Whether you hire SEO firms in Tampa, Los Angeles, New York, Boston, or Chicago, if you want to grow and prosper your business in the “Internet of Things” business world, it’s not a good idea to leave things to chance. For example, did you know that an astounding 37 percent of all internet clicks go solely to the number one listed products searchable by Google, Bing, or Yahoo? And that the top three search results, capture a whopping 76 percent of all clicks. And did you know that only about 1 in 5 customers doing searches clicks on more than one result?

Welcome to the world of Search Engine Optimization, where ranking high in the various search engines is critical to your business success.

What is Search Engine Optimization?

Let’s say you open tire sales a pool cleaning business in Tampa, and you want to get one of those coveted top three sites. First of all, even if you are Bill Gates or Warren Buffet, you can’t just write a check to one of the SEO Firms in Tampa, and automatically pop into the top three on Google or Bing.

Each search engine has its own algorithm to sort out the 200 million websites their search spiders access and then provide you, the users with search results, theoretically ranked in order of best to worst. So you can’t just put up a poorly done website and then spend a lot to get it rated highly. It doesn’t work that way.

Instead, the algorithm for search engines takes into account things such as the title, and meta descriptions, keywords, backlinks from other web pages (the most optimized for cellular phone users as well as personal computers and tablets,) click-through rates among people visiting the site, user experience when they go to your website, content, not just pure advertising or fluff, short paragraphs, and many more.

What the SEO firm can do is do a careful analysis of your website, recommend changes,

in both structure and content, instruct you how social media can greatly maximize your search results, suggest ways to get backlinks, educate you on adding videos, suggest how your website can be optimized for cellular phones and suggest other changes. such as bigger fonts and easier to read color choices.

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What do customers expect?

Not surprisingly, many SEO companies and their customers are at odds. Overall satisfaction with agencies, in general, is rather low. Over 70 percent of customers hiring SEO would not recommend the company’s services to their friends and fellow business owners.

Part of this division is related to overall objectives. While the vast majority of businesses rate an SEO on their page rankings and their ability to drive new traffic immediately, many companies also place great emphasis on brand awareness with social media and building up email subscriber lists, both of which rate rather low in the expectations for the business.

Many customers also freely admit that they really don’t have a good idea of what an SEO company does and indicates the agencies themselves, have made little effort to educate them.

This is one reason why SEO reputation, as well as the size of the firm, are often extremely important elements to customer satisfaction.

About SEO costs

Not surprisingly while overall satisfaction is low, the companies, large and small who spend more than $500 per month had a far greater satisfaction rate than those who spent significantly less. These “satisfied” companies seem to understand that SEO activities are not a one-and-done enterprise, but more like an ongoing battle in the war of commerce.

Most clients find their agency by referral, but the numbers firmly bear out that besides referral and reputation, those companies expect to be educated and trained by an SEO company on how the entire thing works, and if the company is too big or too busy to do so, then their advice, while perhaps top-notch, will often be ignored or delayed.

Can an SEO firm guarantee top-five results?

Because everyone understands that top-five results are what a business wants, (preferably top 1 or 2 ) but so few understand the complexity of the SEO algorithms, there is quite a bit of snake-oil salesmanship in the search engine optimization business. Many firms, without even looking at your website or analyzing your business, will “guarantee” they’ll get you in the top five within 6 months or so. Of course, they never put that in writing in their services contract, and the minute someone readily “guarantees” you top-page placement, you should not just walk away but run.

Without a lot of work, it’s quite difficult to guarantee results in the SEO business.

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You can help with great content

One reason that many businesses shoot up in the rankings is continually providing great content. Going back to our example of starting a pool cleaning business in Tampa, besides the hours and the services you offer, you can greatly boost your rankings by proving content in the way of a blog that offers different articles and tips about pool cleaning. Adding a blog, titled, “About Pool Algae,” or advice on buying an “automatic pool cleaner” goes a long way to making your overall website content friendly.

Another way you can enhance the content, as well as greatly improve the click-through rate, is to add an optimized video. Research has shown that nearly 75 of people who watched a video about your product on your website either bought it or clicked-through for more information.

Go for the low-hanging fruit

Another bit of advice is to go for the low hanging fruit at the local level. You do this by emphasizing your pool service is in Davis Islands for example, which may have

only 1 or 2 pool service companies, rather than putting all your eggs in one basket strictly by trying to attract the whole of Tampa.

Ultimately, the SEO business is part science, part art, with a touch of voodoo thrown in. But smart business people understand that it’s just another in the continual but necessary expenses to running a successful business. Do your search for an agency carefully, and don’t hesitate to ask a lot of questions.

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