Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of analyzing and tweaking a website to help it rank higher in unpaid (organic) search results. The aim of this, in layman's terms, is to rank higher when potential clients search for products or services that your business offers.
The main variables that you have control over include your website's content, organization and coding. There are huge benefits to showing up higher in search engines like Google and Bing and, because of this, SEO has become a popular service offering for website developers and online marketers.
In my opinion, SEO is crucial to your online success… when it's managed properly. SEO services offered by professional marketing companies involve a full analysis of your website, search rankings, target market and marketing plan as a whole. Realistic goals are set and the quality of your website and overall message will not be sacrificed by SEO changes.
As you may have guessed, the "SEO" services touted by mass spam emails should not be trusted – they peddle snake oil to the masses. A promise of "first page Google results" is completely unrealistic and it’s impossible for any business to critique your website code or website in general without a thorough analysis.
Not sure whether an SEO offer is legitimate? If there are numerous typos and grammatical errors and you don't know the sender, it's spam. Do not respond. Do not click on any links. Just hit delete and move on.
Here are a couple examples of the "Professional SEO Service" emails I get on a regular basis (click to enlarge):
That's not to say that these companies, or even more reputable ones for that matter, can't increase your website traffic. Anyone can set up a swath of spam sites that direct traffic to your homepage, the problem is that it likely isn't the right traffic.
The end result of a quality SEO campaign is not increased traffic – it should be an increased number of quality leads and sales. More traffic vs. more of the right traffic is the difference between snake oil and success. The key is understanding your customer, what they are searching for and how you can tailor your site to draw them in through search engines.
If you're interested in learning more, I've compiled some simple SEO tips into a quick fix article entitled 10 Tips for DIY Search Engine Optimization.
If you'd like a FREE SEO evaluation of your site, call Paul Provost at 204.474.1654 or email email@example.com. Our FREE SEO tool provides the starting point for a conversation on where your site currently stands and which improvements could benefit your business.