Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has become the modern buzz word for any activity associated with internet. It has become the highlight of discussion for a broad spectrum of people – ranging from corporate CEOs to a teenage rock-band. There are many established companies that offer SEO development packages, with costs that will make even deep pocketed people think twice about making an SEO investment. Even those with large budgets, are not familiar with technical depths associated with SEO. There could be many reasons why people – especially the non technical ones – don’t understand it clearly. Either the technical terms associated with SEO are overwhelming and hard to comprehend, or there hasn’t been a simplified SEO explanation in public domain, that defines the benefits of SEO in simplest form. This article is written to justify the latter case.
For the non-technical people, this article will answer the following questions:
- What is SEO, and how long will it take to implement a website with robust SEO features, for prominent online presence?
- Is SEO a one-time investment?
- How much SEO knowledge expertise should I have, so that I can communicate effectively with an web solutions developer, for robust SEO implementation?
SEO is best explained like a story. Consider the analogy of investing in a luxury home. There is a set of procedures you follow, from the moment you envision building your luxury house to actually settling down in it. Over this time frame, you might follow this sequence:
- You would look for a land in a nice neighborhood, where you envision that your house value rises over time. Choosing the right location with long term prospects, safety, commute, comfort and convenience will be your top priorities.
- You will have a budget to buy this property.
- You would hire a building contractor to set the foundations right in your land before the house is built.
- Simultaneously, you would get your paper work in order, by paying the respective taxes and obtaining permission from the civic board for safety, water connection, drainage facilities, etc.
- You would hire the right resources for building the house that would include masons, electricians, plumbers and landscapers.
- Depending on the sequence of your building structure, you would place orders for materials – like windows, tubs, and lights at the appropriate times.
- Considering your budget and luxury requirements, you would hire an architect to make the interior and exterior designs look exclusive.
- You would installs security systems to protect your family
- Finally, you move in.
These steps above can be analogous to how a search engine like Google operates. For example, let’s say you are a new visitor to a city and want to know the best Chinese restaurant to dine in. If you are in Chicago, you may use any of the following search teams:
- Best Chinese restaurant in Chicago
- Spicy cuisines in Chicago
- Authentic Chinese in Chicago
- Top rated Chinese dining in Chicago
- Chicago best Chinese menu
As you notice, there are many possible combinations of words that each individual may type to find the best Chinese restaurant. Just like the steps you follow in building your luxury home, Google’s search engine also has specific set of procedures (they call it search algorithms) by which it assesses top rated Chinese restaurants in a city. In other words, irrespective of the search terms that each user feeds into Google, the search engine analyzes website features – according to its internal algorithms – and furnishes results. As a new visitor, you are likely to read first page reviews only. Rarely do people go beyond the first few pages of search results. Google might pop-up a couple of dedicated Chinese restaurants website (if the website has met the core requirements of Google’s SEO algorithms) in the first few pages of its search results, however, it is more likely to pop-up an interactive restaurant review site (like Zomato) in the first page search results.
It is this “race” for being in the first few pages of search results, the cause for people being concerned about effective SEO enabled in their websites. This has enabled many IT companies to offer SEO service packages at varying costs. If your website is in sync with the rules dictated by search engine algorithms, then greater the chances for your website popping up in the initial (especially first three pages) search results. Consider the following scenarios (strictly as an example) as to why companies allocate significant budgets for robust SEO embedded websites:
- Nissan, a car manufacturer, will want to show up in the first page search results, when someone in Europe types “most reliable car in Europe.”
- L’Oreal, a cosmetics company, will want to be the default brand of choice when anyone types the word “cosmetics” or “makeup,” in Google search.
- HP or Dell, who are computing companies, will prefer to be top rated companies in search results when terms such as “efficient computing,” “budget laptops,” or “computer gaming” are used in search engines.
Bottom line: The more robust your website’s SEO features, then greater the prospect for your website turning up in the first few pages of search results. Consequently, greater your popularity and prospects for increased business revenues. This is why SEO has become the most prominent acronym in modern times. In the digital world, SEO is equivalent to the connoisseur at a luxury 5-star hotel, and affording a connoisseur comes at a certain cost. Now let us look into answers for questions listed above:
What is SEO and how long will it take to implement a website with robust SEO features for prominent online presence?
The SEO definition is already covered above. Implementing effective SEO features, for prominent online presence is a subjective issue, especially in considering the time scale it takes to develop it. It is imperative to note however, that implementing SEO is not an overnight work. It depends on the nature of your business function and requirements. Just like the time taken to build a house varies – a luxury villa will considerably take a longer time – implementing a robust SEO for your website depends on its purpose. In other words, the robustness of your website’s SEO will continue to evolve over time by adapting to your business changes and being in line with ever evolving search protocols. Based on your requirements, the cost to implement SEO also varies.
Is SEO a one-time investment?
SEO is not a one-time investment. Even after building your luxury home, there are maintenance costs associated with it in terms of water, sewage and landscape maintenance. Over the course of time, you will need to replace your air conditioning system as well as other appliances. Your property tax may rise. You may consider expanding a section your home or construct a swimming pool. In the same manner, your online business and its related services may improvise. You may be adding newer products, and forming partnerships with other entities. As your business evolves, so will your SEO features, by adapting to upgrades set by search engine algorithms in line with the nature of your business. We have already used the analogy that SEO is like the connoisseur of a luxury hotel. The connoisseur is not a temporary job. In similar terms, SEO is a long haul process that will continue its significant presence, as long as your online presence.
How much SEO knowledge expertise should I have, so that I can communicate effectively with an web solutions developer, for robust SEO implementation?
You do not need hardcore expertise in SEO. It is enough if you know the definition and significance of SEO as explained in this article. It’s like you having the vision of your house interior, and explaining it to your architect. You however, need to spend 5 years to learn architecture. By taking your inputs, the architect will propose various design options better than you envision. What you need is a web solutions company that is apt in understanding your business requirements. There are many technical terms associated with SEO development such as meta data, xml site map, bread crumbs, canonical URLs, security settings, schema rich snippets, etc. However, as a business owner, your responsibility is to merely explain your business functions and requirements to the web solutions developer. In other words, the business you execute in the real world, in terms of making customers aware of your products and payment terms, should be replicated in equal measure (or better) in the digital world. Once your web solutions developer clearly understands your core requirements, it is up to his team to incorporate SEO solutions, in a manner that your online popularity and business prospects will continue to grow. Over the course of time, having a long term contract with the web solutions developer is critical because search algorithms continue to evolve, and it’s important that your website SEO is also on par to any changes dictated in online search protocols.