SEO is essential to your business

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Your customers’ fingers are no longer doing the walking

Let’s say you operate a dental practice in Urbandale named “Clean Teeth.” You have a decent number of clients, but you have the capacity to take on many more. The first move is to promote your services with widely read print publications and local radio or TV. Next comes social media with a Facebook page and possibly some paid ads. Those options can be effective. Not too many years ago, businesses would have also relied on the yellow pages, as that was where consumers searched for business listings. That isn’t the case anymore.

As most of you know, advertising is an essential piece of a well-rounded marketing plan, but it shouldn’t stop there. To take your fate into your own hands, you need a tool that generates continual visibility with little work from you. This is the perfect situation to employ Search Engine Optimization. Best known as SEO, search engine optimization takes your businesses’ website and tailors it so it
sticks out to search engines. Without SEO in place, a customer searching the web for a dentist in Urbandale may completely miss Clean Teeth. Falling through the cracks of a search engine is easy to do if your company doesn’t have a generic name; e.g. Urbandale Dentist Office.

In essence, SEO is a background website programming tool that takes all the boring elements of the web and makes them homing beacons to search engine algorithms. Keywords, linkbacks, analytics tracking, RSS feed population and monitoring — all these tools and more are essential to SEO, and if you work with the right vendors, then you barely need to know what they mean.

Search engine optimization is an industry onto itself with consultants commanding heavy fees. Thankfully your initial steps into the market can be free with services like Google’s constellation of SEO tools. Analytics, PageSpeed and Keyword Planner scan your site for best keywords and SEO practices after implementing a simple tracking link on your site. Beyond Google, there are loads of SEO
tools with many website platforms already offering analytic functionality waiting to be used. In many cases, even the tech illiterate can watch a two-minute tutorial, click three or four links, and discover the most popular keywords consumers use to discover a business’ online presence.

How will this lead to more clients? Well, proper SEO, along with other forms of advertising and marketing, will push your business to the top of web searches for a plethora of word combinations. If suddenly Clean Teeth becomes the No. 1 search result for “Urbandale Dentist,” you’ll likely be scrubbing dozens of new mouths in no time. ♦

Patrick Boberg is a central Iowa creative media specialist. Follow him on Twitter @PatBoBomb.

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