Do you know how many people visited your website, last month? Last year? Maybe you’ve tried to pull some basic numbers from Google Analytics. There is some good information there, but Google shares only what Google wants to share, and most of the information is not organized in a way that helps you improve SEO, web traffic to your site, which is what you really want from Internet marketing.

Digital marketing has become a skilled profession.

Digital marketing requires a broad skill set. Site design, search engine optimization (or “SEO,” a method of making your site more visible to both humans and Google’s ranking algorithms), social networking, on-site video placement, back links … all these elements affect how many qualified prospects find your website—and more importantly, how many of them become customers.

And Google changes the rules frequently, so even if you were doing the right things last week, you may need to adjust your strategy this week to stay ahead of competitors.

The bottom line is this: Unlike 10 years ago, SEO is no longer a do-it-yourself skill. If you want measurable results; you need an Internet marketing expert who studies algorithm trends every day—and has the software to interpret and respond to them. At US Logo, where I work, new customers are frequently amazed at how much we know about their current website traffic and that of their competitors. It’s easy for us because we have the right software (and the right education) to extract the information you really need to build a better web presence.

How are your customers searching for you on the web?

Finding out how your site is performing is just the first step. Next, we find out what words people are typing into Google when they look for your product or service. Again, you can do some basic research on your own, but getting to the top of the search results can take years rather than weeks if you don’t have special software—and an educated awareness of how Google is looking at data on a particular day.

Making sure customers find you

The final step is making changes to your site to attract the people who are looking for your product. This could mean new text on the site, a new site layout, new Google descriptions or all of the above. It all has to work in harmony, or you can actually hurt your web traffic by inadvertently making Google’s artificial intelligence programs feel “tricked,” which can get you blacklisted from all search results.

Internet marketing done well is a beautiful thing

Being good at SEO is a full-time job, and, yes, there are some charlatans out there who will take your money without being able to show you real data and bring real people to your website. But when it’s done right, SEO is money well-invested. It’s also a lot of fun to watch the results when they start happening.

Doug Brown is in charge of web development at US Logo, Wichita, Kansas, which offers Internet marketing, SEO (search engine optimization), promotional products, vehicle graphics, video production and branding strategies.