Category Archives: Health

Search Engine Optimization Company Understand Your Marketing Strategy?

So you have decided to hire a search engine optimization company as a part of your overall marketing strategy. The firm that you choose will have a tremendous impact on the success of your campaign, but you knew that already. However, what are your evaluation criteria? For too many companies, the answer is plain, simple, and singular: rankings.

However, any search engine optimization company worth its salt can achieve high rankings of some sort. The true question is whether those search engine rankings are for targeted phrases that are in line with your overall marketing strategy. In order for your search engine optimization campaign to be truly successful, a search engine optimization company must understand your business, products and services enough that it can accurately promote them on the Internet.

Unique Differentiators

Every company has them. Every search engine optimization company should be interested in knowing what they are. These vital components of your marketing strategy can be a huge determinant in the keyphrases that are targeted in your optimization campaign.

For example, do you provide customized solutions in an otherwise highly-commoditized industry? Modifiers like “specialty” and “customized” added to your keyphrases will help you to obtain the types of visitors most likely to be looking for exactly what you offer. This is only one example – a typical marketing plan will detail several points that effectively differentiate the company from its competition, and a good search engine optimization firm will take the time to understand what these are. By knowing and understanding these points of differentiation, an optimization company will be able to get the most out of your campaign.

High-Profit Segments

Most companies have certain products or services that are more profitable than others that they offer. Some companies may also have some new products or services that they are aggressively targeting. Without the knowledge of these facts, your search engine optimization company is likely to target all areas of your business equally. Clearly, this would not serve your company well if your marketing strategy was calling for phase-outs of certain product or service lines, a focus on higher margin business, or aggressive promotion of new offerings. Allocation of targeted keyphrases must be in line with your marketing strategy in order for you to get the most out of the campaign, and a quality search engine optimization company will pursue the data that it needs to make a proper allocation.

Defining Prospects

Are your prospects already educated about your industry, or are they looking for solutions to a particular problem? Are they a mix of both? Your search engine optimization company should be asking you about the makeup of your client base. Targeting highly technical and specific keyphrases (such as “email deliverability testing platforms”) could attract highly-educated prospects, while targeting solution-based keyphrases (such as “marketing through email”) will target someone who is looking for a solution while not necessarily understanding exactly how it is provided. Does your marketing strategy have a preference as to which sort of prospect you seek? Is it a mixture of both? If so, what is the percentage breakdown? Your search engine optimization company should be asking you these questions in order to bring you the most qualified prospects.

Change over Time

Unless you are in one of those rare industries that hasn’t changed much for 50 years, your marketing strategy will likely shift to accommodate new challenges and new opportunities. As an extension of your marketing team, a good search engine optimization company will want to keep abreast of these changes and adjust your campaign according to what is current today. All too often, a company will change its products or services, adjust its prospect profile, or decide to focus on other areas of business without letting the search engine optimization company know that its marketing strategy has changed. A quality search firm will be proactive in finding out if any of these changes have occurred and will address them at the same time that you are, assuring that your search engine optimization campaign is in full alignment with your current marketing goals.

These represent only a few examples of how a good search engine optimization firm will want to fully understand your marketing strategy throughout the lifetime of your search engine optimization campaign. While it is true that no single company ever understands your business as well as your company does, it’s also true that a search engine optimization company with a stellar track record will understand search engine optimization better than your company will. The marriage of knowledge between the two entities can be the single largest determinant in the level of success (or failure) of your campaign. If you suspect that your search engine optimization company is taking a cookie-cutter approach to your campaign and is not taking the time to fully understand your marketing strategy, it may be advisable to look elsewhere.

Easy Ways to Get Top 10 Search Engine Optimization

1) Chose your Keywords Carefully

Once you have chosen your business and purchased a domain name the next step before submitting your site to search engines is to find useful and relevant keywords. Without this step your website will get lost in the millions of websites competing for your business.

To start our keyword research we need to utilize some very useful tools. The first website viewed should be Google Keywords which is a free tool that displays the amount of searches and competition for specific keywords. It also allows you to find more specific keywords that can better describe your site.

A better tool would be to purchase some type of software such as word tracker which offers detailed information about keywords. Unfortunately word tracker is not free, but there are other services that are.

2) Find a Niche Market

This cannot be stressed enough as it is much harder to receive top search engine rankings for a new site than an established site. A new site will have to fight amongst web sites that have established high search engine rankings.

To compete with these web sites you would be crazy! You first need to find a niche market, and then build up your website to a position as to where it can compete with these generic terms. For example let’s say you have a web site geared towards weight loss. You would not use the keyword weight loss because it has too much competition. You can use one of the keyword tools to find suggestions of related keywords that you will be able to compete against. You may find the keyword “weight loss surgery” or “weight loss techniques”. These phrases are much better keywords than generic terms like “weight loss”.

Use the list of a few keywords and check out the competition that word/ phrase has on Goggle. Look at the number of competitors. If this exceeds a few million, then you need look for a more specific keyword. The next step is to observe the top listed pages and see how well they are optimized. You can download Google Toolbar and add Page Rank to your browser for free.

Note: Here’s a quick definition of Google Page Rank. Page Rank is Google’s way of giving a specific value to how popular a website is. It is based on the number of “votes” other websites cast for another website. A “vote” is simply when another website places a link on their website that is pointing to another website. Generally, the more “votes” or links you have pointing to your website, the higher your Page Rank (PR) will be. Page Rank is one of the many factors that Google takes into account when ranking websites.

In order to see your own Google Page Rank, as well as others, you must have the Google Toolbar installed on your computer. You can get that for free.

A low Page Rank between 0 – 3 means that you can easily compete with these web pages. A web site with a Page Rank of 4 – 6 is a bit tougher to compete with, but is manageable using my guided steps and expertise. You do not want to compete with web sites that have a Page Rank above 7. Check the domains homepage, not a sub page to get an accurate Page Rank!

3) View Competitors Source Code

It is important to view potential competitor’s source code to see if they have efficiently performed on page search engine optimization. To do this on your Brower click “view” and then click on the “source” option as displayed”

This will bring up a page with all the html code on it. You do not need to be an expert with html to understand what we are looking for. We need to see if our competitor’s web site is properly optimized. We look to see if they are using their keywords in the header tags

KEYWORDS, the title tags , and the image alt tags KEYWORDS . These should all be located near the top of the source code.

If you cannot find these then go to the toolbar and chose “edit” and select “find” and type in

or

It should NEVER look like this too:

The way it should look is:

(Note: You can add this character | by holding the shift key on your keyboard and pressing the backslash key above the enter key.)

You should always remove prepositions such as “and” as this will only hurt your search engine optimization. The fewer, more relevant the words are the higher your search engine ranking will be.

Header tags

should be placed above your body content. This should contain your most relevant keyword in this tag. Ex) Weight Loss Story

This main keyword placed in the

tag will substantially increase your page ranking! The tag should contain your second most important keyword. The tag will have your least important keyword placed in it. These header tags are often overlooked, but make a significant difference in your on page search engine optimization.

The body content of your webpage should be rich with keywords and relevant content. You should have each keyword appear at least once for every 1-2 paragraphs. Do not stuff your body with keywords, as this will only hurt you. You want to give your body a clean natural look, meaning do not over or under use keywords!

Image tags should also be keyword rich. Search engines often look at the alt tags of images on your web site to get a feel of what your web site is about. If the alt tags do not have your keywords then you will be ranked lower than if you had keywords in your alt tags.

5) Homepage Organization

We want the search engines to notice your keywords and index you according to those keywords. In order to do this you should start your body and end your body with your keywords. This gives the search engine spider information that your page is highly relevant to your keywords.

When the spider looks through your web site it reads through your content from top left to bottom right. Below is an example of how the search engine reads your page starting with 1 then 2 then 3.

Now search engines will view your body content before it views your navigational menu. The search engine will see the top of your page then see a blank area and skip to your body content then move onto your navigational menu.

6) Search Engine Submission

The best way to achieve high search engine rankings for new web sites may not be what you expected. You should not submit your site directly to the search engines as this process can take weeks or even months to get your site listed. Instead you need to get listed on top ranking pages that are relevant to your web sites content. These high ranking pages are often optimized on a weekly or even daily basis. Every time the site is indexed your link will appear and the search engines will automatically list your site in its index. It is as simple as that to get listed on top search engines in only a few days!

To do this we need to search for web sites that that are indexed by search engines and get them to link to us. This can be difficult to do unless you give the site some incentive to do so. The incentive you need to give them is to write some sort of article that is relevant to your line of business. At the bottom of the article you include your web page URL to get picked up by the search engines. You submit the article to popular article directories on the web and you will be indexed by the search engines in a matter of days rather than months!

Search Engine Optimization – Process or State?

Is it possible to be truly optimized? Is optimized a state or a process?

I checked my 14-year-old Webster’s Dictionary. The definition for “optimize” said: “to make the most of; develop or realize to the utmost extent; obtain the most efficient or optimum use of.” My pre-search engine optimization resource didn’t give a definition for the noun “optimization.”

So, I looked it up on an online dictionary, which defines “optimization” as “the fact of optimizing; making the best of anything” and “the condition of being optimized.”

Hmmm. That definition seems to imply both a process and a state.

Search Engine Optimization – The Process

In the world of search engine optimization, the definition has certainly changed over the last 10 years. In the early days of search engine optimization, earning a prized first-page position on Google or Yahoo was as easy as adding some mega tags and page titles, wiping your hands and walking away.

No more. Search engine optimization has become a game of cat-and-mouse, and it seems that the 800 lb. mouse does most of the winning.

Web site owners who want to earn and keep a top position on the major search engines now must buy into the realization that search engine optimization is a process, not a state. There really is not a point at which one could say their site is “search engine optimized.” Yes, the site might be performing today on the search engines, but give it six months or a year and you’ll likely be tweaking the site, looking for links or doing more research to find out why your site’s rankings have dropped.

For their part, the search engines maintain that their efforts to upset the proverbial SEO apple cart is to prevent manipulation of their rankings and provide the most qualified results. Maybe it’s working, maybe it’s not.

As they say: “It is, what it is.”

Why Search Engine Optimization is so Important

So, why would anyone bother? Well, like it or not, the Internet and search engines have become the most popular research tool for people looking for products, services, … heck anything. Most companies understand the importance and value of having a web site, being able to disseminate huge amounts of material without incurring printing and postage costs, getting their information in front of prospects whose names they don’t yet know, informing potential customers in far-flung areas.

But, the only way of “making the most of” (see definition above) that web site is to make sure that it’s in the best possible position to be viewed by search engine visitors. Which means it needs to be optimized.

Marketing research firm MarketingSherpa conducted a study of 2,000 marketers whose sites had been optimized. They found that companies that had used an in-house search engine optimization person saw traffic to their sites increase an average of 73%.

Companies that outsourced SEO saw an average increase in traffic of 110%!

For companies investing in the effort to do it right, search engine optimization clearly works.

How Search Engine Optimization Helps Search Engines

At the same time, when done properly, search engine optimization works well for search engines. I can’t tell you the number of web sites we’ve reviewed for prospective clients that were poorly organized and failed to tell a cohesive story about what they do. If human eyes can’t make heads or tails of a site, you can be sure that a search engine robot won’t be able to either.

Optimization is the process of making sure that a web site does a very good job of explaining exactly what a company does. At its best, search engine optimization will inform not only the search engine looking to categorize and rank the site, it also will help the user who has benefited from the company’s effort to clearly convey the essence of its products and services.

Back to the Beginning – State or Process

When we talk to clients and prospects, we do reference optimization as a state, as in: “Your site has been optimized.” From a practical standpoint, it’s easier than saying “Your site is optimized, for now.” Since no one but the engineers at Google and Yahoo know when the next big algorithm change will be out nor whether it will negate any of the work one has done to a site, why be the pessimist?

We’ve done optimization work on sites that has kept those sites in the forefront of search engine results for several years at a time, and we don’t use techniques that are verboten.

5 Questions To Ask An SEO (Search Engine Optimizer)

We’ve dealt with many companies and websites in a search engine optimization capacity. The search engine optimization world is one surrounded by mystery. Although there is a thriving online community, search engine optimization is not typically offered as a course at schools or universities around the country. It is very much a skilled learned through experience.

But, often time’s companies or “SEO experts” don’t know exactly what they’re doing. Not only is this unacceptable as you may be paying these companies or individuals good money, but in the long run some techniques employed by less experienced search engine optimizers or those willing to take short cuts can cause your site to become permanently banned by the search engines.

Over the years we’ve learned that education is the key to success. Whether you’ve just begun the process of looking for a company to provide search engine optimization services, are well along the process, or already have a company you’re dealing with and want to make sure they’re doing things correct this is a helpful and simple 5 question guide:

1) Can you get my website to the top of the search engines?

This is an important question, and one you may have already planned to ask. What you want to look for is whether or not the company digs deeper and what their response is. For example you should expect to hear things like:

  • what would you like to rank for?
  • are their competitors in your market that you believe have a great web presence with search rankings you would like to emulate?

Without intimate knowledge of your industry as well extensive research it is hard to know what you really need to rank for and whether the terms you think are important will actually drive results.
Additionally watch out for too quick of an answer. Although a great search engine optimizer may be able to get you to #1 for something you want, it should never be guaranteed and it isn’t an overnight process.

2) Once my site is created, how do you make sure I show up on the search engines?

Many search engine optimizers or firms will talk about website submission. In reality all that is really needed for search engines to know that your website is there is a link (from any site on the Internet) back to your site. Some firms may talk about repeated search engine submission, but this is completely unnecessary and could actually end up hurting your rankings as the repeated blasts may be considered spam. One key thing to look out for when discussing this question is the mention of sitemaps and webmaster tools. Many powerful websites (content management sites, shopping carts, etc.) can automatically create a sitemap (a single file that shows the location of every page on your site). When this file is setup under a search engine’s webmaster tool console it can help significantly to increase your rankings and should be a staple of any search engine optimizers toolset.

3) What is link building, do I need it, and how do I do it?

3 questions in 1, I know, but this one is important.

Although on-page optimization (the way your website is built, text, etc.) is important, link building comes in at a very close second. Yes you do need link building! And the company you commission needs to assist in this process. If they don’t mention this run the other way. Your website needs links-in from other websites across the Internet to help you rank well. Links act like votes of confidence – the more you have, the more powerful your site. There are a number of quick ways to get links, but link building is a long process, but well worth the time or expense.

One thing to watch out for in link building campaigns is the creation of many smaller websites that then link back to your main site. Although in theory it is not a bad idea the truth is because of the nature of the search engines it is a colossal waste of time and money that would be better spent actually building quality links to your main site – from existing established sites throughout the Internet.

4) How do you measure the SEO process?

The advent of new tools and technology has made the measurement of search engine optimization and your website’s overall success easier than ever. Another key component to a successful search engine optimized site or campaign is the installation of proper metrics tools and the review both by the company being commissioned, as well as you the site owner. Like many things search engine optimization varies depending on a number of different factors, so implementing techniques is important, but measuring and refining are key next steps.

5) Do you start with pay per click marketing?

A good search engine optimization campaign should start with pay per click marketing and the company you commission should at least suggest this, even if you are opposed to it.

Why should you start with pay per click marketing?

Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization

Before going into detail about how you can optimize your website for search engines I would like to quickly explain what search engine optimization is and why it is so important.

Right now the web is dominated by three major search engines: Google, Yahoo, and MSN (live).

What is a Search Engine?

A search engine can be thought of as the largest storefront of all time. But, it dispenses EVERYTHING (all information on the web). You walk up to the counter (visit Google.com) and ask the magical clerk anything (type in your search), you hit “go” and off he runs back into the largest warehouse of all time to find you exactly what you need. In a matter of milliseconds he’s back with a list of the things he thinks you need. Essentially this is how a search engine works.

Roughly speaking a search engine has two facades – a front and a back. The front is what we interact with all of the time. The front of a search engine is the process by which we perform searches – it is the store clerk in the above example. You’re probably familiar with the big search box and search button all of the major services have on their font pages. You visit “google.com” you type in what you are looking to research or purchase, hit “search” and you are taken to a page with a list of results. Of all of the sites on the Internet these are what the search engine (in this case Google) believe most closely match what you are looking for. That is the “front” of a search engine – pretty simple.

The back of the search engine is where all the work is done, it is where everything on the Internet is found and sorted in such a way so that your search can bring up meaningful, relevant results; and a key component to this process are a search engine’s robots. A robot is a program (a part of a search engine) that actually goes out, across different sites on the Internet, and grabs information (text, pictures, audio, video, links, everything). The robot grabs the information and brings it back to the warehouse.

What is Search Engine Optimization?

Search engine optimization is the process by which we get the attention of the store clerk – we grab his collar, look him in the eye, and tell him that he should look to us (our website) for everyone searching for what we have to offer. So, for example, if I am running an online bicycle shop I want to be #1 anytime anyone searches for “bike store” in the search engines.

Why is Search Engine Optimization Important?

Search engine optimization is so important because IT IS THE WAY PEOPLE FIND THINGS. Be clear what is being said here, search engines are not the way people find things on (only) the web!

SEARCH ENGINES ARE THE WAY PEOPLE FIND THINGS!

People use search engines to find what they want, to do research, and even for entertainment. People are becoming dependent on search engines to quickly serve up what they need. Looking for the definition of a word? Use a search engine. Want to find a great chicken recipe? Use a search engine. Can’t remember the name of that great website you visited? Use a search engine.

And the number of searches is astounding. According to recent estimates on any given day roughly 600,000,000 searches are preformed!

So why is it important? In a nutshell it is important because your clients and customers are using it to find your services. If your website is optimized they will find you – if it isn’t they will find your competitors.

Beyond this key point there are two more reasons why search engine optimization is so important:

1) Search Engine Optimization Turns Conventional Marketing on Its Head

2) It Has PERFECT Timing

In conventional marketing you force your company in front of your potential customer. You send them a direct mail postcard, you create a billboard, or TV advertisement and try as much as possible to get their attention – to attract their eyeballs and hairy lobes. Maybe you’ve done your homework, targeting a very specific list, but you’re still asking for their attention – and who knows when and if you’ll get it.

Search engine optimization is the complete opposite, your potential customer always finds you. By strategically optimizing your website you ensure your audience sees you when they are looking for what you have to offer. As long as you’ve taken the proper steps (which we’ll talk about in just a minute) your services come pre-sold, by one of the greatest word-of-mouth tools ever created – the search engine!

Finally, the timing of this whole process is impeccable. Your services aren’t presented at dinner (as a targeted, but inappropriately timed cold call might), they aren’t presented while someone is driving (in the case of an ad or billboard), they are presented at precisely the moment someone is looking for what you have to offer.
To conclude why your website must be search engine optimized:

1) Your audience uses search engines to find and research EVERYTHING – including your services. If you aren’t found, your competitors will be and you will lose business.

2) Search Engine Optimization Turns Conventional Marketing on Its Head

3) It Has PERFECT Timing

How Do I Perform Search Engine Optimization?

Now that we know how a search engine works the key really lies in what we present to those robots and that store clerk to make sure our site is selected. How can we present our information in such a way so that they can easily get our website in front of our prospective clients? How can we get to #1?!

It’s simple; you need a “search engine friendly” website.

A search engine friendly website is one that the robots can read. It is well coded (well created) with a solid foundation. At a very basic level a search engine friendly website will have a lot of REAL text (not flash or text within images). Beyond that there are some fundamental guidelines your web development company should follow – what is called “semantic coding.” It is a three part process by which the marketing needs of your site are matched to the coding requirements search engines require, along with the actual visual design. From the ground up you should have conversations with your web development and Internet marketing team, making sure they know what your site needs to accomplish.

Without getting into too much technical detail regarding the structure of your site there are a number of steps you as site owner can take to ensure you are maximizing your web potential:

Create Great TITLE Tags – Each page has a title (this is the message that is displayed in your web browser at the very top of your site). Inside the code of your website you’ll see it displayed as:

What goes between those bracketed title tags is the title. This is the most important single line of code on each page. Make sure it is relevant to the content on the page, and, if possible try to make it marketable; as it will usually be used as the title of your site should it come up in a search result. This rule can be applied to every page of your site.

Check Your Sites’ META Tags – Although not as important as it once was check the META tags of your website’s pages. Each page should have individual META information (if appropriate) that pertains to that specific page. This META information helps supplement the robots and store clerk in their quest for information. The META information adds additional insight into what exactly your site is about.

Links – Beyond the coding of your website, links are an absolute necessity to search engine optimization. A link from another site to yours is like a vote of confidence. The more sites that link to yours (particularly those sites in similar industries) the more likely the search engines are going to recognize you as a leader in your field, and the higher you will get for searches. Only links from other, outside sites will help your site (for example a “helpful links” page on your own site doesn’t count).

Using a Search Engine Optimization Company

It’s a common question that companies who are considering hiring a search engine optimization company often face – is this something that we can do in-house? More importantly, can we do this in-house and get the same results that an expert search engine optimization company would provide?

As this article will demonstrate, clearly the answer is “yes” to both questions. However, as this article will also demonstrate, getting the types of results that an expert at search engine optimization can provide will cost you – often more than outsourcing.

For the purpose of this article, I’m ignoring the multitudes of companies that decide to dump the job on somebody already in their organization (usually an IT person who already has too much to do) rather than hiring a search engine optimization company. It has been my experience that while some of these people eventually provide decent results, they are the exception. More often than not, the project never leaves the ground, or the effort is halfhearted at best. In a worst case scenario, your internal person may embrace tactics that no expert search engine optimization company would ever use because they can put your site at risk of penalization or outright removal from the engine indexes.

My company often works with firms after they have used non-expert internal talent to optimize their website, and most of the time we are actually doing more work because much of what has been done is ineffective or dangerous. We have to take everything apart and put it all back together, often while making requests to the search engines to have penalties lifted.

The real goal of this article, however, is to assume that a business has decided to embark on a search engine optimization campaign, and that it is also committed to using a proven expert in search engine optimization. The choice then is simple – does the business hire an experienced resource to work in-house or should it instead go with an outsourced search engine optimization company?

A recent study by the Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization, published in the January 2008 edition of DM News (“Healthy SEM Salaries Rule: SEMPO Survey”), points out that experience in search engine marketing carries a high price tag. For instance, if you were looking to hire someone with more than five years of experience in search engine marketing, you could expect to pay between $100,000 and $200,000 per year. For somebody with experience but not five or more years, you can expect to pay anywhere from $60,000 to $100,000 per year.

If nothing else, these real world figures should convince discerning companies that expert search engine optimization and marketing is not something that you should dump off on an existing employee without any experience in the field. The free market has determined that expert search engine optimization and marketing is worth at least $60,000 per year for a full time position, and up to $200,000 per year.

On the other hand, most reputable search agencies have many more than five years of collective experience in the search engine marketing industry. In addition, a high percentage of these agencies offer SEO services that cost considerably less than $60,000 per year, to say nothing of $200,000 per year. It should also be noted that this figure neglects to include any of the additional costs associated with hiring – benefits, training, and so on. In addition, an expert search engine optimization company will have a broad range of sites from which to draw knowledge, while your in-house expert will likely only have one, or a handful at best.

To be fair, there are certain advantages to hiring an in-house expert. First of all, experts will have their feet to the fire, so to speak. A search engine optimization company isn’t likely to go out of business if it underperforms on your site, but an in-house expert in search engine optimization is likely to lose his or her job. It’s also much easier to get the whole team together to discuss your SEO initiatives at any time you choose when you are working with someone in-house. And hey, when you’re paying someone $200,000 per year, you can be pretty certain that you’re going to get top-notch work. But can an expert search engine optimization company give you that same level of work for a lot less money? Probably.

Conclusion

There are many compelling reasons why your business should hire an expert search engine optimization company rather than bring in an SEO expert internally or simply give the SEO project to an existing team member. Financially, it makes sense. But more so, you’re more likely to get the results over the short and long term with an outsourced company for all of the reasons noted above. I’m not saying you have to hire an SEO company – at first. I’m saying eventually you’ll probably want to.

Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization, which is frequently referred to as SEO, is the process of increasing the amount and quality of traffic generated to a website or other Internet based property from search engines’ natural/organic ranking results for specific words called keywords. For this article, I will use the term website to refer to all Internet based properties.

The popularity and importance of search engine optimization is based primarily on the fact that statistical data has proven time and time again that the higher a website is ranked in search engine ranking results, the more likely the chance that individuals will click the website link and visit the website.

Moreover, marketing research has shown over the past decade that the quality of visitors that search engines deliver to websites traditionally ranks as the best or one of the best sources of traffic for websites in relation to website conversions for sales, signups or other marketing goals set for websites.

The term SEO in relation to search engine optimization is also used at times to refer to search engine optimizers, who are consultants that mange and facilitate the development and completion of search engine optimization projects for their clients. Also, these individuals can be employees who conduct SEO projects in-house for their employers.

Search engine optimizers may provide their services strictly for search engine optimization or as part of a package, which includes other marketing services.

In general, SEO was created as a method of improving websites’ search engine ranking results. Moreover, at the core of conducting search engine optimization, there are two general methods used to optimize websites, which are on-site and off-site optimization.

As the terms imply, on-site optimization involves using techniques that are focused directly on the website and off-site optimization involves aspects that effect a website that are not directly on the website.

The reason why search engine optimization has a noticeable effect of improving a website’s rankings is because all search engines have at the core of their existence a computer program, which is called an “algorithm”. This program manages to a large degree almost all the various operations of search engines.

Thus, SEO is used by individuals and businesses to optimize websites for search engine ranking results based on either perceived or actual knowledge pertaining to the functions, directions, retrieved website data and instructions utilized by search engine algorithms to determine a website’s search engine ranking for keywords or keyword phrases.

What makes search engine optimization very challenging is the fact that every search engine has an algorithm that was created specifically for its own search engine; so each algorithm is unique and ranks websites using different criteria and factors and/or places various levels of importance on the criteria and factors.

Moreover, search engines are very protective of their algorithms; so all aspects of the algorithms’ operations are tightly guarded. Therefore, the algorithms are always being changed from time to time to prevent anyone from trying to determine the exact or close to the exact factors and criteria used to rank websites in their ranking results.

The better an individual can evaluate how search engine algorithms determine their search engine ranking results and can utilize search engine optimization to optimize websites based on his or her evaluation findings, the better the likelihood of the individual being able to improve a website’s rankings through the use of search engine optimization.

The Secret To Search Engine Optimization

Most people are not successful regarding search engine optimization because of one simple reason, which is; they do not understand search engine optimization. So today, I will tell you the secret to search engine optimization success.

If you do not understand and respect this fact, you will never be successful at search engine optimization.

When I say successful, I mean someone who can consistently achieve and maintain at least a top 20 search engine ranking for competitive keywords or keyword phrases.

I am not talking about rarely used keywords and/or keywords phrases that no one is interested in finding or searching for on a regular bases.

Frankly, almost anyone with a few SEO tips can rank well for non-competitive keywords and/or keyword phrases especially in small niche markets. However, SEO tips along will not help you very much when you are attempting to rank high for competitive keywords.

Thus, to achieve consistent success at search engine optimization, you must first learn everything you can about search engines.

You must understand intimately all the components of search engines and how these components work individually and collectively. Moreover, you must understand how search engines relate and react to websites.

This cannot be learned overnight, you will not learn this information by reading blogs, newsletters, participating in forums and/or other commonly known and used methods of acquiring basic knowledge about SEO.

The way that you learn about search engines is through finding quality information on the Internet and/or by reading books on the subject of search engines.

Don’t get me wrong, there is valuable information that you can obtain using methods such as blogs, newsletters and forums; but as I have said many times, to learn SEO you must acquire and read information that is provided in one central source that provides an overall viewpoint of the subject in a comprehensive and well written manner that is easy to read, understand and apply. This cannot be done with most methods except with books or information derived from book material in most cases.

With a well-rounded understanding of search engines, you will be equipped with a key essential for success at search engine optimization. However, you will need more than a strong knowledge concerning search engines to be successful at search engine optimization.

You must continue to add to your foundation of knowledge in relation to SEO.

Do not stop with an in-depth understanding of search engines and their components, you must take this knowledge and use it to understand how websites work structurally in relation to search engines and how using search engine optimization in unison with an understanding of search engines and websites will effect search engine rankings for keywords and keyword phrases.

Moreover, you must understand the concept of niche markets and how niche markets work in relation to SEO and search engines. Also, you must understand the importance of keywords and keyword research in your application and understanding of search engine optimization. This information along with related information will help you build an overall foundation that will serve you well as you learn and apply the principles of search engine optimization in your SEO efforts.

Now do not be overwhelmed with what I have written in this article.

Sometimes people think that a few SEO tips will be the only thing that is needed to generate a ton of traffic from search engines.

Sadly, this is not true.

Like most subjects or fields of interest, search engine optimization SEO has a vast amount of information and components that will affect your level of success. The better you are able to understand SEO and how all the related components such as search engines, websites and niche markets operate individually and collectively, the better your likelihood for success.

Remember, most people are not willing to take the time or put forth the effort needed to be successful at search engine optimization. So take advantage of the opportunity.

Put in the time and effort needed to learn all you can about search engine optimization. As you learn more in relation to SEO, you will began to see a noticeable improvement in your search engine rankings and better yet, you will begin to understand why your rankings are improving because you will understand search engine optimization at an entirely different level and viewpoint.

Search Engine Optimization Services

UK Search Engine Optimization Services! How much do we know? Every day, around three times the population of the whole of the United Kingdom put together visit search engines in search of products and services. This has made the process of establishing a never-say-die presence in major search engines crucial to the success of any business in the long term. This article seeks to decipher in brief terms, search engine optimization and also shed light on the two major classifications of search engine optimization services.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO): What does it really mean?

Search Engine Optimization is a highly specialized process that entails the analysis, enhancement and eventual optimization of one’s website architecture, underlying code, link popularity and visible content with a view to making it appear prominently or become better ranked in the search results of major search engines (e.g. Google, Yahoo! and MSN). These major search engines are algorithm-driven and relevancy based, thus creating the need for the employment of SEO experts or professionals to provide these search engine optimization services.

Search Engine Optimization Services – The Good, Bad and Ugly.

Yes, search engine optimization services could be classified into three types, although most SEO experts in the UK prefer to use two. The three major classifications of these services are: – (i) the white hat services, (ii) the grey hat services and (iii) the black hat services. The distinguishing factor between each of the major classification is the process by which the intended goal or outcome is achieved.

White Hat Services: The Good Approach. This approach employs the use of ethical and honest means in getting the desired outcome. White hat search engine optimization services do not really center on following guidelines, since search engine guidelines are not put down into paper as a set of rules or commandments, but is about ensuring that the content the user sees is the same that has been indexed and subsequently top ranked by a search engine. It involves the use of keyword rich content which is relevant and at a desired density, inbound links, blog links, article directory content and other honest practices that are capable of creating real traffic generation to one’s website thus translating into visitors, subscribers, and sales which could last for a long term.

Grey Hat Services: The Bad Approach. This approach could be said to be the conglomeration of both the black hat and white hat optimization services. Although, seen by some UK SEO experts to be a fair approach, it is a bad approach as long as it mixes the good and bad together. In fact, it is like a stain of palm oil on one finger that eventually stains the other fingers in the long run.

Black Hat Services: The Ugly Approach. This approach seeks to use deceptive and dishonest means in actualizing its outcome. It is an attempt to improve search engines’ ranking through disapproved means such as cloaking, use of too-much keyword density which eventually makes the content not understandable and using text that is hidden. Although this search engine optimization service generates its intended outcome, it does not usually last very long because most search engines will eventually discover it and penalize defaulting websites.

Whether or not, the good, bad or ugly search engine optimization service is used, an SEO expert is needed because the search engine optimization field especially in the UK, is ever-growing and innovative and thus requires a dedicated search engine optimization professional to handle it effectively.

The author is an online marketing professional with Infomedia Direct Technologies Ltd – specialized in providing Search Engine Optimization Services in the UK [http://www.infomedia-direct.com/search-engine-optimization/search-engine-optimization-services.htm] The company provides innovative internet marketing solutions for small, medium sized and large businesses. They offers cutting-edge pay per click, search engine optimization and search engine marketing solutions for your business with a full refund guarantee.

What is Search Engine Optimization and How it Can Benefit Your Business

What is Search Engine Optimization?

Search Engine Optimization, which is also known as SEO, is the process of increasing the volume and quality of traffic to a website from search engines via organic or search results. The higher your company’s website ranks on Search Engine Result Page (SERP), the more searchers will visit your site.

As a marketing strategy for increasing site’s relevance, SEO consultants consider how search algorithms work and what people search for. A SEO process may involve a site’s coding and structure, content and copywriting, site presentation, as well as fixing other problems that will prevent search engines from indexing your company website. If your company’s website is not indexed by search engines, there will be no chance at all for your site to get high visibility rankings on search engines. Therefore, it is extremely important for businesses to take note of SEO and make sure that their websites are properly indexed by search engines.

The term “SEO” can also refer to “Search Engine Optimizer”. This is an industry term that refers to agencies and consultants that carry out search engine optimization process on behalf of their clients, and by employees who perform SEO services in-house. Every agency and consultant has their own SEO methodology; therefore they may use different methods to achieve high organic rankings for websites. In most cases, in order to have effective SEO, it may require changes to the HTML source code of a site, SEO tactics will be incorporated into website development and design. That is why almost all credible SEO agencies and consultants will first look at the design and back-end architecture of a website before starting any SEO process. This will ensure that SEO is carried out effectively.

Search Engine Optimization as a Marketing Strategy for Businesses

So how should businesses use SEO as a marketing strategy? The primary objective of implementing SEO to a company’s website is to drive targeted traffic to it. Eye tracking studies have shown that searchers scan a search result from top to bottom and left to right, looking for relevant results. Therefore, if your site is near the top of organic listings rankings (organic listings refer to the web results that are listed on the left hand side of the SERP), it will most likely increases the number of searchers who will visit your site.

A successful online marketing campaign may usually involve SEO, but it also consists of the use of paid advertising on search engines, building high quality websites to engage and persuade site visitors take action either through enquiries or online sales, setting up analytic programs to allow site owners to measure their successes and improving a site’s conversion rate.

Benefits of SEO for Businesses

Businesses can benefit from SEO in a lot of ways, be it to increase brand awareness, get sales leads or increase sales revenue. The following is a list of benefits that businesses can get from SEO:

o Get more targeted traffic. SEO can increase the number of visitors to your site who are actively searching for your product or service.

o Increase brand awareness. SEO can give your brand a high international profile. You can also use SEO to create brand awareness for any new service or product by optimizing related product/service key phrases to rank higher on search engines.

o Marketing your brand 24/7. With SEO, your website will get exposure 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – without stopping.

o Higher sales. As SEO brings you targeted traffic, it can mean increased sales of your product or service.

o Long term positioning. Once a properly optimized & designed site is in place, rankings on organic listings should be consistent whereas the cost for Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising is ongoing.

o More value for dollars. Once your company’s website has achieved high organic rankings for various key phrases, you will not have to pay for each visit. Whereas for PPC Advertising, to enjoy high ranking visibility on search engines, you need to pay for each click or visit to your site.

However, to make sure that you have a successful SEO implementation, you need to make sure that your dedicated SEO agency abides to the guidelines of search engine when optimizing your site…

White Hat SEO VS Black Hat SEO

When it comes to SEO, there are 2 schools of thoughts – White Hat SEO vs Black Hat SEO. White hat SEO is techniques that search engines recommend as good practice and black hat SEO is those techniques that search engines do not approve of. For SEO consultants who practise white hat SEO, they tend to produce results that last a long time. Black hat SEO techniques may get a website to rank well initially, but the site will eventually be banned either temporary or permanently once search engines discover what they are doing.

So it is very important for you to know the best practices in the SEO industry and make sure that the SEO agency that is handling your account uses techniques that conform to the search engines’ guidelines and involves no deception.

White hat technique is generally summed up as creating content for users, not the search engines. The content that is created should be easily accessible to search engine spiders, rather than intending to trick the algorithms from its intended purpose. So, the general rule of thumb is to stay on the safe side by creating content that is relevant to your target audience. Search engines value relevancy – they will definitely want to rank a site higher their organic listings if the content on the site is what searchers are looking for.

Black hat technique usually involves techniques that attempt to improve rankings that are disapproved by search engines, or involve deception. One common black hat technique is to use hidden text, either as text coloured similar to the background of the website, or positioned off-screen. Another common technique known as cloaking is to load a different page depending on whether the page is accessed by a human or a search engine spider.

Search engines will penalize sites which use black hat techniques, either by reducing their organic rankings or even eliminating them from their database completely. This is a very costly mistake on the business point of view as you will lose out a lot of grounds as your competitors are enjoying free organic traffic from search engines due to their high rankings for major key phrases. One infamous example was in February 2006, whereby Google removed BMW Germany from its database for use of black hat methods. However, the company has quickly apologised and cleaned up the offending pages and were eventually restored to Google’s database.

Therefore, it is very important to make sure that your SEO agency is moving away from black hat methods. You will not want to be blacklisted by search engines which will translate into loss in sales and profits.

Keyword Research – The Key Factor to Successful SEO Implementation

Major search engines like Google, Yahoo, MSN Live and AOL get a lot of searches every day. Before you implement SEO to your website, you must know what key phrases or keywords your target audience is using to search for the product or service that you offer.

Whether you like it or not, there is a good chance that many people have never heard of your company. These people might be your customers, if only they can find you on search engines and buying from you. It is well accepted that building awareness is the first step to land a new customer. For example, when someone sees a TV advertisement about that new car, you hope that he or she is in the market for a car at the moment. However, relatively few people are in that situation at any one time. Majority of people who saw the TV advertisement have no interest in buying a car at the moment. But someday they will. So advertisers know that the messages – the model of the car and company name in their commercials will stick in viewers’ minds, who might remember the message later when they are ready to buy a car. It is the same for SEO.

Searchers might not know that your company offers a particular product or service unless they see your site listed on the Search Engine Result Page (SERP). Unless they see your listings, they will not think of you. Most of the time, searchers looking for a product or service for the first time might not be aware of any specific company or brand name as they are just gathering information. However, according to a research done by search marketing consultancy iProspect, more than 55 percent of searchers expect to see big brands listed at the top of search results. The same study also shows that over 66 percent of searchers believe that sites that are listed at the top of search results are the top companies in their field. So can you imagine how this affects your company’s brand awareness? If your company’s website is not listed at the top of search results, they will not see your company as a “big brand” in their mind. Therefore, it is extremely important for you to optimize keywords or key phrases that your target prospects will use to find the product or service that you are offering.

So what types of keywords or key phrases should you choose? Businesses should target keywords that are relevant to the content of their websites. Basically, keywords can be categorized into 3 types, which are: “Too Hot Keywords”, “Just Right Keywords”, and “Too Cold Keywords”. Too Hot keywords are single word search terms like “Aircon” and “Translation” which do not seem to be targeted enough to get conversions. These keywords usually bring in high search volume (which is naturally tempting to optimize) but the conversion may not be as ideal as targeting keywords which falls into the “Just Right” category. (For examples: Aircon Servicing, Translation Agency Singapore”) By optimizing those “Just Right” keywords, businesses can get more targeted traffic to their websites and increase the chance of conversions.

Choosing the right keywords is the real beginning of any SEO effort. After you have determined the right set of keywords to target, you can start the work of search engine optimization.

Why do you need to outsource SEO?

SEO is a very time-consuming process as continual fine-tuning and monitoring need to be done. Therefore, it is advisable for you to hire a search engine optimization agency to plan out the optimization plan for your company.

A professional SEO agency will look at your site and make recommendations to increase your search engine ranking and website traffic. Once they start to optimize your website, they will provide recommendations and monitoring reports for you to know the progress of it.

Last but not least, in order to achieve successful optimization results, it is very important for your SEO agency to work closely with your website designer if you have your own IT department. This is because your company website needs to be both visually appealing and search engine friendly in order to achieve high organic rankings, as well as conversions.