Category Archives: Health

Increase Your Business With Local Search Engine

There is an increasing awareness about Local Search Engine Optimization particularly by those having local sales outlets. Companies that were marketing certain products or services nationally or globally were understandably unconcerned about local search engine optimization. With local search engine optimization gaining in importance, a new area has been added to search engine marketing.

However, ever since local search engine optimization came to be accepted as part of industry norms, webmasters and local business owners started ways to explore this new opportunity. For web masters specializing in search engine optimization like SEO and SEM, optimizing sites for localized search queries – added another dimension to their work profile.

Local search is developing into a massive, multibillion dollar market. The yellow pages had hitherto dominated the local market ads, but search engines are now eating off their market share. Small businesses obviously have small marketing budgets and spend a sizable amount annually in Yellow Page advertisement. Market insiders predict that yellow pages will see a steady decline due to the aggressive thrust by local by search engines.

Please know that there are four different types of sites that online users may visit to gather local information:

1. Primary Web Search Engines, such as Google, Yahoo!, and MSN.

2. Top Local Search Engines, such as Google Maps, Yahoo Local, and MSN Live Local.

3. Top online Yellow Pages, such as Superpages.com, Yellowpages.com and Switchboard.com

4. Other sites with local components.

Check out for all local news sites

With users going haywire to such a wide array of sites to obtain local info, it can be baffling to figure out where to focus efforts for gaining maximum customer attention.

It is indeed a good idea to check out the local newspaper sites of your area. It is a fact that more and more people have switched from reading print newspapers to online sources, and the newspapers readership for ads is dwindling. Some local news sites include guides or yellow pages of businesses on their site, so make sure you are seen there as well.

The key thing to remember is that there are a variety of online sites from which users are obtaining local information. There is also the fact that many consumers are keen to know with whom they are talking business online. They would certainly be happy to visit the local business outlet or at least feel satisfied that the business place is accessible locally. Even though we are in the midst of free market economy, people are psychologically at ease when having their business dealings with the local merchants.

Achieving local Search Engine Optimization

The question arises – how does one achieve local search engine optimization? Just like any SEO process creating relevant and compelling content is absolutely crucial. Well-written text aimed at drawing the attention of the local buyers and proper local keyword density are the necessary factors for good local search engine optimization. It is only to be expected that the majority of users trying to locate local information will be going to the traditional web search engines first, as a matter of habit.

When a user begins a search for local info through the regular web search engine, there is a possibility that they may find your web site if you have imaginative content which matches their keyword search. So, your first step is producing the right content of your site in order to stand a chance to match these keyword searches. Your business website must contain text that would match the locality parameters. Assuming you are a small business owner, have your full business address clearly displayed on your site’s homepage, in the HTML text. If you happen to be a company with national presence, there should be a page for each of your local outlets and each outlet’s full address should be clearly displayed in the HTML text.

One important aspect in keyword research is to bear in mind there are many local colloquialisms across the country. Different people might be searching for the same thing, but entering two totally different search words. Localized keyword research is much tougher than what it may appear to be.

Inbound linking are indeed crucial – for instance, if you are a member of a Chamber of Commerce or any similar local business association, you can have them link to your site at a nominal or no cost. Inbound links like these can be an assured gateway to increased targeted traffic. This should be done without prejudice to traditional link building. Being a member of the local chamber can provide you with a bit more promotion sometimes, and you should be found in the chamber’s directory

Over the years, people have resorted to all types of methods – both ethical and unethical -to achieve high local search results. Earlier, the Meta Keywords tags were working fine till spam adult and gambling sites began competing. Besides, search engines were also capable of easy manipulation.

After studying various trends, Google introduced a geographic box at the top of its search results, tying it into its mapping feature. When it was first introduced, the engine would display three results at the top of its search results whenever somebody entered a geographic modifier into the search box. After the initial trial, Google found that its users appreciate this feature. The engine has now been further developed to display ten local search results, provided you have a geographic modifier attached.

There are of course many resources on the Internet if you are looking for local search engine optimization. But the question is – do many companies that cater to a national or international clientele really benefit from local search optimization? The answer strangely is in the affirmative.

It is evident many customers prefer to deal local contacts, even if their business is national or even global. There is no denying that it feels more comfortable to have a personal meeting than dialing an 800 number. Again, if you are a business owner with multiple locations spread across many cities and each serving a different function, you can certainly benefit from local search engine optimization.

As a final comment, make sure your business information is available in the online directories, remember to put your address info on your website for the search engine bots, and see you are listed with the secondary local info sites. These simple steps will guarantee that you have done your bit for local SEO.

The Truth About Search Engine Optimization

The Importance of Being Online

Did You Know? Right now, over 81% of people first search online before making a purchase vs using yellow pages, newspapers, traditional “offline” methods.

Did You Also Know? – 60% of traffic that comes to the websites is from searches-From people typing in what they are looking for in Google, Yahoo & MSN/Bing. Now, if your website is not on the first page of the search engine results, then unfortunately you are nowhere. So knowing that, I am sure you would like to know how to achieve first page search results…and it begins with proper SEO strategies.

Let’s get started!

First things first!

“A little bit of information is a dangerous thing”

Well the same holds true for too much information when it comes to SEO or Search Engine Optimization. When you are taught how to drive, was it necessary for you to have an understanding of the combustion engine, correct valve timing or be able to rebuild a transmission?

Of course not!

You simply needed the facts of getting your car going safely and smoothly down the road to your destination. Otherwise you will never get out of the driveway or be too overwhelmed and never learn to drive…never achieving your desired results.

Marketing Lesson #1 “You cannot steer a parked car!”

Unfortunately there is a lot of miss information that seems to be right in line with what people are trying to sell you online today. Imagine that?
The three reasons for this are simple:

  1. SEO Companies, Gurus and Consultants want you to believe that only their big brains, experience and magic wands can make your site optimized and that little old you has NO chance, so do not bother and pay us lots of money.
  2. Pretend Gurus and Consultants learn a few tricks and sell their wares unscrupulously all over the web for cheap leaving you with a crappy e-book and no results.
  3. Lastly, there are the true webmasters out there who take On-Page optimization well beyond where it needs to go. (in my humble & profitable opinion) If you don’t believe me, go ahead and buy one of those 200 page e-books that expect you to have degree from M.I.T. and a full working knowledge of website coding. I would rather eat glass…I know this because I have read not one of these, but dozens before seeing the light.

In other words, they tend to try and paint the Mona Lisa within every site but forget to invite anyone to the museum. I.E. All tech and no marketing. Remember, we did talk about the importance of getting the car moving didn’t we?

Dispelling the Myths of Search Engine Optimization

  • PPC or paid advertising is much cheaper and faster. WRONG. Paid advertising is only as good as long as you are paying for it, where On-Page optimization is a onetime set up. Natural Search Traffic is still 60% of all traffic & you will pay more per click in advertising if your site is NOT optimized.
  • SEO results take months, if not years, to achieve. WRONG. In fact, you can expect immediate results within a few days. Nobody has the time or patience to wait these days…
  • Optimal SEO results can only be achieved by an SEO expert. WRONG. No technical knowledge or SEO expertise is needed to achieve major success when you use the right SEO Strategies.
  • Hundreds of links are needed before I can start to see significant results. WRONG. Have you ever heard the saying, “Work smarter, not harder”? You can maximize your results with very little linking.
  • The Google algorithm is complicated and takes over 100 factors into consideration. It’s impossible to achieve maximum SEO results without targeting them all. WRONG. There are key areas that have the greatest bearing and weighting over search engine results. In fact, these key areas make up the majority of the search algorithm.
  • SEO software yields the best results. WRONG. Simply put, if you know the key areas to target, you’ll outperform any SEO program EVERY time. It’s not a complicated process if you know what you’re doing. (famous last words)

What is SEO All About Then?

All right, you’ve been patient. Here are the essentials of what you need to know about WHAT Search Engine Optimization is all about and then I’ll get to the “HOW TO’s” in just a minute. Let’s walk before sprinting into uncharted territory.

OK so here’s you first curve ball… there are two kinds of Search Engine Optimization! What? Who knew? Well I did and now so do you.

There is “ON PAGE” SEO and “OFF PAGE” SEO.

On-Page SEO is the method of configuring your website’s size, layout, text, photos and videos so that they are easy to find by the search engines when someone is searching for them online.

Off-Page SEO happens outside of the website. It is the method of distributing valuable and relevant content about your products and services onto the internet in the form of blog posts, videos, articles, forums, podcasts etc. that all point back to your website to help raise its rank in the search engines as well as drive traffic.

Now there is a middle man (more like a Judge) in the process and that is the search engines themselves like Google, Yahoo & Bing/MSN. They go around creeping and crawling around the internet and index or rank your website based on their own formulas known as algorithms.

No one knows the exact formulas (except those web geeks at Google, but they’re not talking) but we have established some definite Do’s & Don’ts when it comes to optimizing your website. The other thing to understand is that the Google’s & Yahoo’s use both On-Page & Off-Page optimization when ranking your website. For now, we’ll concentrate on the On-site SEO which is the foundation for all other web marketing anyway.

Even paid web traffic from ads will cost you less with an optimized website because the search engines will reward you for playing by their rules…And simply the one theme that governs the rules of the search engines is to protect the consumer.

The Search Engines primary job is to bring the most RELEVANT results (websites, videos, articles etc.) to the consumer or person doing the search based on the search term they type in. For example: If you were to Search for “Snake Poison Antidote” on Google, you would be less than pleased and understandably angry if it pulled up websites on snakeskin handbags and boots. You get the idea.

Getting Started with SEO Strategies

  1. KEYWORDS: Prior to the SEO (or the process of correctly placing the right search engine friendly elements on your site) Optimization really begins with understanding the search terms people are using to look for products and services in the first place. These search terms are commonly known as “Keywords”. Proper Keyword research is where most people (even seasoned marketers) fail before they even get started. Fortunately there are plenty of free and paid tools you can be using in no time to pick out the best terms to optimize your site with.
  2. PLACEMENT: After you have thoroughly done your keyword research, it is time to strategically place them in all the elements* of your site (Header, Title, Description, Meta Tags, Navigation Links, Images, H1, H2, H3 tags, Alt Tags, Body etc.) to effectively have Google and the others to index or take account of all of them to be able to rank your site’s relevance for those keywords.

*Note: All of these “elements” are simply fields easily accessible to fill in on most commonly used website platforms.

Ok, that’s it!

It can’t be.

Yes it can! Sort of…

Like I said there are much geekier aspects of on-page optimization which includes things like which type of site structures to use, frames, types of scripts etc. However, with the advancement of template driven and WYSIWYG* sites, many of these aspects are already pre-coded for optimization or ease of readability for those Search Engines out there doing their creeping and crawling thing…also known as indexing.

*WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get)- An interface that provides the user with the ability to point and click to insert objects, images & text into most sites today.

So with Keyword Research and proper Placement in your site are the broad strokes of On-Page Search Engine Optimization. However, “How” to do the right and profitable Keyword Research for your niche and “How” to place them properly in all the elements of your sites is where you earn your stripes.

Local Search Engine Optimization Tips

Search engine marketing needs a new local search engine optimization feature to enlist better Google, Yahoo and Bing results. Search marketing optimization services have changed priority with Google’s places local search optimization causing many former page one websites to drop. This local marketing opportunity means that search marketing can be achieved by using better effective local search engine optimization allowing for lesser ranking websites to be seen on many page results. Google local places search engine marketing takes priority of websites using local optimization and address optimization. The if your business is closer to the pointer of Google maps it could mean higher ranking for your website. Social media marketing, directory, review results. A sample of local search indexing, local social media sites is below.

  1. Yelp
  2. CitySearch
  3. InsiderPages
  4. YahooLocal
  5. DealerRater
  6. JudysBook
  7. TripAdvisor
  8. Edmunds
  9. Zagats.com
  10. OpenTable

Also

  1. UrbanSpoon
  2. DemandForce
  3. Kudzu
  4. Yellowbot
  5. CityVoter
  6. DexKnows
  7. SuperPages
  8. MenuPages
  9. LilaGuide
  10. Vitals.com

Search engine marketing is based on link structure or link popularity with links coming from outside sources. Local search engine marketing now relies more on local social media links to rank websites and local social media. Social media marketing can utilize local marketing with Facebook places, Google places, Google maps and local tweets from twitter. What is the best SEO strategy? Search engine optimization and on page keywords was the former strategy and until very lately backlinks were the main focus of search engine optimization services, now a website say for “cosmetic surgeon marketing company” or “Attorney SEO company” can achieve page one results with a small amount of backlinks. Google places look at local websites yelp, yahoo local, and local listings, Google maps and local social media marketing websites as a major link to local business. Plastic surgery, lawyers, attorneys, law firms, are all viable local based business services which will benefit from local SEO.

Local search engine optimization is still best to keep a website optimized for keywords beyond local search marketing needs. SEO services will offer local listings as part of their services but many only provide the most obvious map, yahoo optimization. Social media marketing along with local search optimization has reached a point of equaling of trouncing many SEO strategies. Search engine marketing or SEM is also a candidate for local search engine marketing strategy. Search engine marketing can culminate in lead generation for professional services say attorney or doctor, plastic surgeon. These services require Local SEO to land the potential client to the website and then proceed to actually sell the services. How is this done? Client lead to client sell is a symbiotic strategy involving the services knowledge, reliability and pricing structure to lure the client to the best services possible.

If your services provides the best possible scenario for the client, sales happen. What can be a simple internet search from a potential client seeking say ” best SEO company ” and finding them on Google maps and then looking at the SEO firms reviews on yelp or a video tutorial on YouTube means the clients last stop may be the actual website yet they are already keenly interested in the vortex of experience, results and price of SEO. Local search SEO is probably the most cost effective local optimization. Competing with huge budget SEO was a severe challenge only a few months ago. Also outsourcing SEO has changed in as much as search engines can see local IP addresses and what is obviously a non American or U.S. IP address. What does this mean to SEO? It means SEO services from abroad cannot utilize local search marketing as before, it also means the social media used by outsourced SEO cannot mitigate to local indexing like a US. based IP can.

SEO in many larger cities can be adapted to local search optimization along with social media marketing, video marketing, multimedia enhancement to not only rank pages higher but to generate real client conversion and sales on the internet. Search optimization companies who do not supply video production, local search optimization and social media marketing services are at risk of leaving their clients out in the cold in terms of local leads and brand awareness. Video marketing Facebook marketing and twitter real time updates all contribute to creating user trust and awareness. Video production and informational marketing strategies sets the tone for creating authority in your field. Clients want to know who they are dealing with in important matters of legal and medical services. Video can bring real trust and brand awareness right to the clients choice of “keep watching” or ” move on” in a way this is like giving a consultation without the hassle.

If a potential client see’s your face, likes what they hear the next contact will be a strong one. If a potential customer has decided they simply do not like your face or demeanor it would be a waste of your time to consult anyway. SEO services are abound all over the internet for the search ” best SEO company” however taking into account practicality, face to face client trust and testimonials along with price structuring for almost any services we are the best choice for local search marketing, local optimization, social media marketing and SEO

What Most Search Engine Optimization

I’ve talked to hundreds, if not thousands of clients about their websites, their visitors and the vital link between their websites’ traffic and increased profitability. During these discussions, I’ve been privy to many insider stories about past experiences with previously hired search engine optimization experts and I can only wish that I documented the feedback that I’ve received over the last dozen+ years, but I had no clue that these particular conversations would have been so surprising, so revealing and so frightening that I never thought to do so. Sure would have made for a spooky and spine-chilling Halloween story… but because it wouldn’t have been fiction, it would have bordered on the line of witnessing a real-life Horror and since I haven’t bought the “Halloween chills” binder on my liability insurance I’ll save that story for another day…

Instead today I aim to teach you a thing or two about search engine optimization, and about what search engine optimization experts especially don’t want you to know. I’ll empower you so that in turn you can help yourself to succeed. If you’ve got the time to learn and to execute, you will be able to take these steps to help increase your targeted traffic and of course your revenue as a result. You may not be able to do it as fast or as effectively as a search engine optimization expert that has years of experience, but at least it’ll start increasing your revenue so that you can start to realize the value of search engine optimization services and make the decision as to when you want to invest in an experts skillset and at the same time have a better understanding of what they will be delivering.

Why am I doing this? Why reveal what SEO experts won’t tell you? Because I can! Because I am 100% confident in my abilities and because I know that it takes years to gain the skills and experience that I have, and while you are perfectly capable of performing the steps that I’ll outline, you’ll invariably spend more time and lose significantly more money than you ever thought possible. I can hear you all now “But how can I be losing money if I’m not spending?” The answer is simple, you’re losing money because your competitors continue to grow and reap the rewards while you experiment and tweak your SEO efforts in an attempt to gain higher search engine ranking.

So then… now let’s get down to the details. Please note that my article will not cover the technical instructions, if you are unfamiliar with them, you should likely seek a professional because what could be a day or two of work, is more likely to exponentiate into a week or two of work and if done wrong could do more harm than good.

What is search engine optimization?

Search engine optimization (commonly referred to as SEO) is the optimization of your website’s layout, content and connections to increase it’s ranking within search engines. Each one serves a specific purpose:

Layout

Most companies offer more than one product or service and target many different types of clients. In order to reap optimal rewards from SEO, it’s critical to market each product or service distinctly. It’s also critical to consider the motivations for purchase from each of your target demographics at the same time.

Content

After carefully considering and determining your website’s optimal layout, it’s important to ensure that each page targets the most relevant keywords based upon what that demographic is likely to use when searching for your products or services.

Connections

Connections refers to how many websites link to you. These links must be one-way links (not reciprocal) and must be of moderate to high quality (or at the very least not a website known for being a link farm or a spam haven). Consider the networking world, it’s who you know, and the same applies to websites. If a high-traffic, reputable company links to your website, it increases your “value” to search engines just like when you’re at a networking event and are introduced to a colleague by someone that holds authority and respect in the community.

Where do I start?

While I could never teach you everything in one article, here’s a quick little exercise to get you thinking, to whet your appetite and to help you determine if you want to go through the motions and try to increase your own search engine rank, or if you’d rather hire someone else to do it. There are 4 steps to do. For this example, I’ll use a local farm:

Step 1: Identify supporting information

– What are my products/services?

o Days

  • Jumping pillows
  • Pumpkin patch hayride
  • Children’s discovery barn
  • Cedar mazes
  • …etc.

o Nights

  • Haunted hayride
  • Barn of terror
  • Stalkers
  • Gathering of the Ghouls
  • …etc.

– What are my target demographics and what are their main motivations?

o Teenagers/young adults

  • Thrills, fear, dates

o Children/parents*

  • Entertainment, group activities, shows, togetherness

o Weddings

  • Unique and memorable experience, unforgettable photos, romance of the country setting

o Corporate

  • Team building, showing appreciation, marketing

* To get children to sign up, you must captivate their interest but at the same time you also must convince the parents that it’s a good idea. Marketing to children is always a two-dimensional challenge; both the child and the parent must be considered.

Step 2: Plan layout

– Determine the association of products/services to their target demographics

– Determine if you will layout your website primarily based upon products/services or target demographics.

Step 3: Plan content

– Research most searched keywords (try using Google Analytics, it’ll take some learning but it’s worth it)

– Start optimizing your content (both visible and hidden)

o Review content and revise according to target(s) based upon researched keywords (Please note: this can be challenging because you will want to retain the appeal of your copy, but at the same time will want to reap the rewards of search engine optimized text. Take your time and tread carefully, rushing this can be disastrous to the marketing value of your copy).

o Ensure that “hidden” content is optimized based upon optimal search keywords (e.g. page titles, image “alts”, link “titles”, etc.)

o Ensure that your meta tags are optimized for users (the wording used in your META tags are typically used as the description in search results, more enticing text can easily triple or quadruple targeted traffic!)

o Determine if you want to separate your content by product/service or by target audience. Outline cross-sell opportunities and ensure that they are linked together

Step 4: Plan connections

– One of the most important aspects of your search result ranking is calculated based upon who (and how) websites link to yours in order to determine your rank in search engines. One-way (non reciprocal links) are important and ensuring that the keywords used within the links are chosen carefully to help increase your rank can go a long way. On the other hand, being linked to from websites that carry negative reputations can penalize you and possibly even blacklist you from search results. Don’t hire SEO “experts” that cannot provide testimonials that you can actually verify; if they use techniques not sanctioned by search engines they can do more harm than good! Mybest advice here is to take your time, write some quality articles (that include a link or two back to your site) and post it on relevant article websites; communicate and provide value to individuals in forums that are relevant to your industry, ensuring that your forum signature always links back to your website and add your company to industry listing sites that are geographically and/or industry relevant. If you only add 5-6 links a week you’ll quickly see this exercise alone resulting in your rank increasing methodologically and as your momentum picks up you’ll be unstoppable!

So, what’s the big secret that most search engine optimization “experts” don’t want me to know?

It’s all of the above. Once you know how truly complex and how much work there is to do when optimizing a website for higher ranks in search engines, you will realize that there’s no easy way to automate this as a service. Most SEO “experts” will simply target a few keywords based upon the content that’s already on your site, the layout of your site won’t be optimized and if they offer any of the services identified in the 4th step above, they’ll post to the same websites, directories and forums each and every time they offer the service to a client. They’ve automated it to optimize their profits while keeping your cost down, at the expense of providing you a search engine optimization service that may increase your traffic but not your profits because they are not targeting your demographics appropriately.

What’s the use of that you say? Well you’re no different than the hundreds or possibly thousands of clients who’ve said that to me already. High quality search engine optimization that delivers lasting results takes time, patience and ongoing dedication but if your customers cannot find you, or they find your competitor first – what is the true cost to your business? Only you can answer this, only you can change the future of your company, be proactive and do something about your search engine ranking today. Invest a bit of time each day, believe me, it’ll pay off in rewards that are faster compounding and more consistent than investing in stocks, real estate or any other asset in the world.

Paying for Search Engine Optimization Makes Sense

SEO requires Time, Effort, & Persistence
It takes vast amounts of time, effort and persistence to successfully complete a campaign regarding search engine optimization. If you are attempting to optimize a website for a business that you own, I can assure you that your success rate will very drastically. Running a business in itself takes up large segments of your time. If you are not a seasoned professional you will spend a large portion of your time researching different search engine optimization methods and tactics. With the evolution of internet search engines the SEO industry has grown drastically. By this I mean that there are many different perspectives when it comes to optimization. With your website only being crawled every five to seven days to see if your changes had a positive or negative outcome regarding your search results. The biggest hurdle the do-it-yourself website optimizer faces is the fact results often take time to see results. The end result causes the novice optimizer to loose motivation and easier to get side tracked.

SEO Tools, Strategy & Experience
The available SEO weapons are ever-changing, but the most skilled search engine optimization experts have an effective and deadly arsenal. Some of the tools of a modern SEO include keyword research, keyword density reports, keyword competition reports, traffic reports and more. Like any other profession you are as only as good as your tools. The experienced use of SEO tools will have a mirror effect SEO campaigns. The search engine optimization expert will create SEO strategies and roadmaps to successfully market client websites. The roadmap outlines detail and milestones that need to be accomplished for a successful campaign. Having professionals on your side takes a lot of the guess work out of optimizing a site. There are many points to consider when you attempt to optimize a site alone. A few of the questions you should ask yourself is. Do I have a niche market? What does my product or service fall under? Should I optimize for local searches, national, or global? By having an experience SEO, your website can gain ranking within a short threshold. A successful campaign can result in a faster and higher Return on Investment (ROI).

SEO is Far from Easy
One of the terms greatly associated with search engine optimization is time consuming. There are a lot of hours that are invested into a successful campaign, not to mention keyword, competition research and also attempting to find a niche market. Persistence is king when it comes to optimizing any website. The great discouragements that come into play when undertaking certain SEO projects is the time it takes to see results. Sometimes weeks or even months to see the results of large efforts, it takes more than creating a website and throwing around hundreds or thousands of links. Those days of search engine optimization are gone. Today’s SEO battlefield is more about strategy, method and architecture. Search engine optimization is a form of modern day digital engineering. True optimizers stay up to date with search engine algorithm, marketing and trends which sometimes feels like a job in itself. Understanding the trends is important, although this does not compare to actual experience, skill, and best practices in order to have successful results.

Cost Effective SEO Services
Generally speaking full SEO campaigns are expensive, but affordable when compared to other traditional methods of advertising which include print advertising, broadcast advertising, etc. Compare SEO Services which come close to you initial marketing budget and needs. Do not settle for the first bidder, take a more subtle approach and compare and contrast the rates of other SEO companies and consultant’s rates. With such a competitive market for website optimization the price for service fluctuates drastically. Do your homework, and research an SEO company thoroughly before you commit, make sure to read reviews. Make sure to get free custom quotes, and negotiate the SEO rate and services until it fits your budget needs. Make sure to get a fair and honest deal, one that you are completely satisfied with.

Optimized Websites Increase Traffic
It is no business secret that having your site rank in the top 10 search results on any heavily queried search engine is very rewarding and can provide extensive traffic. The key is ranking for the right keywords, depending on the buzzwords that relate to the service or product that you are representing. Search engine optimization can excel your website for virtually any keyword of your choosing, depending on your budget. It is vital that the search optimization company that you select targets the 3 major search engines (Google, Yahoo, & Bing). By doing so you will increase your business websites traffic thus increasing the conversion rate and ultimately increasing profits.

Experience SEO Services is the Difference
Most businesses that reside online invest in professional and experienced SEO services. Why? Because it makes all the difference, a company would not advertise with a traditional company that did not get great results. So why would they follow any other module when it came to internet marketing? Take under consideration the top search results for popular keyword terms usually have professional and experienced SEO companies and consultants doing their online marketing campaigns. Having professional and experienced SEO’s working for you, your website will naturally outrank your competition using the do-it-yourself approach. It is imperative to stay ahead of the competition and it is more likely to do so with the assistance of an SEO expert.

Search Engine Optimization more Bang for your Buck
When comparing search engine optimization with other traditional methods of media advertising such as print advertising, television commercials, or radio broadcast search engine optimization is more effective for a few reasons. First and foremost optimized websites that are being displayed as search results are displayed due to a user query. This type of marketing is more effective and has a higher conversion rate because the customer is searching for the product or service. Unlike the traditional rate that bombards people with products and services and only getting a fraction of the people that actually see the advertisement. Second, Search engine optimization is considered target marketing. Unlike traditional marketing that advertises to a mass audience.

SEO Services Increases Revenue
Increasing business sales revenue has never been easier. If you have a traditional brick & mortar which sells goods, then it is highly advisable that you have an online store to promote your goods as well. By digitally putting up a store front online you can offer your product a larger customer base. Investing in professional and experienced SEO services would guarantee that you are generating the most sales through the internet as possible. Acquiring the right professional with the skill level you need can be quite rewarding, with piece of mind and monetarily.

Professional Search Engine Optimization Increases Search Ranking Quickly
A professional search engine optimization service can get your website ranked in a relatively short amount of time than attempting to go it alone. With the aid of professional and experienced search engine optimization experts, your website can rank with search engines within weeks, maybe even days.

Website should be treated like a Business
If the goal for your website is going to be part of your financial lifeblood then it is sensible to treat your website as a business and recruit professional employees to administer the optimization and other marketing methods to promote your website. Good business sense is to employ someone in your surrounding area that you can periodically meet face to face to review end result of the day to day task that will result in the first page ranking of your website. We prefer this approach because it embraces the method and uninterrupted continuation of overlooking the day to day operations of your business. Many business fail due to the do-it-yourself approach. Doing things yourself is ‘okay’ if the tasks you are performing is your profession or relates directly to your business service. Although trying to do things other than a hobby or interest such as attempting to save money can be damaging to your business. As you need to treat your website like you would treat your business and only seek professional and experienced assistance for your business needs.

Questions to Ask Your Potential Search Engine Optimization Company

Last month, I went over questions that you should ask your potential search engine optimization company regarding its tactics. That set of questions is critical, as before moving forward with any of the myriad of search engine optimization companies out there, you should always determine whether or not they will put your site at risk of penalization in the major search engines (leaving your website worse off than when your campaign started).

However, many people researching search engine optimization companies are unaware that potential penalization is even an issue – they are primarily interested in the results that the search engine optimization company can achieve. This installment of the three-part series will focus on questions to determine the competence of any search engine optimization company that you are considering. To find out whether any particular company is worthy of your trust in terms of results, consider asking the following:

“Do you require that I make changes to my website content?”

Any search engine optimization companies that answer “no” to this question are either using shady tactics or are only scratching the surface of true search engine optimization. Certainly, there are some elements that can be changed on a website that are largely transparent to the user, including title tags, meta tags, and alt tags. While making changes to these elements can create a boost in rankings, it will not give you the search engine dominance over your competitors that you desire. Remember, search engines are interested in matching content (what appears on your web pages) with search queries (the phrases that people are typing into search engines).

The problem with a search engine optimization company only manipulating the largely unseen elements is that search engines recognize that these elements are determined by the owner of the website and may not actually reflect the real content that appears on the pages. In order to perform well across the most popular engines, you must make certain that your search engine optimization company accurately addresses popular search queries within your pages. And this almost always requires changes to your content.

“Will you be adding additional pages to my website?”

If a search engine optimization company answers “no” to this question but answers “yes” to the question above, it likely means that it will be employing what I call the “shoehorn” approach to optimization. This means that the firm will try to shoehorn keyphrases into existing pages on your website, rather than expanding your website to include new content.

The trouble with this approach is that your existing pages are unlikely to directly address the search query. When search engine optimization companies shoehorn in keyphrases, they may achieve high rankings for you, but you probably won’t have many long-term visitors. For example, assume that your company makes widgets and you have an “about us” page on your site that gives a brief history of your company, as well as contact information and driving directions. If your search engine optimization company optimizes this page for “custom widget pricing,” and you subsequently achieve high rankings for the phrase, it does not necessarily mean that you will see much benefit. One can deduce from the query that people are looking for actual pricing information, not information on where your company is located or when it was founded. Another web page that directly addresses their search query is just a click of the back button away.

Adding new, informational pages to your website is a standard approach for the inclusion of quality search engine optimization phrases. Think of it this way – your search engine optimization company should not be thinking, “Where can we shoehorn this phrase in?” Search engine optimization companies should instead always be thinking, “How can we best address this query with a new page?” The difference in results can be dramatic.

“What will you be doing besides working on my site directly?”

If a prospective search engine optimization company tells you that it will only be making changes to your site itself, this means that it will not be spending any time working on your site’s link popularity. Link popularity plays a tremendous role in determining rankings in every major search engine. Simply put, sites that have a good number of quality and relevant incoming links are held in a higher regard than sites that do not. This is because a link from another site is considered a “vote” for your site – but all votes are not equal.

Quality search engine optimization companies will spend a great deal of time looking for industry-specific directories and portals where a link to your site can be added. They will also review all of your existing incoming links and make certain that the website owner has configured them in such a way as to give your site the highest chance for high search engine rankings.

“Will you be adding additional pages and targeting additional keyphrases over time?”

This is a very important question. Even search engine optimization companies that have a reputation for providing quality initial results can fall short on this, but it is one of the most important aspects involved in improving your optimization results over time.

When your campaign is kicked off, your search engine optimization company will target an initial list of phrases. Although good search engine optimization companies will rely on readily available software to determine which phrases are being searched on most often, and common sense to determine which of those phrases will bring buyers and not “tire-kickers,” it is in all honesty an educated guess.

Forward-looking search engine optimization companies treat the initial keyphrases as the “testing” phase of the campaign. They track these individual phrases and find which ones are working (bringing in the people that actually buy something or take the point of action on your site that leads to a sale). Armed with this knowledge, such search engine optimization companies will regularly expand your campaign to include phrases similar to the ones that are working the best. Without such expansions based on real data, you are merely relying on the best educated guesses from the initial campaign, and not the hard data that comes from true metrics as the campaign progresses.

“Can you give me references and case studies?”

This one seems obvious, but there are search engine optimization companies out there who claim that their clients all wish to remain anonymous, so that it is impossible to provide any specifics. This is usually a smokescreen designed to defer proof of concept. Certainly, there are businesses that hire a search engine optimization company that wish to keep it a secret, but these are generally in the minority. Forward-thinking companies generally enjoy showing off their success stories, so you should insist on seeing some real (not anonymous) case studies and talking with some references.

When dealing with references, find out how long they have been working with the search engine optimization company. If all references are less than a year old, it may mean that the company has been unable to demonstrate value over the long term, which is certainly something to consider. After all, long-term value is what you should be trying to achieve from a search engine optimization company, and search engine optimization is not a one-time endeavor.

Armed with these questions, you should be able to determine whether a certain search engine optimization company is worthy of both your time and your marketing money, or whether you instead will wind up with empty pockets and a useless site. Remember, high rankings don’t always mean good leads, and great keyphrases are not helpful unless they are used properly on your site.

How To Choose A Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization Philosophy

This is arguably the most critical factor when deciding which company to work with to improve your online business or brand identity. Employing a search engine marketing or placement company that only utilizes ethical search engine optimization techniques or “white hat” methods will ensure that you minimize the potential risk of being dropped, removed, penalized, deleted, or banished from the search engines. Nobody enjoys waking up glassy eyed to the unfortunate reality of being “Google sacked” for breaking or bending the search engines’ implicit rules or explicit terms of service.

Search Engine Optimization Methodology / Specific Expertise

Can your expert SEO Company only optimize static websites constructed in basic HTML? An upstanding SEO company will have experience working with websites in all the common programming languages and technologies, PHP, ASP, ASPX, HTML, Cold Fusion, Flash etc.

Does your SEO Company have experience optimizing both static and dynamic websites? Can your SEO Company optimize using various e-commerce packages and interfaces such as Monster Commerce, Yahoo Stores, OS Commerce, Storefront.net, Volusion?

Depth Of Optimization / Piecemeal Services

The most basic search engine optimization companies around don’t actually perform search engine optimization at all- they are merely submission services which either manually or automatically submit your site to various search engines or directories. Submission companies are typically very inexpensive since no actual coding, linking, or content development takes place on your actual website. Typical pricing runs around $19.95 to $399 per month for these submission type services.

A mid level optimization company gets their hands more firmly on the marketing handle by editing code, analyzing keywords, building links, and adjusting / writing fresh content for your site. They also may do a pinch of off-site optimization, such as press releases, article submissions, and blog writing. Typically, firms of this middle level range charge between $399 and $850 per month.

The highest level search engine placement firm performs the duties described for mid level optimization companies, but also is responsible for conversion tracking and analysis. The emphasis on off-site optimization is also much greater and time consuming. This means that high level optimization firms are essentially responsible for discovering what is working and what is not working throughout the entire customer experience – from initial search through conversion. More man hours per month also means a higher fee that search engine firms must charge to cover their costs. The usual pricing range for these firms’ are $850.00 all the way up to $10,000 per month, but on average, you’ll be looking at fees above the $1,000 a month range.

A piecemeal marketing company is one that treats various parts of an optimization campaign as separate entities. For example, an optimization company may charge distinct fees only for “linking” or “content construction.” This piecemeal approach can be detrimental. Successful optimization is the synergy of multiple efforts on multiple fronts, sometimes simultaneous, and sometimes in succession. Piecing together different aspects of an optimization campaign typically reaps poorer results than a comprehensive strategy.

System Of Evaluation / Reporting

The majority of search engine optimization companies cringe at the thought of empowering their clients to evaluate their work. An ethical search engine optimization company does the opposite. There are four tools we recommend using in tandem to evaluate a search engine optimization company’s work / performance.

  1. Real Time Statistics / Conversion Analysis Software

Being able to see traffic gains and conversions in real time can be a useful window in evaluating how your SEO Firm is performing. Having the ability to see who is coming to your site, from what search engines they are coming from, and the exact keyword phrase used within the search query is an essential tool.

  1. Positioning or Visibility Reports

Being emailed bi-weekly positioning reports on the specific keywords that you are interested in ranking highly for can be incredibly useful. A visibility percentage, which is the percentage of people that are finding you for keywords that are important for your business – on the Major Search Engines – Google, Yahoo, AOL, and MSN is also important. Make sure your firm doesn’t overdue the automated search engine queries however, the search engines may consider this spamming their databases.

  1. Alexa Rating:

You can download the Alexa Toolbar right now from alexa.com. This gives you a solid summary of the general traffic trend over the last three months for your website when compared to other existing sites. If you have a brand new website, odds are you will not even have an alexa rating or visible data at all. The alexa rating also shows you, in general terms, how your website stacks up- traffic wise- in comparison to your competitors or industry affiliates. The lower your alexa rating the more traffic your site is generating when compared to other sites in the alexa universe. Please note, if your site has an alexa rating of “1” this doesn’t mean you are the most visited site on the internet- it most likely means you are operating a Yahoo Store- in such a case, it is identifying Yahoo’s overall traffic, and not your individual site. A general tool like this can give you a quick overall impression of traffic growth and trends. Be careful though, the numbers are generalities (similar to the television Nielsen Ratings) and not absolute figures.

  1. Google PageRank

You can download the Google Toolbar right now by going to google.toolbar.com. Click on the options tab and check off the “display PageRank” measure. You will be able to see how Google is rating the importance of your site on a scale of 0-10. As an optimization company proceeds with your campaign you can check periodically to see how the number is increasing. The typical website might see a PageRank increase of one to two points over the course of an optimization campaign. Keep in mind that it is easier to increase your PageRank at the lower ends of the spectrum. As you approach higher PageRanks it becomes more difficult for your rating to balloon.

Due Diligence: Corporate Goals / Industry And Keyword Research

How does the SEO Company you are considering perform its up front legwork regarding your organization, industry and corporate goals? Do they ask questions about:

What your corporate goals (both short and long term) are, your industry, your competition. What keywords are currently working for you? What PPC (Pay Per Click) words are currently effective? What PPC engines (Adwords, Overture, MSN/Live) are currently effective? How your site is designed? Is your site dynamic or static?

What tools does your SEO Firm employ to perform its keyword research?

How about Wordtracker, WebCEO, or Keyword Elite? What about the basic Overture keyword suggestion tool or the generic Google keyword suggestion tool supplied by Adwords. Do they utilize a combination of the basic tools? What about proprietary keyword analysis methodology? Do they have dedicated tools that have been developed in-house, or by a third party?

Client to Account Manager Ratio

Not many SEO companies like to publicize their client to account manager ratio. This is the ratio representing the number of clients that each account manager handles at any given time. The lower the amount of clients each account manager assists, odds are the better the service and the higher the level of personal attention. We recommend that a search engine optimization account manager supports less than thirty clients at any given time.

Man-Hours Per Month

The number of man hours per month your SEO production department actually dedicates to your business is crucial. It is more than smart to ask for a monthly time allotment estimate before beginning an optimization campaign. What you expect to receive and what is actually delivered should be right in line.

Company Structure and Size

Does your SEO Company consist of a laptop computer with your account manager working out of his basement sitting beside a salivating golden retriever? Is your SEO company a bureaucratic nightmare that forces you to fill out trouble tickets when you need help on the spot?

Your ethical search engine optimization company should be somewhere within the sweet spot of not too small and not too large. You want individual attention, but you would also like to know there is more than one mind, calculating your next business moves.

Management

Does your ethical search engine optimization company have a solid management team? Do they have a management team at all? Are the firms you are considering privately held or publicly traded? Is the owner of the optimization company an absentee landlord or an active member of the SEO community? It is not out of the question to ask for the curriculum vitae or resume of the powers that be, in fact, it makes perfect sense if you are entrusting this company with not only your business but your livelihood. After all, SEO practitioners have no board certification that you can rely upon to check their track record.

Reputation / Importance

Has your SEO Company received multiple complaints via the Better Business Bureau? Check the better business bureau reports and see if there are unresolved complaints. From time to time clients may file complaints, but we believe it is the timely handling of these inquiries which are even more important when considering an optimization company to work with.

Past Results / Company SEO Rankings

Every SEO Company should have detailed reports regarding past client successes. The reports should include specifics as to optimization goals and timelines. Reporting on past clients should also focus within and between multiple industries. You should always be aware of a base point – where a particular client started out prior to the optimization company commencing an SEO campaign. Is the SEO firm itself performing poorly in the search engines? A low Google PageRank (below a 5) may be an indication your SEO firm hasn’t been around for as long as one might like.

References / Company Shelf Life

Every SEO company should have solid references across industries and fields in both business to consumer industries as well as business to business arenas. References should stem from not only the past six months, but should originate from years prior to your introduction with the company. If your SEO firm performs quality work, clients should be around for years to sing their praises.

Costs / Pricing Structure / Up front Fees

Costs should be consistent with the service that the company is offering- a la the “Consistent Value Proposition” taught at Yale School of Management. A $49.00 a month campaign run by a credit card company that does not specialize in search engine optimization might not be the optimal choice for an in depth or high level optimization campaign. An SEO company should also only offer costing after they have a clear understanding of your business, goals, and the work involved. Blanketed cost structures can lead to frustration, unrealized expectations, and ultimately failure. Also be concerned if your optimization firm demands a full six month payment up front in order to simply “get started.”

The ideal optimization company charges an up front fee and monthly recurring fee which is commensurate with the services that are actually being performed. A high quality optimization firm that works on your site utilizing 30-60 man-hours per month cannot possibly charge a $49.00 every thirty days to perform its services.

Redundancy

A nasty case of the bird flu hits your unsuspecting account manager right where it counts! Does your optimization company have the ability to smoothly transition the current state of your campaign to another qualified optimization expert? Every SEO company should have a system in place where knowledge about existing accounts can be easily disseminated from one individual to the next. If there does happen to be a catastrophe regarding your account manager, you should feel comfortable that your business continues to prosper regardless of the circumstances.

Quality Control

Every SEO company should have someone overseeing your account manager to ensure that every last “i” is dotted and every last “t” is crossed. Your account manager should be responsible for the success of your campaign, but an extra set of eyes can occasionally be needed to add one more factor weighing in on your side of success.

Promises / Results Timeline

We’ve heard SEO companies promise first page listings in Google for competitive phrases within 48-Hours. If your SEO sales representative is overzealous and unrealistic, it should be a sign that this is most likely a company to steer away from. Gaining search engine listings can be a hard fought, time intensive battle that comes from both diligent work and intelligent planning.

Production Staff Quality

Production staff should be divided between account managers and specialized production technicians. Account managers are the hub of an optimization campaign direction and implementation. Account managers should be able to perform all of the actual coding, linking, and content construction for each client. As an optimization campaign progresses and increases in complexity, they should be able to call upon their support staff or production department to complete specialized work orders for each client. The more specialized each member of the production department, the more efficient they will be at completing their work (thank Henry Ford for this).

Should Pay for Search Engine Optimization

Most people who are internet savvy probably would assume it is much easier to do search engine optimization themselves without the need to hire any professional search engine optimization assistance. In some cases this may work, but in most cases this is an absolute injustice for your web business. Marketing is an important and viable aspect of any business and without the proper marketing attention a business can easily fail. The following are 10 reasons why you should hire a professional search engine optimization consultant or SEO company.

Search Engine Optimization Takes Time, Effort, & Dedication

It takes an extreme amount of time, effort, and dedication to successfully complete a search engine optimization campaign. Search engine optimization consultants and companies usually have dedicated time to work on your search engine optimization project, thus giving you a controlled and managed search engine optimization campaign. Large companies as well as many small companies can provide your search engine optimization campaign the SEO effort and architecture it needs. Attempting to dedicate your own time can sometimes be overwhelming and without strict self-discipline you can easily get sidetracked. Additionally, progress for your search engine optimization campaign can take time to see any results, this fact can lessen your motivation to complete your own do-it-yourself search engine optimization campaign.

SEO Tools, SEO Strategy, & SEO Experience Goes a Long Way

The available SEO tools are ever-changing, but most skilled SEO’s have a suite of SEO tools which they keep up with and use to execute reports and other processes, such as keyword research, keyword density reports, keyword competition reports, traffic reports, etc. Like any profession you need the necessary tools and essentials to get the job done, the experienced use of SEO tools will aid in any SEO campaign. Professional SEO consultants and companies create SEO strategies and roadmaps to successfully market client websites, this strategic roadmap outlines in detail the planned effort to market clients’ websites. SEO strategy is essential for any SEO campaign. Having an experienced SEO professional on your side is always ideal. Experienced SEO’s stay up to date with the latest SEO trends and news. By having an experienced SEO your website can impressively gain ranking within a short time and much more effectively, providing greater Return on Investment (ROI).

Search Engine Optimization Is Not Easy

Search engine optimization is not simple, it’s not just starting a website and throwing around hundreds or thousands of links. Those days of search engine optimization are gone. It is now more about strategy, method, and architecture. Search engine optimization is a form of engineering these days. True search engine optimization engineers stay up to date with search engine algorithm and search marketing. Knowing the trends is important, but that doesn’t necessarily mean following trends, true search engine optimization engineers use experience, skill, historical methods, and best practices to successfully market websites. Researching trends and not just following trends is very important, a good search engine optimization engineer uses good judgment, to know what methods work and what is borderline unethical or useless methods.

SEO Services Do Not Have to be Very Expensive

Most full SEO campaigns are expensive, but relatively affordable compared to other advertising avenues, such as: print advertising, broadcast advertising, etc. Shop around for SEO Services which match your marketing budget and needs. Do not settle for the first bidder, compare the first bidders’ rate against other SEO companies and consultants rates. Contact various SEO consultants and SEO companies to receive a free custom quote. Negotiate the SEO rate and services until it fits your budget and needs. Get yourself a fair and honest deal that you are satisfied with.

Search Engine Optimization Can Take Your Website to New Heights

It’s no secret that having your site rank in the top 10 results on search engines is very rewarding and can provide you with herds of traffic, if you rank for the right keywords. Search engine optimization can excel your website through the ranks and land your website in the top search results for virtually any keyword of your choosing. It is important that the search engine optimization company or consultant you choose targets top search results for all 3 major search engines (Google, Yahoo, & MSN). By having top search results in all 3 major search engines for a popular search term you are surely going to increase website sales and exposure.

Professional & Experienced SEO Services Can Be the Difference Between You and Your Competitors

Most online businesses and services invest in professional and experienced SEO services. The top search results for popular keyword terms usually have professional and experienced SEO companies and consultants in their corner, leading their online marketing campaign. By having professional and experienced SEO’s working for you, your website will naturally outrank your competitors who use the do-it-yourself method of SEO services. It is always imperative to stay one step ahead of your competition and it’s more likely you will do so with the aid of professional and experienced SEO services.

Search Engine Optimization Gets You the Best Bang for Your Buck

When you compare search engine optimization with other media advertising efforts such as print advertising, television commercial advertising, and radio broadcast advertising then search engine optimization gives the best bang for your buck. While other advertising methods can cost hundreds of thousands for advertising, search engine optimization cost peanuts compared to these other advertising methods. Let’s say you spend $25,000 for a full search engine optimization campaign and you spend (let’s say) $100,000 for a television commercial ad which runs for 1 full week at prime time (I know that ad is a whole lot more than that, but this is just an example). The search engine optimization campaign is much cheaper and the return on investment is much greater for the search engine optimization campaign. Why? Because the search engine optimization campaign has a broader reach, it can reach anyone across the globe, while the TV commercial ad is specific for local or nation broadcasting within their network. Secondly, the search engine optimization campaign is much more targeted and relevant to the customer needs, because the customer actually initiated the search and was looking for you, while the TV commercial ad is an interruption to the customers viewing program and the customer is more likely to ignore the commercial ad, especially if it does not entice them.

SEO Services Can Help Increase Business Sales Drastically

Increasing business sales have never been easier. If you have a brick & mortar which sales goods, then it is advised that you also have an online store to sale your goods as well. Having an online business while investing in professional and experienced SEO services will help your business expand and grow drastically. Like any sound business decision, as a business owner you are always looking for new ways to monetize, expand, and stay ahead of competition, SEO services for your online business is the perfect solution for getting this done.

Professional Search Engine Optimization Can Increase Your Search Ranking in a Shorter Time Period

Professional search engine optimization services can get your website ranked in a shorter time than trying to do it yourself. With the aid of professional and experienced search engine optimization your website can rank within the search engines within weeks, maybe even days. Finding the right professional with the skill level you need can be quite rewarding.

Treat Your Website Like a Business

If your website is going to be a part of your financial lifeblood then it is sensible to treat your website as a business and recruit professional search engine optimization services. Good business sense is to outsource or employ others to complete day to day task and projects such as search engine optimization and search engine marketing, so you can have more time to concentrate on running a successful business. Many businesses fail due to the do-it-yourself model. Doing things yourself is ‘okay’ if the task you are performing is your profession or relates directly to your business service, but trying to do things yourself because its your hobby, interest, or saves you money can be damaging to your business, as you need to treat your website like a business and only seek professional and experienced assistance for your business needs.

I highly encourage that any true website owner who is interested in reaching top search results seriously consider professional and experienced SEO services for a full search engine optimization campaign. SEO services may be an expensive advertising avenue, but as we discussed above it is much cheaper than its other advertising counterparts and the reward is much greater. Search engine optimization has long been a mystery to many people and is foreign to some, but with the help and aid of professional and experienced SEO services you will easily increase website sales, traffic, and exposure. If you employ the right search engine optimization company or consultant I can almost guarantee you will have a rewarding experience and will not regret it.

A Search Engine Optimization Campaign

An effective Search Engine Optimization campaign begins by using keywords to target the subjects which you intend your web site to rank for. In order to rank in the search engine results pages (SERP’s), a web site has to have a position of relevance to the search engine for a given search term. This is usually achieved by having keyword rich content on the site that coincides with the search term that the internet user types into the search engine.

In organic, (natural) search engine optimization, there are several factors that contribute to the ranking for a search term. Each search engine provider has their own unique set of criteria that they use to determine which web site is most relevant for that specific term. The factors that are used to determine search engine rankings are then calculated by a complex search engine algorithm.

Due to the high amount of targeted customer traffic that stands to be gained by a web site that has a top-ranked position in the search engines, the search providers keep the details of the factors which make up their algorithm a closely guarded secret.

Even though the search providers are careful with the exact formula that they use to gauge the rankings of web sites, there have been several constants discovered that when applied, produce favorable results.

Keywords – Content without Keywords = Website without Traffic

Keywords are at the center of any effective search engine optimization campaign. The basic rule of thumb in search engine optimization is that content is king. So, it is important to base all the content of a web site on accurate and informative content.

The first thing to perform in an optimization campaign is keyword research. To find the search terms that are generating traffic for the topic that you want to rank for, you need to determine what the internet users are searching for. This may be accomplished by several different means however the most common way is to use a keyword selector tool.

There are several different keyword tools that may be used. The one tool that was the industry standard for quite a while was the Overture keyword selector tool which, as of January 07′, has been retired . The data in the Overture database still remains available for historical data, but is no longer being publicly updated by Yahoo!, the company that now owns the service.

Search Engine Optimization and Design

Building an attractive even beautiful is the goal of most website designers. In the process, sometimes the effectiveness of the website is diminished. We need to keep in mind that our goal is not only to have a beautiful website that will make people want to stay and look around and enjoy, but also a website that will be helpful to the engines in determining what our website is about or what it is relevant to.

Udi Manber, Google vice president overseeing search quality, in response to a question about webpage content evolving to be more search engine friendly explained, “It’s definitely still lacking. I wish people would put more effort into thinking about how other people will find them and putting the right keywords onto their pages.” Popular Mechanics – April 16, 2008

Search engine optimization or SEO is arguably the most essential way to drive targeted traffic to your website because it leads to improved search engine placement. Optimizing the benefits of a well-designed web site will result in much more traffic coming to the website thereby generating income for the company publishing the website. With this fact in mind however, optimizing your website might cost you thousands of dollars if you are not skilled in this area. Good search engine optimization that leads to improved search engine placement will, on the other hand, bring you a much higher return on the investment of either time or money you put into it.

My goal in this article is to give you the basics of search engine optimization so that you can understand it and incorporate it to help you accomplish your task. This will help you to improve your relevancy and search engines rankings for the best results possible through proven search engine optimization techniques.

What are the major mistakes in design

First is is important to remember that search engines are machines and read words they don’t see images or pictures. The most common mistakes form a search engine optimization standpoint are:

  • Making a website totally in Flash(TM)
  • Images without alt tags
  • Minimal or nonexistent meta title or title tag

Flash(TM) to the search engines is just like an image it is invisible although the Flash(TM) may capture the intrigue of the viewer it won’t help the search engine to know what your website is about. While the text display as a part of the Flash(TM) my be rich in keywords and information it will be lost completely to the search engines and you will go unnoticed. Flash(TM) and pictures can be used to enhance a website but the site must have text in order to build relevance for the search engines.

In the same sense images are also invisible, however we can include alt tags that will give the search engines an idea of what the viewer will see. In fact the alt tags can be very helpful since the search engines will place a little more emphasis on the text in alt tags. Don’t go overboard using keyword phrases in the alt tags but use some to help where appropriate.

The title tag as well discuss later is an important place to tell the search engines what your webpage is all about.

Where do we start?

Why is search engine optimization (SEO) so important? SEO is important because this will make your website relevant to your keywords during the search engine ranking process and will lead to improved search engine ranking. This is the reason why some businesses hire an SEO company to do this task.

You can get information on low cost related services anywhere on the internet. However, few are really showing you how to work out an inexpensive plan for improved search engine placement. Some companies will even use antiquated techniques that may slow the process down. Good search engine optimization should help you to start improving the search engine ranking of your website and start driving traffic to it in a matter of days or weeks with expensive processes.

Search engine optimization begins optimally on your website, as you plan and build it. If it was not done at first you are not too late, you can do it after you have it built and go back and revise it to improve the exposure to the search engines and still lead to improved search engine placement. It consists of the following elements referred to as “onsite optimization”.

  • Keyword Research – choosing the primary and secondary keywords you will use on your website or webpage
  • Implementing the keywords naturally into important elements in the website header and body.

Keyword Research and Usage

Let’s start first with keyword research. Why is keyword research important? The keyword research helps us to find the keywords that connect us with our targeted audience. They are the words that we want to use on our website in a variety of ways to build relevancy on our webpage so when search engines find our website and view / crawl our pages, they will then index us for those keywords. Once that happens, then when those keywords are typed into the search engine by potential customers, the search engine will then display our site in the search results, which is how they tie us to our targeted audience.

Ideally you will use a reverse search tool that will enable you to type in words you think are keywords people would search for and which will tell you the number of times those keywords were searched for over a given period of time. Depending on the tool you are using and the databases and the search engines they have access to for their search results you will get different numbers in your reverse search results. Your search engine optimization professional will know and have access to these tools and which ones are appropriate for specific uses. These tools can significantly speed up the process of onsite optimization lead to quicker improved search engine placement.