I have been writing a blog with web marketing tips and techniques every other week since 2003. In addition to blogging and client content writing, I write books and a blog on local history.

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I have been writing a blog with web marketing tips and techniques every other week since 2003. In addition to blogging and client content writing, I write books and a blog on local history.

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