Search engines run our lives. Feel a twinge? Look up what ailments could be causing that pain. Hungry? Search for recipes with the ingredients currently in the refrigerator. Going somewhere? Find directions and have your helpful little pocket robot talk you through each step. Search engines are a staple of modern life, and as such, optimizing how your business ranks for relevant searches is vital to a healthy customer flow. An SEO company in St. Louis (like us!) can help you do just that. But before we get into all that, let’s define some terms.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for search engine optimization, and it’s the art of organically getting your website in front of more eyeballs through search engines. As you’re probably already aware, Google is the biggest player in the search engine game, and its algorithm is the main focus for pretty much everyone in the SEO business.
If you’re going to contact an SEO company in St. Louis, you’ll probably want to have a baseline understanding of the terms they like to throw around so that you’ll all be on the same page. Read on for our (non-comprehensive) basic SEO dictionary.
We just used this one a few paragraphs ago, so it seems like an excellent place to start. In the context of SEO, algorithms are the programs search engines use to give you results for your search. The algorithms take different factors into account to decide which pages are the best fit for what you searched, and knowing what those factors are is key to SEO. Algorithms also get updated regularly. To stay up-to-date on best SEO practices, it’s prudent to keep track of those algorithm updates. Of course, not all of those updates will be groundbreaking, but staying on top of them is a great perk of working with an SEO company in St. Louis — they’re pros at keeping track of algorithmic changes.
The acronyms are killer in the SEO world. This one stands for search engine results page, which is just what you see after you type something into the search bar and hit enter. It’s a list of websites the search engine thinks are relevant to your search. Where your site lands on this list is called its ranking, and you want your ranking to be close to the top. The basic premise of SEO is that there are certain things we can do to convince the Google algorithm to put your website closer to the top of the list on those search terms you care about.
You’ll probably hear a lot about a page getting “crawled,” and this term is a little less straightforward than some of the others on this list, but don’t worry — it’s not that complicated. Basically, the job of search engine crawlers is to examine every page on the internet to determine which pages should rank the highest. The goal of “crawling” your website is to figure out what your website is about so that it can rank organically for relevant search queries. When crawlers find new content on the internet, it gets added to the search engine’s index, which is the library of content it can pull from to give a searcher a result.
So, if you want your pages to have any chance of getting in front of people through a Google search, you have to make sure they can be crawled and indexed. Any SEO company in St. Louis can help you optimize the pages you want to be crawled and indexed. And, if there are pages you don’t want crawled, there are steps you can take to prevent that from happening, as well.
If an SEO company in St. Louis starts telling you about organic traffic, they’re not saying it’s free-range and grass-fed. Organic traffic is simply traffic you don’t pay directly for, so traffic you’re getting from your SEO efforts. Paid traffic (the opposite of organic traffic) comes from ads.
These are links to your website from other ones. Getting other sites to link back to you is one way an SEO company in St. Louis might try to increase your ranking, because search engines see backlinks as a vote of confidence in your content. As long as the site linking to you is good and reputable, backlinks can be greatly effective. A natural next question would be, how do you know if the site is reputable? That’s measured in a metric called domain authority. You can use different online tools to check it.
Do be wary of any SEO company in St. Louis that proposes sketchy ways of getting more backlinks to your site. These methods are considered “black hat,” which just means they’re frowned upon and might leave you open to being penalized.
As a final note, be careful not to confuse backlinks with internal links, which are links on your site that lead to another page on your site. An SEO company in St. Louis might recommend adding more internal links to your site, but that’s mostly to beef up its structure. Recall the crawling process — links show the crawler where to go next, so adding internal links can help more of your pages get indexed, which is always a good thing.
This is what people type into the search bar, the things you want to rank for. When somebody searches for a keyword relating to your business, you want your page to rank close to the top of the SERP. (Are you getting the hang of the SEO vocabulary yet? It definitely takes some getting used to, but a little practice should make any conversation with an SEO company in St. Louis much easier.)
Anyway, keywords are a huge point of focus for any SEO company in St. Louis trying to improve your rankings. They’ll do keyword research into what things your potential customers are looking for, when they’re looking for them, and how they’re trying to find them. All of this information can be really useful when deciding which keywords to target.
You might have some ideas already about keywords you’d like to rank for, and that’s a great place to start. However, you should still go through the research process, because it will likely unearth better keywords. Different factors, such as how competitive the keywords are, will heavily affect how much sense it makes to go after them. An SEO company in St. Louis will know how to decide which keywords are right for you in terms of specificity and popularity.
Why hire an SEO company in St. Louis?
So, now that you’ve read through some of the common SEO terms (and believe us, this has barely scratched the surface), maybe you think you’re an expert. Why would you want to outsource it? Or, maybe you’re overwhelmed with all of the different SEO elements to consider and want to forget about the whole thing. Either way, hiring an SEO company in St. Louis to help you out might be a really great move, and we’ll prove it to you in this section.
This is the big one, the one that probably got you interested in SEO to begin with. Obviously, increasing traffic to your website is the place to start trying to grow sales. The idea is that the closer you are to the top of the SERP, the more people will see and click on your site. An SEO company in St. Louis would use all their expertise to make that happen for you.
Build Brand Awareness
This is one is a less obvious benefit, but it goes hand-in-hand with the previous one. The more often people see your website near the top of the SERP, the more aware of your brand they will be. People also tend to trust the things they see on the first page of Google more than what they see on, say, the sixteenth page.
So, maybe you’re sold on the idea of focusing on SEO but not on the idea of paying somebody else to do it for you. Maybe you think that learning a few terms has made you enough of an expert that you could go it alone. Well, hold your horses. Think about how adding SEO duties to your plate would impact the rest of your responsibilities. It’s an ongoing, time-consuming process, and odds are, you have other things you could better spend your time on. Contacting an SEO company in St. Louis to handle it for you saves your valuable time for other ventures.
Let’s face it: You can’t learn everything there is to know about SEO in one blog post. An SEO company in St. Louis will have a wealth of knowledge on the subject that it would take you years to build up — it’s what they do. They’ll focus all their expertise on getting you results.
Keep in Mind, Though…
Obviously, we think hiring an SEO company in St. Louis is a great decision, but it’s important to note that it’s not the best choice for everyone. Consider the following limitations:
Ask yourself if you have the resources necessary to partner with an SEO company in St. Louis.
Make sure it’s something you can work into the budget, but also know that an SEO company is probably going to want to be a true partner with you, and you’ll have to have the time to confer about how to move forward. Having an up-to-date website is also a must for effective SEO efforts. Spend some time looking at all angles of your online presence, and decide if you’re really ready to go all-in on SEO.
If you’re looking for a quick cure-all to get more traffic to your website, SEO is not the way to go. It’s a long-term solution. There are other digital marketing strategies an agency can pursue to get you a quick bump, but SEO is not one of them. Make sure your goals for any SEO undertaking are realistic before you take the plunge, and any good SEO company in St. Louis should be honest with you about that.
Other Marketing Strategies
SEO alone is not a magic solution to pin all your hopes and dreams to. Even if you’re patient and committed to the long-term nature of SEO, it’s not wise to sit around and wait for your SEO efforts to completely transform your business. You might be waiting for, well, forever.
Instead, consider pairing SEO with other things a digital marketing agency can do for you, like ad campaigns. When reaching out to an SEO company in St. Louis, make sure to ask what other services they can provide — the company might specialize in SEO, but odds are, it can help you out in other ways, as well. Really think through the scope of what you’d like to do before you jump in.
Contact an SEO company in St. Louis.
Getting an SEO company to help you out can be a great step for your business — it can help you grow traffic, build brand awareness, and ultimately increase sales, among other benefits. After you’ve gotten familiar with the basic premise of SEO, you’re ready to start contacting agencies to see if they’d be a good fit. An SEO company will save you time and use their expertise to get you the best results possible. However, you’ll want to make sure any company you work with is a good fit before you get started. Weigh how patient you’re willing to be and how many resources you can devote to the project against the potential benefits.
Even with all of those limitations in mind, we still think reaching out to an SEO company in St. Louis is a great idea for your business. If you’re convinced, too, and are looking for a place to start, look no further! We here at Beanstalk are experts in all things SEO, and we’re happy to walk you through the kinds of services we offer. Contact us today to get started.