Asheville & Universe-Dominating SEO

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a hot, hot, hot topic. You need to place well with Google, or you can expect a LOT less notice. You need to be mobile compatible. You need to be fast. You need tags and titles and descriptions and sitemaps. You need a lot. We give a lot. Just how we roll…

WE GUARANTEE FIRST PAGE ON GOOGLE!!!

If you hear that, run. Nobody – with the exception of Google themselves – can guarantee first page ranking. They just can’t. We can’t do it, either. Google (and Bing and Yahoo and their ilk) is in control, and they’re a private company. Search engine optimizers can set you up for success – but guarantees are fluff. And, unfortunately, a lot of folks out there use techniques to inflate their rankings, only to have the bubble burst when search engine algorithms change. That’s “black hat.” We don’t do black hat. SEO is a long-term thing. Quick fixes and “get #1 fast” schemes eventually fall apart. You need to learn what SEO is and what it isn’t – and you need to find your place in there. If you set your goals, stick to a plan and do everything the right way, you’ll see real and long-term results. Think months and years. Not days and weeks. SEO is a marathon.

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What IS SEO?

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is really just that – optimizing your site and your content so that it gets picked up by the search engines. With a truly optimized site, you have no roadblocks to your site reaching high rankings – but it doesn’t stop there. You need legitimate backlinks, social media sharing and a bunch of other stuff to get your site to rank highly. You also need – and this is THE big one – great content. You have to have a great site with great content that is refreshed and updated and added to on a regular basis. We can help with the content. We can help with the design. We can help get your rankings moving in the right direction. We can also share a little bit of know-how…

What is Good SEO?

When it comes to effective SEO, it’s good to know what search engines are looking for:

  • Content: You need good, compelling content. Not a bunch of garbage written just for search engines. They’ve gotten smarter, and keyword stuffing isn’t effective. You need good and relevant content that appeals to your audience.
  • Performance: Your site needs to be fast, stable and it needs to WORK.
  • Authority: This goes hand-in-hand with the content. You’re the expert in your field. Act like it, and search engines will respond.
  • User Experience and Interface: Your site needs to look great. It needs to flow well.
  • Proper Underpinning: You need a sitemap and a properly structured site. You need H1 tags and properly formatted titles and page descriptions. You need a Google page, a place on the map and so much more.

There are lots of things to consider – and you need to weigh their value. Your site itself is only part of the puzzle. Other things you need:

  • Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest – you name it. Build them right and let your audience promote you and your site. It’s natural, it’s organic, and it works!
  • Direct Email: Yep. It helps!
  • Offline Advertising: More traffic equals better rankings, and sometimes, the easiest way to get targeted visitors is through traditional means.
  • SEM and PPC: Search engine marketing and Pay Per Click. Again – more “asses in the seats” means better ranking. Do you want to pay for those clicks? Sometimes, paying for clicks means better organic rankings. It’s worth considering…
  • Your Domain Name: Buy an aged domain if you’re starting, or stick with the one you’ve got. It makes a difference.
  • Backlinks: Effective, REAL backlinks. Not farms, not some weird directory in Polynesia. Authoritative backlinks equal better ranking.
  • Blog Mentions: The more, the merrier.
  • Directories: You want to be in the right directories. Not only can you be found in the popular ones, but they pass good link juice.

What is Bad SEO?

All that effective SEO can be ruined (in the long term, at least) with the following:

  • Keyword Stuffing: Don’t pop the same keyword in your site a million times. It just does NOT help.
  • Purchased Links: Again – might work short term, but you will get bitten in the ass by this one.
  • Crappy UI: Your bounce rate (people leaving without looking around) will affect your search engine rankings. You need a site that grabs attention and gets folks browsing. Make it simple, keep it classy and get people the info they’re looking for – with a minimum of clicking.
  • Not Being Mobile-Ready: Google (and, really – that’s who we’re targeting) now penalizes sites for not being mobile-compatible (or responsive.) Make sure your site looks good on all devices, and you’ll see better rank.
  • Slow: Yeah – Google gauges your site’s speed. Make sure it’s fast – FAST!
  • Bad Neighborhood: Having your site on a crappy (cheap) shared server can have bad consequences. If you’re lumped on a server with bad sites, you can get bitten.
  • Malware/Hacks: Your site can be hacked and look and function completely perfectly. If it’s hacked or infected with malware, you’ll get penalized. Not good.
  • Poor Coding: Your site has to be done right – and if it’s not, your ranks will suffer.

A Quick Word on the Actual Value of SEO

Search Engine Optimization is pointless if you don’t convert. And that “conversion” is different for every business. If you get a zillion visitors and don’t convert any of them, you’ve failed. You really need to define what you want to do with the traffic – and sometimes, spending a lot of SEO isn’t a good idea. Let’s discuss your goals and what is considered a success before we start talking SEO. We’ll be honest, and we can help you through the process. No high-pressure sales garbage. Just real advice.

So – now you have a little better idea of what SEO is, and what it isn’t. If you’re ready to get serious about SEO, let’s start a conversation – fill out the form below or call us at the numbers above. We’re not going to sell you a one-size-fits all package or make a bunch of crazy promises. We’ll help you develop a plan and stick to it. That, my friends, is good SEO.

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Blue Dozen Design, LLC - Asheville NC
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