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What does it mean when someone says “You need SEO to improve your business”?

Updated: Oct 26

First, what is SEO?

SEO answers

SEO is tangible work being done to your website that strengthens its foundation and makes it more appealing to Search Engines. This work includes content, coding and other optimization techniques that involve social posts, Google business pages and high demand keywords/phrases. As a result, your website ranks higher and is more visible to prospective clients on Search Engines such as Google and Bing.

What is on-page vs off-page SEO?

Work that’s done on your site such as, titles, tags, descriptions, content, website structure, etc., is known as On-Page. Any work not done directly on the website, such as blog writing, link building, social sharing, bookmarking and more is known as Off-Page.

Should you have an SEO campaign if your site already ranks?

Absolutely! SEO is dynamic. Search rankings and results shift and change. What works today, may not tomorrow. Google is constantly updating and refining it’s algorithms. Also, as competition increases, it’s important to stay on top of SEO so your website continues to be relevant. Good websites are constantly undergoing SEO campaigns to maintain and continue improving rankings. You may rank for your core terms, but it’s important to rank for secondary and tertiary terms as well.

Can anyone guarantee first page rankings?

No one should guarantee exactly where your site will rank. However, someone’s business is taking up the first page on the search engine’s real estate. By doing the right SEO work, at the correct pace, and in the proper manner, you should expect great results.

Screenshot - A report we offer to our SEO clients showing proof of performance.

What’s the difference between Local and National SEO?

If your business provides services nationwide it may try to rank for just the keyword. If it’s a local business it would try to rank for the keyword + the geography. For example., a national chain of plumbing supplies provider would want to rank for ‘plumbing supplies’, while a local store that serves just Washington DC would want to rank for ‘plumbing supplies DC’. Local SEO is intended to get customers who live in the area to support that local business.

What are long-tail keywords?

These are 3 and 4 words that make up targeted phrases beneficial to your business. They can be easier to rank but also produce strong buying results because they often convert better than generic terms and single words.

What’s the connection between GMB and Local SEO?

Google My Business is like a directory that maintains key business information such as name, address, phone, hours of operation, map, photos, videos, categories of business, forms of payment, etc. Google gives prominence to these listings and they show up on Google SERPs and Google maps, both on desktop and mobile. Having a fully completed and verified listing is very important and helps with rankings.

Can my business show up on Google Maps?

Yes, if all the relevant details are properly filled out on the Google My Business section and the site has been verified by Google, it can show on Google Maps. Adding in the extras, like videos, photos, and getting reviews is advantageous to inclusion in this area of Google search.


How often does Google update it’s algorithms?

Google does not give direct answers to this, but every few months a major algorithm update seems to occur. In between, many small updates consistently appear. I can’t speak to other SEO service providers however, Total SEO by JGM tracks over 1 million key terms allowing us to quickly see fluctuations for a wide range of businesses. By seeing this, we can evaluate what’s working best and make adjustments to campaigns on the fly.

What are backlinks and why are they important?

These are links done offsite that signal search engines to your website. There is a lot to consider when safely creating backlinks. The days of mass link building and black hat SEO are over. By performing strong backlink work, your website should rank higher than your competition that may be solely focused on on-page work.

What is guest blogging?

Writing interesting content on a guest blog is valuable for improving rankings. When the owner of the guest blog likes the content being written, they often include it on their own blog because they see its value to their visitors. This in turn can provide a backlink to your website.

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James Garris on LinkedIn

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