Search engine optimization helps your small business appear on customers’ smartphones and computers when they’re making purchase decisions.

ARC Creative Group is here to help boost your company’s online presence through search engine optimization (SEO). Before you start your digital journey to growing your business, here are a few things you should know about how SEO works.

1. SEO Takes Time

This is probably the most important thing to know before using SEO practices to create a robust online presence. Any form of marketing, whether digital or traditional, takes a decent amount of time before you start to see results. You wouldn’t buy a spot on a billboard and expect every person who drives by it to immediately become a customer, would you? The same principle applies for getting traffic to your website.

2. SEO Requires Maintenance

Search engine optimization is an ongoing process that requires consistent maintenance. It is important to dedicate some time out of your schedule to maintain your online presence through customer reviews, social media and content. If you fall behind, it is possible for incorrect information to spread or new reviews to surface without your knowledge.

3. SEO is Not for Everyone

It is highly recommended that you conduct a business analysis on what type of marketing works best for your specific type of business, so you can better understand where your money should be spent. Do you value leads? Are you B2B focused? Is word-of-mouth more effective for new customers? While online marketing is effective, it is not the best solution for all companies.

4. SEO & SEM Are Not the Same

While both processes share a similar goal to increase online visibility, it is important to know the difference between SEO and SEM when deciding on an online marketing practice for your business. SEO is the process of optimizing your website, social media accounts and online reputation to make your business more search engine friendly. Search engine marketing (SEM) goes beyond SEO to include methods such as PPC (pay per click) paid search advertising to guarantee you more search engine visitors.

5. ARC Uses an Organic Approach for SEO

ARC Creative Group uses the term “organic,” they are referring to the specific method of SEO that Manta utilizes for small business owners. Our Marketing Pros help you grow your small business’ online presence through unpaid, algorithm-based results such as the optimization of your website, building search citations with consistent business listings, or maintaining a social media presence.

6. SEO Does Not Guarantee Leads

While, ultimately, online marketing is meant to help more customers find your business through search engines, there are no guarantees that traffic will turn into sales. When a customer is searching online for products and services, they may visit a website, social media account or browse through reviews several times before making a purchase or calling a business.

7. Consistency & Originality are Key

Search engines like Google like to see a strong online presence that is rich with original content and consistent information. Avoid copying-and-pasting the same content across multiple platforms; search engines might see this duplicated content as spam. Search engines also like to see correct and consistent business listing information across the internet. If an old address or the wrong phone number is listed for your business anywhere online, it can affect your search ranking.

8. SEO Includes Several Types of Success Factors

When you choose search engine optimization to grow your business, it is crucial to realize that SEO is not just one simple task or a one-time fix. There are several factors that need to be utilized and optimized on an ongoing basis to maintain a robust online presence for your small business. The most important factors are correct and consistent information across all business listings; an active presence on social media; original and well-written content; monitoring your online reputation to encourage and respond to customer reviews; and optimizing your website to rank in search engine results.

Managing your business’ identity is a full-time job.