There are many common misconceptions about Search Engine Optimization (SEO). One of the biggest misconceptions is what SEO actually is. Many people understand it as a component - or side item - that is "added" to a website at a specific point in time and then left alone, after which, miraculous results begin to take shape.
The "one and done" mentality may have been applicable 10-12 years ago, when search was in its infancy, but SEO has evolved and grown over the years, and what was effective years ago simply isn't effective today. Google has made countless changes and algorithm updates that affect the way websites are ranked, and ultimately, how high they appear in the search engine results. Every change that has been made, however, has had the exact same goal - to deliver the most relevant results possible in relation to the search terms a user has typed in.
Ranking high is a goal all companies share, especially because of the percentage of traffic that the organic listings on the first page of Google's results receive. The first three listings receive more than 60 percent of all clicks, while the remaining listings on the first page receive less than 10% of clicks each. Further, less than 10% of searchers ever click on the second page of results.
While many companies understand the importance of ranking high, they often don't understand what's involved to get there. SEO isn't a thing. You can't put it in a box and hand it to someone and say, "Here's your SEO! Enjoy your high rankings!" SEO is a process that happens continuously. It's the actions involved with making it as easy as possible for search engines to find, include, categorize and rank your web content. It's an ongoing commitment that involves on-page factors, publishing relevant content, social media usage, and so much more.
Businesses that succeed at SEO put a lot of time and effort into the process, and understand the wide range of ranking signals that contribute to a fully optimized website. They also know how well they rank, how their competitors rank, and what they need to do to improve results.
Steer clear of any business or individual who promises that they can get your website on the first page of Google's search results - without purchasing advertising. Anyone who says this isn't telling the truth; there’s just no way to guarantee organic search rankings. SEO isn't an overnight process. It takes time to improve your rankings and there is no legitimate "quick fix."
Avoid the temptation to use cheap/low quality “link building” or "link exchange" services in hopes of improving SEO. Black hat SEO techniques like this can get you banned from Google, and if that happens to your company, you can kiss your dream of first page placement goodbye. How do you know if you're following SEO best practices or if you're optimizing for the right keywords? Just get in touch with us. We can assess how well your website is optimized for search engines (and visitors), and can recommend the right changes to make if that's what is needed.