Some questions for you: Do your potential customers use Google or Bing to find companies, products or services like yours?

Taking a common search query relevant to your company (e.g., “industrial fans,” or “best pizza in Tulsa”), do you see your company on Page 1 of Google, positions 1, 2, or 3? High on the page, or low on the page? Do you see yourself in the “local” results which occur for “local” searches such as personal injury attorney, CPA, or sushi?

Taking a whole bunch of relevant keyword search queries (the “universe” of search terms by which customers might search for your company, product or service), do you generally show up on Page 1 of Google, positions 1-3? positions 1-10?, or not at all? If you generally appear on Page 1 of Google, and especially in the top positions 1, 2, or 3, for all your relevant keywords, you can stop reading this.

You pass with an A +. If you generally do not appear, then keep reading. Or if you appear only on some search queries, but not others, or if you’re not really sure what the search queries are, then you need help.

If you have no idea what search word “queries,” “positions” on Google, or “high” vs. “low” on the page mean, don’t worry. Don’t feel stupid. You need help, and I am going to teach you.

Isn’t SEO Hard?

Well, that’s what Google would like you to think (so spend money on AdWords…) And that’s what many in the SEO industry would like you to think (so pay us big consulting fees, and don’t ask any questions!) I don’t agree. SEO isn’t easy, but it isn’t exactly hard either.

I’ve taught thousands of people in my online classes, in classes at Stanford Continuing Studies and throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, and in corporate workshops, and I can confirm that there is a lot of confusion about SEO. People think it’s hard, or impossible, or mysterious, and that’s simply not correct.

SEO is Easy Like Getting Fit is Easy

SEO, you see, is a lot like physical fitness. Although everyone can conceivably run a marathon, for example, few people make the effort to learn how and even fewer take the disciplined steps necessary to train for and ultimately finish a marathon. Does that make running a marathon easy? No. But does that make running a marathon hard? Not really. Like running a marathon, SEO is conceptually simple (exercise a lot, train with discipline, don’t give up) but practically hard (you have to work at it nearly every day).