What Is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
Millions of people use Google every day to search for everything from “diabetes treatment” to “sporting goods store in Chicago”. Those people click on the first results Google returns. Nobody goes to the 15th page. This means that only the websites that are in the first positions get found.

SEO is a collection of tactics that help a website rank in the first positions of Google for search terms that describe their business. For example, an Italian restaurant in Seattle will really benefit from being #1 on Google for search terms like “Seattle Italian restaurant”, “Italian restaurant in Seattle”, etc.

Does Your Business Really Need SEO?

SEO is a marketing tactic. You should only do SEO if it makes you more money than it costs you, right? To figure out if your business needs SEO, you need to find out how many people are searching for what you sell.

You can use the Google Keyword Tool to find this out.

Let’s work with the example we mentioned before: the Italian restaurant in Seattle. According to Google, all the variations of “Italian restaurant in Seattle” combined have over 14,000 searches per month.

According to the most recent data, the website that is #1 on Google gets 56% of the clicks, which in this case is about 7,800 clicks. Just to be on the safe side of the forecast, I always like to assume that a company can get only half of these clicks. So, let’s say you only get 3,900 visitors a month.

Now, how many of these visitors will make a reservation at your restaurant? Does 5% sound reasonable considering that these people were looking for an Italian restaurant in Seattle and they found yours? This would result in 195 reservations per month. Let’s say your average profit per reservation is $50. Being at the top of Google can bring you $9,750 in profits every month. If this number is higher than what SEO costs you, then you should move ahead and do it.

WARNING: It’s crucial that you run these numbers for your own business. In some industries SEO is extremely profitable and in others it isn’t anymore. This is because different industries have different profit margins, different search volume and doing SEO for some keywords is very expensive. Make your projections and find out if your business needs SEO or not.

How Does SEO Work?
Let’s say you determined that SEO will really help your business. How does SEO work, anyway? SEO has five steps:

  • Keyword Research. You need to find the perfect keywords for your market.
  • Competitive Analysis. You need to find out what areas of SEO you need to improve and in which ones you’re doing just fine.
  • On-Site Optimization. You need to make your website copy and tags keyword-rich.
  • Content Creation. You need to create a lot of SEO content for your site.
  • Link Building. You need to work on getting other websites to link to yours (links are seen by search engines as votes).

I wrote a short step-by-step report that teaches business owners to take their websites to the top of Google. It’s FREE and you can get it here: https://www.madfishdigital.com/search-engine-optimization.html (scroll down a little bit and look for the report box on the right side of the page).