If the mere mention of SEO for business websites brings to mind that pre-calculus class in high school that you barely got through, I get it. The work of SEO is tedious and not very exciting. It’s an awful lot of detail, dogged persistence, and detail again. I have found that business owners either love or hate SEO when it comes to their websites attracting new clients and sales. To some degree that correlates with how well you understand SEO or realize what level of work is going into producing the long-term, organic increase in search visibility.

The results of SEO are well worth the work because I bet we can all agree on one thing… 

If you want to be discovered by new people, you must be visible.

So, what do you need to know about SEO for business websites? Let’s start with what we have seen to be the most frequently asked questions about search engine optimization and services to provide SEO.

How does SEO improve my business?

SEO is tangible work being done to the website that strengthens its foundation and makes it more appealing to Search Engines. As a result, the 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?

Any work that’s done on the actual 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, various content, and more is known as Off-Page.

Should we do SEO for business websites that already rank?

Absolutely! SEO is dynamic. Search rankings and results shift and change. What works today, may not tomorrow. Google is constantly updating and refining its algorithms. Also, as competition increases it’s important to stay on top of SEO so your business website continues to be relevant. Good websites are doing SEO constantly to maintain and continue improving their 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 can guarantee exactly where they will rank, but someone’s business is taking up the first-page search engine real estate. By doing the right work on SEO for business websites, at the correct pace, and in the proper manner, clients should expect great results.

What’s the difference between Local and National SEO?

If a 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. So, for e.g., 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?

Long-tail keywords are more specific and less common than other keywords. They focus more on a niche. The term long-tail keyword comes from the book The Long Tail by Chris Anderson. In this book, Chris Anderson shows that there’s a market for virtually any product. Long-tail keywords are keywords or key phrases that are more specific – and usually longer – than more commonly used keywords. Long-tail keywords get less search traffic, but will usually have a higher conversion value, as they are more specific.

What’s the connection between Google Business Profiles and Local SEO?

Google Business Profile 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. Hence 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 Business Profile section and the site has been verified by Google, it can show on Google Maps. Adding in extras, like videos, photos, and getting reviews is advantageous to inclusion in this area of Google search.

How often does Google update its 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. SM Marketing tracks over 1 million key terms allowing us to quickly see fluctuations in a wide range of businesses. By seeing this, we can evaluate what’s working best and make adjustments to campaigns.

What are backlinks and why are they important?

These are links done offsite that signal search engines to the targeted website. There is a lot that goes into backlinking safely. The days of mass link building and black hat SEO are over. At SM, we take time and make sure the backlinks come from relevant sites that are true to the business. By doing strong backlink work, the client’s website should rank higher than their competition who is solely focused on on-page work.

What is guest blogging?

Writing interesting content on a guest blog is valuable to improve 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 our client’s website.

Do you have more questions about SEO for business websites?

I’d be surprised if you didn’t. But you don’t have to know all the ins and outs unless you plan on doing all the work yourself. Most business owners turn to an SEO expert or agency to provide these services. This can be such a technical field with so many required and quite disparate skill sets that it is increasingly difficult for any one person, no matter how expert, to do it all. We really on a team of experts to provide results.

Curious to learn more about SEO? Check out this earlier blog post on Strategic SEO.