Search Engine Optimization

If you are a brick and mortar business, you are probably already aware of the benefits of having your company listed in the local yellow pages.  Doing so gives potential customers a quick and easy way to locate your company.  In truth, they may not be looking specifically for your company, but they are looking for your specific goods and services.  For example, let’s say someone wants a wedding photographer or an equipment rental business, they simply flip to the appropriate section and then choose from the many listed.

Sounds great, right? All of your potential customers can easily find your business.

But there’s a problem.  A big problem.

A growing number of your potential local customers don’t use the printed yellow pages anymore except as a last resort.  Many now conduct their searches for services or products, and the businesses that provide them, online, using search engines like Google, either from home, the office or from their mobile phones.

But unless your business has an effective search engine optimization strategy in place, chances are they will find your competitors website first instead of yours.  
What is Search Engine Optimization?

Many business owners make the uninformed assumption that by simply putting up a website it makes their business visible online.  They believe their potential customers will magically find only their site and the phone will start ringing off the hook.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way.

The internet is much more sophisticated.

To ensure your business is easy to find online, your website needs to effectively target key phrases that your potential customers are likely to use when they are searching.  This is known as search engine optimization or SEO for short.

For example, let’s say you run a rental equipment business in Toronto.  Chances are your potential customers are typing in a keyword phrase such as “equipment rental Toronto” or “backhoe rental Toronto” to locate a business that has what they need.  If you’re in the rental equipment business and your website is not optimized for these key phrases, then your customers are never going to find your business.

How Do I Know If My Website Is Search Engine Optimized?

Finding out whether or not your business website is search engine optimized is very simple -- all you have to do is conduct a quick test.  Visit and type in a keyword phrase that you feel most closely describes what your business offers using as few keywords as possible.  Keep in mind the phrase examples above for the rental business and put yourself in your customer’s shoes.  What would you type in to locate the service or product that your business offers?

Once you’ve conducted your search, look at the results.  Does your business website appear on the first page? Don’t be surprised if it doesn’t.  Why? Because most web design companies simply don’t have the expertise and knowledge required to make sure that your website is search engine optimized.  Only a skilled SEO company can ensure that your website is easily found by your potential customers.  

If your website is not currently showing up in the search results for key phrases related to your business, don’t worry.  Now that you are aware of the problem, it can be fixed.

For an explanation of Search Engine Marketing (SEM) and how it differs from SEO, click here.


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