When it comes to finding an agency for search engine optimization in Dallas, TX, you have many options. Some people misunderstand the term SEO, so let’s begin with a simple definition before suggesting what to look for in a reputable internet marketing consultant.
What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
SEO is the art and science of improving your website’s visibility when people search for you online. Naturally, small businesses want to be found when potential customers search for a product or service they offer. There are 3 different approaches to search engine marketing. Each can help you get found online, and each one requires a different strategy, skill-set, and budget.
Internet Search: 3 Ways Small Businesses Get Found.
1. Pay-Per-Click (PPC): Have you ever noticed the top three blue ads on Google when you search? Some people don’t realize they are ads, but those businesses have paid to show up for that search result. Depending upon your business, the local market, the season, and the competitiveness of your keywords, buying these listings will range from reasonable to ridiculous. For example, you might be able to pay $1.56 per click…but clicks can go as high as $50 each. Good research, hands-on management, and solid experience can ensure you get the most out of your PPC campaign. There are times we advise using PPC but we also warn against it depending on the factors we explore when speaking with a new client. Quite honestly, there are times it makes a lot of sense to buy traffic, but other times it’s a waste of money when computing the ROI a small business might reasonably expect. Check out the search example seen below. When typing “Dallas Dentist,” you can see that some dentists simply prefer to buy traffic for fast results rather than turn to search engine optimization in the Dallas, TX metroplex. Why? Professional SEO services take time, and PPC offers instant gratification. (See Image: PPC ads are boxed in Yellow, below.)
2. Organic Search Results (SEO): Just below the ads are the organic search results. This is prime digital real estate, and any business that “lives” on the first page of Google typically enjoys a nice flow of traffic. (Depending upon the monthly search volume for the keywords in question.) No small business can pay to show up in these results, leading most Dallas business owners to think that search engine optimization might be no cost to them. Well, sort of. There are no costs in terms of advertising expenses paid directly to Google for your organic ranking, such as with pay-per-click ads. However, there’s a ton of work required when combining the strategy, proper keyword selection, on-site optimization, off-page backlinking, content creation, syndication, social media marketing, and more. There is certainly a cost to those activities. The good news is that you can do these activities yourself if you’re willing to invest the time, energy, and consistent attention required to optimize your website correctly.
Search engine optimization is a very technical task, however, and there are best practices you should follow to ensure you don’t damage your website’s search engine ranking. The goal of “showing up” in the top search results, combined with the desire to “just pay someone who knows what they’re doing to do it for me” gave rise to the SEO industry. Most small business owners like the idea of gaining an organic search result because of the long term benefits, but they lack the time and dedication required to achieve results. This is why they hire an SEO company to do it for them. Sure, it costs money to achieve that ranking, but most view it as an investment. Once achieved, the cost to maintain it is far less than having to continually buy traffic via PPC ads, tho. This is what makes search engine optimization appealing to business owners in Dallas Tx. (And elsewhere.) How difficult will it be for your business to gain organic search rankings? Well, that will depend upon a variety of factors that include your industry, location, competition, etc. Just consider that numerous businesses are competing for the top 10 spots on Google’s first page. You are competing with hundreds and even thousands of companies, directories, and articles. Check out this real world example. If you’re a dentist who wants search engine optimization for Dallas, Tx, you’re task will look like this. Look at these real numbers taken from a Google search.
When potential customers type in “Dallas Dentist,” Google returns 195,000 options for that searcher. (See below).
It’s an accepted fact that most people don’t have time or patience to go click past Google’s first page of results to find a business. Studies have shown that 89% of all people click on a first page result, leaving only 11% of people to move to page 2. This means that out of the above 195,000 search results provided to your potential customer, you have to land within 1 and 10 within that yellow box. That’s not an easy task, and your competitors are spending lots of money to out rank you. The good news is that many seo companies in Dallas are still using old methods to try to rank their clients. This is unfortunate for these small business owners, but provides you an advantage when you partner with a search engine optimization company in Dallas, TX that uses today’s methods for their clients. If your SEO company can’t clearly explain how their practices have changed over the last 3 years, and provide meaningful examples, it’s probably in your best interest to keep looking. That last thing you want is a penalty from Google from techniques that used to work, but have since been identified as “bad” by the search algorithm updates known as Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird.
3. Local Maps: A great search engine optimization strategy is to target the local Dallas, Tx map results. The most recent Hummingbird update has clearly shown a preference for semantic variables, and geo-targeting results for searchers is becoming a high priority for Google. We have personally seen a huge (and often fast) benefit to local business owners who hire us for search engine optimization in the Dallas area. Instead of ranking their main website, they prefer to rank their Google map listing for quicker results. These types of optimizations are different than the typical website optimizations for search engine ranking. By focusing on the right set of variables, results can be seen in a much shorter period of time. Because these local map listings often encroach upon the first page of Google’s results, a properly optimized map listing can land you on the first page. We’ve observed local map listings trump years of a competitor’s search engine optimization work that focused solely on ranking a website. This trend is surely going to increase into the future, even as Google seeks to supply instant answers to potential customers based on where they are searching at the time on their mobile phones. In case you need a visual reference, see the local map results below inside the yellow box.
Which Search Engine Optimization Strategy Works Best for a Dallas, TX Business?
If you were to ask a financial adviser about the best investment vehicle, if he/she were good they would answer “it depends.” You should receive the same response from your Dallas SEO consultant. When we sit down with a potential client, we never apply a cookie-cutter approach to serving their online business needs. A smart Dallas SEO agency will always begin with discovery. Questions such as:
1. What % of your business do you want to generate online?
2. What time frame do you need to receive inquiries?
3. What is your approx. customer acquisition cost?
4. Which keyword terms are your more profitable products/services?
The list of questions that should be asked is much more extensive than this, but it gives you an idea of the strategic approach you should look for. If results are required tomorrow, your Internet marketing agency should apportion your PPC budget accordingly. When you provide a list of possible keywords you’d like to rank for, extensive research should first be completed to provide you with meaningful reasons why some words are better than others. After all, what good will it do you to rank for a keyword that only 6 people search for per month? You need search engine optimization that actually produces results, and smart research should drive small business seo.
Put the Internet to Work for Your Small Business.
Would you like a complimentary, no-hassle strategy in how you can put search engine optimization to work for you in Dallas, TX? Give us a ring at 214-856-0556, or fill out the contact form below to receive a $99 strategy session for your business free of charge.
By Steve Adelphoi