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Is Search Engine Optimization Worth it for the Novice?

October 9, 2013

Everyone we know wants to get on the first page of Google.  Nobody really knows how and the rules are always changing.  Is it even worth it for a small to medium sized business to do their own Search Engine Ranking Optimization?

We know tons of small start-ups in various markets, maybe one or two people running the place where one (or maybe both) are doing SEO type of web marketing activities on a part time basis.

What you need is the time and to have the discipline to understand SEO and have the passion for the practice.  This is true of anything in marketing but particularly true in SEO where you need to know some technical things, plenty of classic/viral marketing things like headline and copywriting, emotional pulls on people’s egos, intellect and desires.  You need to know what’s evolving in the greater we, what’s getting shared and not shared.  So there’s lots to know and learn.

But it’s great when a small business owner can grab SEO by the horns to grasp it and run with it on their own.

Some quick stats:

  1. Over 87% of people do an online search for a company before they ever think of making a buying decision
  2. Google has over 67% market share when it comes to the search engine of choice
  3. Most people do not look any deeper than the first 3-4 pages of a Google search they perform
  4. 62% of search users click a link on the first page of search results

That said, when you look at all the stats mentioned above would it not make sense to help ensure that your website shows up at the top of a Google search?

What is Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of affecting the visibility of your website or a web page in a search engine’s “natural” or “organic” search results (see graphic below) to see what area this refers to. Google scours the internet and indexes billions of webpages daily and when a person performs a keyword search Google spits out the results from highest to lowest in terms of relevancy.

keyword is any word or short phrase that describes a website topic or page. – The more a keyword is used by searchers and websites the more attraction power it has. If you want your website to attract searchers, you need to use strong keywords in your website titles and website text. These brief words should realistically identify and describe your site.

Website owners and advertisers can pay a fee to have their websites show up at the top of Google.  The paid sections (eg. Google Adwords) display your ad once you pay your advertising fee to Google.

However … the biggest bang for buck is in NOT in the paid areas.  Google obviously wants you to spend your money for advertising but more people look at the organic or natural search rankings.

The organic or natural listings are all the other results that display on the search results page.  These results are free in that you don’t pay Google anything for them to show up AND they garner 250% more views than the paid Adword section.  So you can see why it really pays off in the long run to put effort towards organic search.

The snapshot below helps you get a better idea of where organic and paid listings are shown in a typical Google search.

What’s the Difference Between Paid Ads and Organic or Natural Search Results

Paid ads refers to you bidding on specific keywords within Google and then Google showing those ads accordingly. The catch is you need to pay Google for them to show up. Once you stop paying Google the ads stop showing up.

With organic or natural search results you don’t pay Google a penny but you do invest in the time and effort it takes to get top rankings.

Your website showing up for free and ranking high in Google is all work that is done on your website. The beauty of this is that more than 75% of people click on the organic search results versus only 25% for the paid ads in Google. It only makes sense to put your money into Website Optimization. The stats don’t lie.

How do I get my site to rank higher in Google?

First off you need to understand what your clients might be typing into Google to find you. So for instance if you are a Mortgage Broker working in say the Calgary area and you specialize in mortgages for self-employed people then a person in Calgary who is self-employed might actually go to Google and type in “Calgary Mortgages for the self-employed”.

The concept here is that your website needs to be optimized for specific keyword terms. People tend to say “I want my website to rank high in Google”. That is so open-ended it isn’t funny. What they should be saying is “I want my website to rank higher when people type in Calgary Mortgages for the self-employed”. You need to drill down to some specific keywords terms people might actually use to find your website online. No site on the planet shows up for every search term in Google. You need to get specific!

So before any website optimization would ever occur you need to have a good idea of what types of keywords you’d want your website to rank higher on.

With the keywords in hand this is where you then begin the optimization process. This can be done by non-techies depending on the access they have to their website but it’s typically left to companies and/or people who specialize in SEO. At Roar Solutions we specialize in SEO and we can definitely help your business out. To learn a bit more please visit our website at:

Is Localized Search Important?

Yes this is extremely important. Localized search basically refers to people doing online searches for things in their geographic area (ie. city, province etc). So once again you have to start thinking in terms of what your potential clients might enter into a search engine to find what they need. For example if I was going to Niagara Falls to do some site seeing and I wanted to book a hotel room I would likely type in something like “Niagara Falls Hotel Deals” into Google versus something generic like “Hotel Deals”. So you can see the localized part (the city Niagara Falls) mentioned in the search term. That’s what people type into Google, they get specific and this is what your website needs to be optimized for.

That said most businesses need to think in terms of localized search terms not just generic search terms.

Website Optimization (SEO) Recap:

Website Optimization or SEO for short is the process of helping make your website or a webpage show up in Googles “free” or “organic” search results. There is no fee paid to Google for this. Over 87% of people use a search engine to search for a company they wish to use before they make a purchase. Over 75% of people click on the free or organic Google search results versus only 25% for the paid results.

Does your website need to rank higher for Google? Give us a call at 1-866-820-0831 or visit us online at:

We are taking a limited number of SEO clients and we know we can help your business.