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SEO Tips From Our Favorite Experts

06/24/2015 10:40 am ET | Updated Jun 23, 2016

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As a business owner, with a virtual business, I have learned the importance of SEO. SEO is a term that we rarely hear about unless we are directly involved in blogging, or online ventures. I was personally introduced to SEO as early as three years ago, during the early stages of business and blogging, and even then I do not really think I truly understood its purpose.

It can be confusing for those of us who need SEO but do not specialize in it, but there are some basic know hows. There are many 'so-called' experts selling $49/month services that Cyrus Shepard, dismisses as scams. In order to ensure that you are paying for great service, make the time to understand what SEO truly entails.

SEO is a Misnomer, what should it really be called?

OYW2ME4SE2F or optimizing your webpage to make it easier for search engines to find, a fun fact from Pearl XU, Marketing and Communications Intern at Searchmetrics.

According to XU, 9 times out of 10, when she introduces herself as an intern at an SEO company, she is asked, "what is SCO?"

Like I mentioned earlier, most of us never hear the term SEO until we are forced to understand its benefits as it applies to the growth of our businesses or blogs. It therefore makes sense that we may not even be aware that this term is a misnomer, and although knowing that it is, may not do much to benefit you in any way, it is an interesting fact that most may not even be aware of. I am a sucker for fun facts.

SEO is Not a One Time Effort Has an "expert" ever approached you claiming to be able to offer you long lasting, one time SEO services?

Some unfortunate companies are under the false impression that receiving outstanding SEO services one time will result in long lasting results.

Unfortunately, organic traffic will fall over time if your efforts are not maintained. Cyrus Shepard, advises that, thanks to Link degradation, the evolution of engine algorithms, and competition, your SEO efforts should be maintained to remain on top of your game.

For a small minority of sites, SEO doesn't need continual investment. My father-in-law's auto shop is a perfect example. He has more business than he needs, and as long as folks find him when searching for "Helfer Auto" he's happy. In this case, simply monitoring your SEO with the addition of a deeper dive 2-3 times per year may be sufficient.

For the rest of us, one-and-done SEO falls short.
Cyrus Shepard, MOZ.com

SEO is NOT a Source of Free Traffic Although traffic is a part of the results. SEO allows people who want to find you, to actually be able to find you.

How do you make SEO work for you, rather than against you?

Your goals and those of your visitors should align perfectly!

For example:

Mary sells custom knitted sweaters. On her blog, she shows how she makes the sweaters by hand, often talking about the different yarns she uses. There's not much competition for keywords relating to yarn, and Mary is publishing lots of great content about it, so before long, she has front page rankings for several different types of yarn.

Do you see the potential problem?

The people searching for yarn most likely knit themselves, and it's unlikely they'll be interested in purchasing Mary's sweaters. She'll get lots of traffic, sure, but none of the traffic will convert, because the visitors have completely different goals.

The lesson here: if you want SEO to work for you, you need to make sure your goals match the goals of your visitors. It's not about traffic. It's about figuring out what you want, and then optimizing for keywords that bring in visitors who want the same things.

How do you discover what those keywords are?
Neil, Kissmetrics

Business Owners Will Push The Demand For Ethical SEO Practices

The SEO world has long been considered the Wild West by many because of how prevalent low quality tactics are. While this won't change overnight, 2015 will usher in a much better opinion of the industry because of the increased amount of information clients are being exposed to.
Mark Feldman, Business.com

As business owners educate themselves, and grow to understand what is and is not ethical, what best practices involve and more, they are better prepared to challenge the "experts" that they choose to work with, pushing the demand for more ethical providers.