What is SEO ? Do I really need SEO? What are Backlinks/Referring Domains and do I need them?

What is SEO ? Do I really need SEO? What are Backlinks/Referring Domains and do I need them?

Have you ever asked yourself or your team/partners any of these questions? I assume the answer is Yes if you are here reading this. Today I will cover my recent journey into SEO, my overall thoughts and open the discussion/blog for debate (as EVERYONE has a different opinion!)

Forget that SEO means Search Engine Optimization – WHAT does this mean!!!??? In the most simplistic terms, boiled down as much as possible, it is how your website pages rank in Google, Yahoo, Bing, DuckDuckGo, Firefox, Opra, or any other app/program that allows you to search the web. The higher the rank, the more YOUR pages will be shown to those searching. The lower your rank, your pages will be buried and probably never see the light of day in any searches !
*Reminder – EACH page on your website is ranked separately – it is not enough to just focus on your landing/home page unless you are a 1page website. If you are, then you only have 1page anyway so just focus on that Landing/Home page. For the rest of us, we want all our main pages to be seen. And when I say “pages”, I am meaning literally pages on your website that I could go if I had the address – every page EXCEPT Individual Product pages.. those, from what I understand from speaking to very saavy people, are NOT part of this discussion/process.

Now, if you are still here and reading, I assume you want more answers to the Questions that brought you here. Ok, let’s continue !

There are millions of firms out there and there sole job is to sell you their service and collect fees from you. Don’t believe me? Just do a search for “SEO firms” or look at your Shopify store – how many separate apps do you have installed and what is your true monthly cost for everything? I know its no where near $29/mo like you hear/read on every Shopify Ad, right? So, why do I need these and how is this related to my SEO discussion? No one will fill all your needs so you have to constantly look/add others to fill in the gaps. This means costs and your marketing/Seo monthly budget exploding if not carefully watched and curated.

Back to SEO – “SEO = Search Engine Optimization” is about how your website appears to the Search Engine’s Algorithm in terms of “need”, “Importance”, “relational aspect” and “trust”. No one, let me repeat this again as it is really important to remember, NO ONE has a magic bullet/solution to this. They are all guessing based on limited info provided by each search engine and by their years of experience (good or bad) . Since we don’t know how Google (or others) writes their code/algorithm for showing results in searches, how can we say with any certainty HOW we will show up? We can’t but based on history, experience and such, we can use our guesses and keep editing to help improve our results.

Many SEO firms will tell you the numerical ranking of your website, all the on-page problems you have (broken links, no Meta Tags, too large or too many H1 tags, etc.) but again, these are almost “minor” issues to me IF I have or can get my page “Indexed” with Google. I know, I know.. What is Indexing? Haha. Indexing by Google means their bots or person visited your page and decided if this is a meaningful, relative, trustworthy or important page. If yes, your page gets added to Google’s list of possible pages pending a search word/phrase that your page is designated for ! If NOT indexed, you won’t show up in any search! So it is important to check if your pages are indexed already (yes, you can do that yourself but that is another discussion). Wordpress Websites have EXTREME advantage here over all of our HTML, Magenta, CSS or other such coded websites. EVERY page on Wordpress gets indexed (supposedly – I have not confirmed this with Google directly).

Now, in my search for finding the right SEO for me, I had to encounter the cost question. Unless you are a large business, how can you afford paying these guys $5k/month for SEO optimization? Crazy high for startup or SMB website owners. So, do you give up until you can afford it? NO! Get referrals or at least start with UpWork services from India that can range from $120-$500/month to get you started. I want to use USA firms but they just charge too much money to start SEO practices and have NO Gaurantees – so whether they do anything or nothing, they get paid and I am stuck paying the bill. Get started NOW as paid traffic is easy but usually does not get you long-term revenues. Organic/Free Search Engine traffic comes over time (months) of growth, changing your On-page wording to reflect what you have to offer AND people referring to your website. The longer you wait to begin, you are missing out and delaying longer-term free traffic, so START TODAY !

Now, if you are like me and SO tired of hearing all the talk/no gaurantees, The best firm I found out there is a wholesaler of SEO services. Meaning, they sell their services to businesses that tout themselves as experts in SEO but then once sold, they hand off this business/website to the wholesaler for performing the work! Crazy right? Anyway, not only did he promise not to charge until my website ranked, he also promised 2 things that were different from all others.
• Promise 1 – I need 8 days to get your website pages prepared properly.
• Promise 2 – after the initial preparatory 8 days, I need 1-12 days to get your pages “Indexed” on Google.

Again, i am sure there are some great USA SEO firms that do the work in house, know what they are doing AND can promise results or some refund, but I have yet to find them! DM me if you want this persons info.
Now, let’s finish with the Actual Search Engine of choice – As mentioned in the early parts of this article, there are many search engines. However, there is a reason we use the term “Google” everyday – “Google it” or “Hey, Google…..” depending on who you listen to, Google owns 86-92% of all internet searches. Bing, the runner up, only gets about 6-7% Yes, WOW & Yikes!! Now, why is this important? If 51% of all website traffic comes from people searching online (words, phrases or questions) which results in 40% of all Website revenues, don’t you think you are missing out on traffic/sales by not focusing on Google/Bing SEO? Social media (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc) only generate 10% of all website traffic.. and revenue % (conversions) from those sales are probably in low single digits!

So, as a Ecommerce/SMB owner, do you need SEO? You continue with your Instagram/Facebook marketing only but understand you are missing out on the greatest of all traffic/revenue streams out there! So, YES, YOU NEED SEO !!

This does not mean you/I stop or forget Instagram, Facebook or other Social Media sources. They are producing and should continue but should be considered just another revenue stream – like selling private label vs branded.. wholesale vs retail….. just another opportunity to generate more revenues.

If you are still confused on your need for SEO/Google, Direct Message me or contact me thru our Website Contact page. I will be happy to clarify further or give you my $.02 worth. Enjoy the process and remember this is hard work outside of your normal daily job, but it will pay off if you stick with it! Don’t get discouraged and Don’t give up !!

Stay tuned for my Bi-weekly Blog topics which will cover any topics under the sun but hopefully give the SMB owner/Startup a quick lesson from another SMB owner that fights/struggles every day !!!

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