Expanding Your Local Business - SEO Basics and FAQ (Part 1)

SEO can be tricky, but it is essential to a successful digital marketing strategy, especially as a local business in Houston. A lot goes into it, but our experts have rounded up a few of the most frequently asked questions in order to offer some insight.

What is SEO and Why Do I Need It

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It is the process by which you drive traffic to your business’s website, organically.

88% of consumers that complete a local search on their phone will either visit or call a business within a day. 97% of people learn about new businesses online more than they do anywhere else. Solely based on these two statistics, it is clear that all businesses need SEO, as it is primarily how potential customers find you. Without it, a Houston business may struggle to remain afloat, much less surpass its competitors.

What is Organic Search?

In SEO, “organic search”, “organic traffic”, and “organic results” mean the same thing–unpaid. Inorganic, or paid, search refers to results that are marked as “sponsored” or “ad” in a search result. We refer to organic searches as those that appear without being labeled an ad. If your search is organic, that just means people are finding you with the keywords you attempt to rank for, and that’s our goal.

inorganic vs organic search

inorganic vs organic search 2How Do I Know What is “Bad” SEO and What Isn’t?

Black Hat (Bad) SEO refers to ill-intended methods for driving traffic. Of course, everyone wants to drive traffic to their website, but doing things like keyword stuffing, link stuffing, and cloaking is unacceptable.

Keyword stuffing refers to spamming your content with over-used keywords to a point where when you read it, it doesn’t flow naturally. Link stuffing is very similar. It is certainly helpful to the visitor to have easy access to links, but if you add links where they don’t match the context, or if you add the same link multiple times, this is against SEO guidelines and your website will be penalized.

Another Black Hat technique is known as cloaking. Cloaking occurs when you show human visitors one piece of content, but show something completely different to search engines. Usually, websites will show irrelevant content to the bots so their webpage ranks for more topics and keywords. However, search engines inevitably find out, so they will flag these websites as spam and hurt their ranking.

Good, or “White Hat” SEO, on the other hand, is about being honest in your website content. The key is to write for humans, not for bots. However, without the proper experience in search optimization, it can be fairly easy to accidentally follow Black Hat practices.

Entrust Marketing Experts With Your Houston SEO

There is a lot that goes into quality search optimization, but with the right team and strategy, your brand will become better known, which, in turn, will help you reach more customers. If you would like to improve your SEO rank and get found on Google, please contact our marketing strategists. As a Google Partner, we will ensure your website follows proper guidelines.