We're often asked, is Search Engine Optimization (SEO) worth the investment? The answer is often, "No." Now before you run screaming from the room, let me explain. SEO ranking has huge benefits, but only if it is done properly. There are many parts to a comprehensive organic SEO plan. Here are just a few.
- On-Page SEO: Building your site, or content management system theming, so that it has the potential to rank well at the search engines. There are many on-page factors that should have been considered by your website designers, such as text usage and it's above the fold placement, emphasis on key terms, headers and word counts. Test your site with a free site audit.
- Page Speed: Believe it or not the time it takes your page to load is a very important factor. Indexers like GoogleBot value their time so if your page takes twice as long to load as your competition, they will put less importance to it's indexing and ranking. Sites should load within 2 machine time seconds. Sites taking more will rank lower, every time. So make sure you have powerful SEO Web Hosting to improve ranking. Test your site with WebPageTest, or Google Page Speed.
- Security: Quite simply, is your site communication encrypted, and is the site itself free of malware and viruses. Google will detect these vulnerabilities and remove you from the index all together so that their search engine users don't infect their computers. Test your site SSL and Security.
- Fresh Content: Search engines get bored if they don't have new pages to eat up. Write new content for your site and inner link it to relevant pages throughout your site. Search engine like to see several internal linkages, and 1-2 external linkages if they are done properly. Otherwise you just pass your link juice off to the sites linked to reducing your page score.
- Quality Backlinks: Whatever you do, don't respond to those emails offering you backlinks for under $50. There is no such thing as quality backlinks for that cheap. This is normally done by a $20 piece of software. At least they met their return on investment right? No, back-linking needs to be done from content relevant sites with a high page rank score and it has to be done the correct way. Google knows what sites to expect spam to come from, and they WILL penalize you for those negative spammy backlinks.
- Patience: When we only had a few million sites on the Internet, indexing was speedy and done quickly. However, that isn't the online world we live in anymore. Step 1, follow the above steps. Step 2, you wait patiently. Keep building content and keep pushing for your search engine indexing. Make sure that your sitemaps are submitted, then re-submitted every 30 days. You can expect to invest about 10 hours a month on a good SEO service and plan, and you can expect to only see gradual results. You will not often see a page jump to #1 within 60 days unless you have no competition. Remember your competitors are paying an SEO to improve their ranking placements too. Track your ranking and improve on those key phrases that aren't moving up at all after 60 days. Then patiently wait for the rank brains to hit you with their algorithms.
So I hope the answer now makes a little more sense. If you have not taken care in providing at least these few top requirements for SEO, then yes you are wasting your money. I'm taking the time to write this article today, because we see a LOT of Myrtle Beach SEO customers wasting their money spending several thousands annually and not even ranking on the first page. In critiquing these sites I notice there is no SSL encryption, time to first byte load times of over 3.5 seconds, lack of page rendering for up to 5 seconds, and bad on-page SEO probably due to the designers not even designing for it.
Fixes to Help Get Your Money's Worth
- Improve page speed through secure and SEO friendly web hosting. This will reduce your page load time and ensure you are not on a hosting provider that is blocked by Google/Bing/Yahoo policies. Expect to shave 1 second from page load times.
- On-page SEO provided with all web design quotes. What's the sense in having a site if nobody can find it, right? Expect better rankings over time.
- Site Butler site maintenance and optimization service. Optimization of your website, plugins, speed, and much more. Hosting customers that also subscribe to Site Butler service also receive free CDN setup for World Wide load time optimizations even in remote areas.
- Ongoing SEO packages include all the necessities illustrated above, rank tracking reports, and all optimizations listed here. $249/mo compared to our competitor pricing of $499-$799 monthly. Local SEO is included with this package. Even we aren't the cheapest, but ask yourself, how much is your time worth?
Heather D. - Surfside Web Writer Having worked in the fields of adult education, corporate training, and instructional design for over ten years, Heather has had the opportunity to write for organizations all over the world. Heather holds a degree in English and communications, and is completing a Master’s degree in Adult Education. Heather is a great addition to the team.