What is SEO?

SEO – Search Engine Optimization is the process of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to a website via organic search engine results. 

Google search results for physical therapy showing organic vs. paid placement

The Breakdown

What does this actually mean? Let’s analyze the definition.

  • Increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website – In theory, more visitors to your website should equal more sales. But how do you know your site is showing up for the right question? A physical therapist doesn’t want to show up in google when a hungry couple searches “best fish tacos near me”.
  • Organic search results – SEO focuses on increasing your organic ranking on google, and not your ad positioning. Google has specific algorithms to determine which website should appear at the top of a particular search result. While this algorithm is always changing, there are some key strategies to boost your authority in Google’s eyes.

Who Needs It?

Answer – Any business that wishes to operate online. SEO will essentially help potential customers find your business when they search for your service online.

Let’s say you are a physical therapist with a nice little website targeting your local area. A high school football player strains his hamstring and wants to find a local physical therapist near his house. He jumps on google and searches “physical therapist near me”. The search results he sees are determined by very specific google algorithms. SEO is the art of adapting to those algorithms to make sure your website is the first organic result that he sees.

The Notorious S.E.O. 

It was all a dream.

Many business owners have gotten the “SEO Pitch”, in which a very sales’y young man approaches your business and promises to propel your website to the top of google search results. The repeated barrage of marketers offering this seemingly lucrative service starts to feel like a lucid dream. What many fail to understand is that SEO is a complex and broad tactic, and can take months to yield measurable results.

Although that might not be the most attractive thing for a small business to hear, it is important to see it as a marketing investment. You are literally investing money in a skilled marketer to convince Google that your website is worthy of an extremely valuable top search rank. Considering over 60% of consumers will click on the top 3 search results, it is safe to assume having one of those top 3 spots can be quite rewarding from a sales perspective.

The Basics of SEO

SEO requires backend optimization to be done on your website, as well as off-page external outreach. To help your site rank for particular keywords, you must find find out what your top competitors are ranking for, and how they are doing it. Like in any video game, you need to see what the high score is before you can beat it. In the case of SEO, you need to research what external sites with high authority are linking back to your competitor, the quantity of links, and social engagement.

Backend SEO or On-Page SEO

All good SEO strategies start with backend optimization. In other words, the very skeleton of your website needs to be tweaked to allow for Google to “crawl” your site and determine if what a user will see is related to your target keyword. 

While this sounds simple, this is the side of SEO that requires a bit of technical aptitude. You accomplish this by optimizing alt text on photos to include target keywords, clear meta descriptions, and generally creating very index friendly content. Even the very URL structure you choose is important.

Off-Page SEO

Once your website is SEO ready, it’s time to begin your off-page strategies. This is where the majority of the routine and dreaded hours come into play. To put it bluntly, you essentially want to steal the high authority links your competitors have. You want them to publish your content and link back to your website. Did your competitor write a blog post that got featured on a big website a year ago? Your strategy would be to rewrite the content with more information and research, and pitch it to that same website as a potential update. Bloggers, influencers, publications, etc. within your niche are all potential outreach opportunities.

The above strategy is known as backlinking. it is important to remember that backlinking was once a numbers game. It has evolved with Google’s algorithms, and having quality backlinks is far more effective. Quality of Quantity folks.

Conclusion

Although this is a watered down synopsis of what SEO is, it’s a good start. As we see an increase in online transactions, having a strong digital presence can give you the boost on your competition. Awesthetic specializes in helping local businesses dominate google search rankings. Contact us to check out our product offering. 

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