If you were under the impression that Search Engine Optimization (SEO) might be losing its luster, guess again. According to Craig Petronella, founder the CEO of Petronella Marketing, SEO is the “oxygen in the room for a business. If a business doesn’t market, they don’t get business and don’t survive.”
Using the right SEO keywords is imperative for achieving a high Google ranking. Knowing that, Google changes its algorithms every four to six weeks, making it difficult to determine which words might accomplish a marketer’s aim. That’s a big reason Petronella says small business owners would be wise to hire experts to wrangle with the complex world of online marketing.
“There are several ranking factors for SEO so you might as well get the most juice out of the orange,” he says.
Data recently released by Net Market Share proves the gravity of a high Google ranking. Google crushed all other search engines, averaging a net share of nearly 75 percent of all keyword searches. Its closest competitor captured around 15 percent. The number of daily searches on Google worldwide averages 3.5 billion, translating into 1.2 trillion searches globally on an annual basis.
As with anything, there are best practices when it comes to promoting goods or services online using SEO.
According to Petronella, title tags on each web page are complex. They cannot be very long; no more than two to three keywords, he says. Moreover, descriptions about what the page contains should not be longer than two to three sentences.
Meanwhile, there are three types of SEO. They are:
Pay-per-click (also known as Google Adwords)
Organic keywords are utilized to attract free traffic to a web site when a user employs SEO for their online search. In contrast, pay-per-click (PPC) keywords are actually bid on through paid search marketing campaigns. Those engaging in PPC keywords actually bid to own a particular word, but, according to Petronella, the price “changes in real time.” The highest bidder at any particular moment gets rewarded by achieving the pre-eminent Google ranking, but that changes by the minute.
Another important Google and SEO reality is that Google rewards web sites that are both mobile-ready and optimized to be responsive with lower priced bids. Ensuring a site is mobile-ready is imperative because more than half of all online searches are begun on a smartphone. And, with more than 80 percent of all telephones being of the smart variety, it is critical a site be optimized for them.
According to Tom Murzenski, chief technologist at Impel.Digital, a mobile-friendly website “is sized to fit on a mobile screen without horizontal scrolling, the text is easy to read, images are the right size and the site is easy to navigate by touch.” Offering a mobile-ready website offers users “a first class experience for visitors coming from mobile devices,” he says.
A responsive web site recognizes codes so a web site adapts to the device being used by the visitor.
If an entrepreneur decides to hire an expert to improve their web site’s SEO and Google ranking, Petronella advises against falling for the first marketer promising a high Google ranking.
Verify the SEO company’s claims by asking three to five of their clients how the online marketer helped them, says Petronella. “Work with a reputable company with references and a proven reputation.”
Tami Kamin Meyer is an Ohio attorney and writer who tweets as @girlwithapen.