You have been doing everything right! You run a terrific brick and mortar operation. You have good product rotation, inventory control, and showcasing. Employee turnover has stabilized, and you have an effective training program in place. For the most part marketing and advertising are pretty wellon balanceand attracting a good ratio of incoming new customers and retention of old customers. You invested a lot more than you meant to for an attractive website, but you are still feeling the burn of missed business from it. And the pain of it magnified during the Covid-19 shutdown. You’ve been investigating solutions like pay-per-click, Google Maps, and search engine optimization, known by insiders as SEO.

When we start thinking about SEO, we often make the mistake of comparing it to the old yellow pages. And some unscrupulous digital agencies allow us to muddle around with that thought and shine us on by saying, “Yep, it’s the same thing, only on steroids.” Not true.

At the outset learning about SEO is confusing. Comparing it to old school directories like the Yellow Pages isjust the start of trouble. Some wannabe gurus jumble search engines in with browsers and directories and proceed to “fuddle” us. “Fuddle” is an acronym for “fear, uncertainty, and doubt.” Their goal is to get us off balance and then control us. The more they talk in jargon, the more they lead us down a path of confusion strewn with wasted money, our money.

So, let’s clarify some things.

It is absolutely mandatory for your business to be listed by the companies who provide people with the answers to the things they look for online. You want the things you sell and the services you provide found and you want your name and contact information tightly associated. People use things called search engines to go online and find what they are looking for. Search engines are sometimes called browsers. The most well-known browsers in the United States are Chrome, Bing, Yahoo, Safari, and Firefox.

When it comes to search engines, by far, heads and shoulders above all the rest, Google is the most used and well known one. It accounts for 88% of all searches done in America. There is a very steep drop to the second-place provider, which is Bing with roughly 7% of searches. Yahoo is in third place with 3% of searches. While Google remains dominant across the with some estimating it gets used for 92% of all searches. However, some foreign countries have browsers different from the ones we have here. For example, Baidu is the Chinese equivalent of Google. Russia uses Yandex.

Now, while growing your business online is really about SEO, we must tip our hat to directories. There are lots of them with names like Yelp, TripAdvisor, Angie’s List, andLocaleze. As you search for answers you will find specialized directories too. For example, lists of lawyers from the American Bar Association, business information from chambers of commerce sites, and lots more of different specialized categories.

Now to get back on topic. When you want to improve your SEO performance pay attention to the following:

  1. Have well thought out titles on your website pages. Good title names are important for getting in Google’s good graces and getting found by people looking for what you do. Google uses title pages like road signs to get people to you.
  2. Use the right keywords so your site comes up as often as possible in Search Engine Results Pages (SERP). This is super important. We recommend you get professional help here because pros have current information about how Google is viewing things. For example, what is the optimum number of times to place a particular keyword on your site? Because when you overuse a keyword Google flags you for overstuffing and punishes you by dropping you lower down the list of businesses pulled up. When you pack keywords in too often, you get penalized. Not enough times, you miss getting recognized.
  3. Short URLs tend to work better, so having long ones “” aren’t going to work well. It is better to find and use shorter online addresses.
  4. Be sure your site is mobile friendly, especially now when most people search on mobile devices instead of on desktop computers. We have moved from the “office age” to the “mobile age.” When it comes to mobile, your site should load quickly, be easy to read, and navigate intuitively.
  5. Police photos and images on your site to achieve peak performance.You’ll want photos tagged. And having “alternate text” that describes them is important for aiding an increase in your ranking.
  6. Be sure your “proximity,” “relevancy,” and “prominence” are maximized. This includes crafting the best backlinks and authoritative sources to make sure you shine.
  7. Backlinks, also known as “inbound links” or “incoming links,” are simply links from one website to another website. One website mentions another. The implication is that the recognized website is noteworthy. When you have high quality backlinks on your website it helps increase your website’s ranking. Proswilltell you how to set up the best backlinks for your website and for your particular situation. Then they’lluse tools such as SEMrush to check your website’s backlinks.
  8. There’s more to having a sitemap than furnishing another way for visitors to find what they are looking for on your website. The bigger your website is, or the more things you continue to add to it over time, the better organized it has to be. You see a sitemap it more visible to Google and easier to crawl it. Google has these things called “spiders” that creep through your website. Think of them like little information gatherers. They’re important, and so important in fact that you mightneed to have Google recrawl an existing page or even your entire site.
  9. Do regular updates so search engines recognize that you are current. Being seen as “newer,” not as in site construction, but as in on-going updating, is becoming increasingly important to being found first.
  10. Once in a whileyou’ll learn there are somethings to stay away from. For example, a short while ago using Flash on websites was a hot trend. This is NOT the current situation. Google changed things up and will now rank Flash sites lower than sites using something else.
  11. There’s a secret weapon to increasing your search engine ranking. Here it is–get involved in local events and causes. You’ll be amazed how much your involvement in local and community events boosts your online performance. Getting mentioned in various and new places across the Internet is extremely helpful. It’s like injecting nitrous oxide into a drag racer!
  12. Search engine companies are not static. On the contrary, the search engines shoppers rely upon so heavily to find you are constantly changing. You’ll hear about Google updating algorithms and such. No doubt, you have probably already suffered repercussions from the same and watched your ranking tumble and fall like a rock in a vacuum for no apparent reason.
  13. Monitor what your SEO is doing and, just as importantly, monitor what your major competitors are up to. What does their SEO look like? Are they asleep or smartly doing a few things you ought to steal?

Our company specializes in de-riddling SEO for you. We communicate plainly and demystify jargon. When we’re your partner

We’re a short list company by design, maintaining 20 to 30 clients in non-competing categories. You won’t wake up one day and find us sleeping with your enemy. While long list agencies count the company they keep, we keep the company that counts. Businesses like you. We believe success is a partnership, not a transaction. While you invest time, trust, and money in us and we’ll invest expertise, energy, focus, and an undying passion to win with you.