SEO stands for search engine optimization.
SEO is the process of getting a business website to rank on the search engines for the search terms that drive their business and get them customers.
The three main factors that influence search engine ranking results are: Relevance, Authority, and Trust. Relevance refers to the keyword relevance between your site’s content and the keywords you want to rank for, as well as the relevance between the links pointing to your site and your keywords. Authority is based on the amount and quality of the back links pointing to your site, the more well-known reputable sites linking to you the better. Trust is a measurement of how trustworthy your site is, and is influenced by the number and quality of trusted sites linking to you (such as .gov and .edu websites).
Yes, absolutely. Google takes business location into account when ranking local results, so it is best to target your closest customers first, and choose a strategic location when setting up your office. Google+ (with places), Yelp, Bing Local, and other local aggregator sites are a good place to get business listings set up on. Make sure to keep business listing info consistent across various websites and include your full address on your website in HTML (make sure you can highlight the text and paste).
Yes, but it’s just part of the big picture. You should definitely have the main social media pages created and linked to and from your main website, however having these pages and being active isn’t enough. Social media is a channel to promote your business, and more importantly engage with your customers. Focus on posting out useful content (from your website), like blog posts. You can also add other content not on your website, but make sure to use your social media channels to promote your site content and connect with potential customers. If you do this right and promote your social media pages you should grow your circle of influence, and the more you do that the more social will affect your rankings.
This is actually pretty tricky, we suggest you hire a qualified SEO to at least complete this process and make website recommendations. If you must complete this process on your own you can use Google’s keyword suggestion tool to identify the proper keywords. This tool will show you which keywords have traffic searches for them, but does not provide instructions in how to apply these keywords to your website. If you need to use this data simply make sure to structure site pages and page content to be relevant to your chosen terms, and at the end of the day make sure your website is built for human readers, if your copy is awkward and unnatural no one is going to call you.
This really depends on you allotted resources. If you have the budget, hiring an experienced SEO agency is definitely the way to go. This industry is constantly changing and fairly complex, so it usually doesn’t make sense to learn it on your own. If you are a business owner or manager and have time and employee resources, it could make sense to create a hybrid program where you work with an SEO who can guide your efforts. If you have experienced professionals on staff who can write or have technically proficient marketing staff, then you can probably use them to help offload SEO work. It is important to keep in mind that unless you are building a dedicated in-house SEO team, you will need to rely on an experienced SEO for guidance and critical analysis throughout this process.
If you are intelligent, a little technically savy, and have an immense amount of time to dedicate to learning a new craft you can learn SEO on your own. This process can take years, but if you’re motivated visit some of the advanced resources in the footer section of this website and start learning!