Over the last 10 years or so I’ve watched local Vernon and Kelowna businesses slowly embrace the reality that having an online storefront is just as important as having a physical one. I remember when only a small percentage of local businesses were online. Many of the others had decided that traditional yellow-pages listings had always worked and that websites were a wasted investment. Those early internet adopters certainly benefited from their foresight as more and more Okanagan customers turned to Google and other search engines for business information only to find a small and select menu of local websites available. Years later many of those websites still sit at the top of search results while the others struggle with an uphill battle to reach the top of search results for their niche.
The point? It’s important to recognize when adopting a technology early can have long term benefits.
Having a website is no longer viewed as a waste of investment but simply having a website is no longer enough. It’s much easier to sit at the top of search engine results when there is no competition, but when you have potentially dozens of competitors trying to be #1 you need a more complete strategy. This is where SEO comes in.
To put it simply, SEO (or Search Engine Optimization) is the process of making your website more appealing and valuable to search engines than that of your competitors. When someone searches for a “Vernon Reflexologist”, how does Google know which business is the most relevant? By taking into account a websites age, its content, its connections to other relevant websites, its activity in social media, the overall user experience it provides, and dozens of other factors.
And that’s SEO – it’s knowing what factors make your website more valuable for certain search queries and then fine tuning (or optimizing) your site so that it appears in the top results for that search.
Like adopting a website 10 years ago, SEO as a business strategy is still a new service in the Okanagan and only a few businesses have had the foresight to adopt it early on. Looking back at our earlier search for a “Vernon Reflexologist” we can see that, although there are several reflexologists and websites available, it’s the Search Engine Optimized site of Vernon Reflexology that appears on top.
Just as those early website adopters benefited from dominating search results for years later, it’s the Okanagan businesses that implement SEO campaigns today that will reap the rewards for years to come.
A properly run SEO campaign can result in top level search rankings and relevant site visitors for years to come. Contact us today to discuss your options and get ahead of the competition. Not sure how your site is viewed by search engines? Run a quick 1 Minute Free Website SEO Audit by clicking here.