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What Is SEO – The Benefits & Downfalls of Search Engine Optimization

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What Is SEO - The Benefits & Downfalls of Search Engine Optimization

What is SEO? Great question.

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. In the most general sense, SEO is a marketing strategy aimed at getting more online visitors or “traffic” to your website.

People using Google are always searching for something online, so Google’s #1 job is to present users with the most relevant content possible. They do this by using advanced algorithms to scan and analyze websites 24/7. These so called “spiders” that analyze sites look for things like titles, content topics, images, and many other things that give Google a better understanding of the website.

The way that Google scores different websites is based on a number of factors including:

  • How fast your site loads
  • How many visitors your website gets
  • If your website is “trusted” & has a high rank.
  • and many more things.

Over the past years while the internet has been growing exponentially, Google and other search engine companies have been trying to figure out the best possible ways to make sure websites are legitimate. In attempt to rid of scammers and people trying to find certain loopholes within their algorithms, Google is constantly updating their system to push quality content to the top of the search engine results pages (SERPS).

Now that you understand what SEO is, and WHY it’s important, let’s go over some strategies you can implement to help you business grow online.

Finding Relevant Keywords

“Keywords” are specific phrases or words that tell Google what your website or article is about. For example, one of the keywords in this article is “what is SEO”.

Including this phrase in my title allows people typing that into Google to find this page!

Finding relevant keywords is essential to your SEO success. To brainstorm quality keywords, think about the things people would search for relating to your business.

Let’s say you own a pilates studio in Seattle…

A very valuable keyword would be “pilates studio in Seattle” or “pilates Seattle”.

It’s important to think about the intent of people searching for whatever product or service you’re trying to market. As an example, ranking for “try Pilates in Seattle” would be more effective as opposed to “pilates stretches to do at home”, even though they both have the word pilates in them. Someone searching for pilates stretches to do at home won’t be very valuable if you own a local studio.

As an exercise, pretend you are a customer searching online for whatever product/service you sell. Write down 3 phrases you would type into Google.

With SEO, it’s important to take your business owner hat off so you can think like a consumer!

Now that you know how to discover relevant SEO keywords, I want to recommend some free tools that can help you strengthen your SEO.

Free SEO Tools

#1: Google Keyword Planner

Google’s Keyword Planner allows you to search for quality keywords and sort them by monthly number of searches, competition, and bid. Most keyword tools cost money, but Google gives anyone with a Google account free access.

#2: Google My Business Listing

Your GMB listing is ESSENTIAL for local businesses! When people perform local searches on Google, you want your business to show up in the “snack pack”.

GMB listing optimization

As you can see above, businesses that have optimized their GMB listing show up FIRST in the local search results!

This is a BIG win, not to mention low-hanging fruit.

Optimizing your GMB listing can take as little as 30 minutes!

#3: Yoast SEO Plugin (WordPress)

The SEO plugin created by Yoast has been an all-time favorite at our agency. This free tool allows you to see the real-time SEO performance of all of your web pages. It even shows you how to easily improve them step-by-step.

This tool is a must-have for both advanced users and those who don’t want to dive too deep into SEO themselves.

SEO Strategy – The Benefits & Downfalls

SEO is definitely a strategy worth investing in, but with that said, there are certain expectations we need to set straight from the get-go…

SEO is a long-term, passive strategy.

You aren’t going to generate results this week if you start today. If you meet anyone that says they can guarantee results in less than 30 days, they’re full of $%&#… Sorry to break it to ya…

For those wanting to generate results quickly, paid advertising is a smarter solution. You can turn on your ads and get traffic & sales that day, but with SEO it takes months to get things going.

Once again, do NOT expect to get hundreds of website visitors overnight with SEO. Typically we see results from SEO pay off in a 6-24 month timeline.

Should I Do SEO?

Ah, a great final question to ask..


SEO is definitely something to consider and implement over the long-term. Once your website is generating a lot of visitors organically from your SEO efforts, it can REALLY pay off!

The only thing we want you and other business owners to understand is that you have to be patient and persistent with SEO.

“Nothing worthwhile is ever easy”

When you decide to begin your search engine optimization journey, keep yourself accountable and stay persistent for at least 6-12 months. If you don’t want to do it alone or need help, feel free to contact our team. We’re happy to help in any way we can.

Thank you for reading this post! You can discover more about digital marketing at our other blog posts below. Besides that, please share this article with anyone that may benefit.

Wishing you success – Team ZIMA