What is SEO?

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is defined by Wikipedia as the process of affecting the visibility of a website in a search engine’s natural (or unpaid or organic) search results. This may sound like a bunch of tech jargon to most, but the truth is that SEO is really important. Good SEO means that your company’s website is appearing at the top of search results for people interested in your services. So, when someone looking to have construction services done searches in Google for “columbia construction,” your website is right at the top of their search results, heightening the chances of them clicking the link, seeing your site, and bringing you business.

Organic vs. Paid Search Results

Organic search results are the results that SEO brings you. Paid search results are the ones you have to pay for, using a service from Google called “Adwords”.

google-search-organic-vs-paidPaid search results are nice because they get you right to the top or side of a search result, but keep in mind that they will go away once you stop paying, or if someone else is willing to pay more. Good SEO ensures that your company stays at the top of the organic search results, delivering consistent web traffic and business leads.

So…does my company need SEO?

Great question! There are two good ways to answer that question.  First we’ll talk about how you find business, then we’ll talk about how your site currently displays in search results.

1. How You Secure Business

Are you trying to secure business from the general public?

If so you may need to continue on with their exercise.  The general public is likely searching for your services online and it’s important they can find your site as a potential solution.

Are you trying to secure government contracts?

If so you may not need to worry about SEO.  You’ll certainly want your site to display when people search for your business name, but any well designed website should do that naturally.  You do need a nice website to build credibility but you may not need to optimize for your services.

Are you trying to secure business as a contractor for another business?

If so you may or may not need to worry about SEO.  If you have secure business relationships with contractors in place already you may just need a nice website to show you’re legitimate and build credibility.  If you’re just getting started and hoping to gain more business through your website you should probably continue on with this exercise, you would benefit from SEO.

2. Current Site SEO Performance

Consider Your Keywords

Decide on five key words or phrases that describe your business, aka the words people are most likely to use when searching for services provided by your business like:

  • service city (the name of your service and the city you service, ex. web design columbia)
  • service city state (the name of your service plus your city and state, ex. web design columbia mo)
  • alternative service name (another term people use to describe your service, ex. website design, you can also use this term with your city and state)
  • non-educated service name (what people call your service who aren’t in your industry)

Test Out Your Keywords

Open an incognito window and then type your phrases into a google search and see where your website ends up. This isn’t the most scientific way to tackle your site rankings but it does give us a good idea to quickly.

I searched for Construction Web Design Columbia, MO and hey look! There we are! Google uses a complex algorithm to determine the most relevant website for a search. I guess they think we’re the best fit for construction web design in Columbia, MO. Thanks, Google!

Location plays a part in their algorithm.  The first two places we’re listed are likely because we’re located in Columbia, MO.  We are also in good standing with Google and have clearly indicated to the search engine that we offer construction web design services.  The third listing is just plain good SEO.  We wrote a blog post last year that is doing really well in Google about construction web design.

If your company can work nationally, consider searching for your service without adding a location.

I searched for construction web design and guess what!?!  We’re #6 and #7 nationally.  The same blog post from my last search and a companion post are pulled up in national search results.  Blogging is a large part of our SEO strategy.

Being on the first page is a good sign of effective SEO, and being close to the top of the first page is a good sign of really good SEO. You’ll notice the two websites listed at the very top of the list have the word “Ad” under its name. This means that these businesses are using Google Adwords and are paying to have their names at the top of search results. If you don’t see your business listed on the first page, you may need to consider optimizing your web presence.

Not every company needs to invest in SEO just like not every company needs to invest in television or radio.  Hopefully after following the steps we just discussed you have a better idea whether or not your company could benefit from the service.  If you’re still not sure feel free to contact us, we’d love to learn about your business.


More about the Author

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Monica Pitts

Monica is the creative force and founder of MayeCreate. She has a Bachelor of Science in Agriculture with an emphasis in Economics, Education and Plant Science from the University of Missouri. Monica possesses a rare combination of design savvy and technological know-how. Her clients know this quite well. Her passion for making friends and helping businesses grow gives her the skills she needs to make sure that each client, or friend, gets the attention and service he or she deserves.

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