Many of you have never heard of search engine optimization or are wondering what SEO is. It doesn’t help that there is many different tactics, methods, and practices that are all loosely affiliated under the SEO umbrella. Simplified, search engine optimization is any effort which is aimed at increasing a site’s profile in the search engine results pages (SERPS).
Why is it so important to rank highly in the search engines? Some studies say that around 30% of people only click on the first link presented in Google or Bing. About 45% click on the first two, and over 50% of users only click on the first three links. Now do you see why it is so important to rank highly? If your vertical industry has around 60,000 monthly local searches for its keywords, and you’re on the second page, you may be missing nearly all of those potential clients. That is a lot of blown opportunities and missed revenues.
Here at Coalition, we know how valuable SEO can be to your business. That’s why we employ specially trained web design and marketing consultants whose focus is only on keeping up with the latest algorithm updates and best practices in search engine optimization. In addition, Coalition is constantly evaluating and testing the algorithms for opportunities to increase our clients’ sites prominence. We use a number of our own sites as development experiments to gauge how the search crawlers and robots at Google and Bing respond to various technologies, marketing efforts, and layouts. Because we dedicate a full portion of our staff to your SEO efforts, it is never an add-on that receives partial attention and delivers partial results. We’re very proud of our SEO skill set and experience and know that we can use them to make your business more competitive on vital keyword terms.
Sadly, there are a lot of web designers and marketing firms who sell themselves as SEOs. They think that by building a few links, increasing keyword content on your page, and fixing a few items in the site structure, they can sell SEO services monthly. But because of the complexity of Google’s search algorithms, their efforts never amount to anything other than a lot of wasted expenditure.
Worse yet, there are plenty of companies that knowingly or unknowingly practice ‘black hat SEO’. If you do a Google News search for JC Penney and SEO, you’ll see widespread coverage of what can happen to even a major brand when they engage an SEO firm that uses bad SEO tactics. These firms repeat the buzzwords of link building and keyword optimization, but can’t tell you much else about their efforts. Google actually weighs the quality and relevance of the source of your links. A bad SEO firm might list a link to your Seattle law office or Bellevue investment firm in a video gaming forum, or on an adult site. When Google catches these things, it punishes you, the business. This can mean loss of rank (moving you back from high ranking to very low ranking) or deindexing, where your site is basically banned from the search results altogether.
There are a few things to know when looking for a good SEO firm to use in the Northwest and anywhere. In fact, these are the things that Google, source for 70% of all search traffic, says you should look for. Firstly, never hire an SEO firm that guarantees ranking. Why? Google employs a very complex and ever evolving algorithm that is aimed to evaluate user behavior and generate high quality results. Search ranking guarantees usually are one time, once we reach X ranking, you pay us X dollars for X number of months. An SEO firm can easily promote a site temporarily to the top ranking in Google, but is likely to get caught and have your business punished as a result. Of course, then you’re still left to foot the SEO company’s bill, and left to figure out how to make up for the lost clients. Secondly, only hire SEO firms that are transparent in their efforts. At Coalition, you’ll receive frequent reporting showing you what we’re doing and how effective those efforts are. Thirdly, check them against the Washington State licensing agencies and major consumer protection companies. You should know who is working for you, where there base of operation is at, and how to get a hold of them. All of that information is right here, on our site. Otherwise feel free to do some of your own research. We’re confident you’ll like what you find.