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SEO Update

Let’s assume you know what SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is. Let’s assume you know the value of using SEO to make it easy for people to find you on the internet. Now, let’s assume that you want to appear high on the first page of search engines for terms people would enter when looking for what you do.

You should then be aware that SEO is changing literally on a daily basis with new rules and techniques. Thus, staying up-to-date is almost an impossible task. So to help out, let me share with you some of today’s newest ways to help get your website more noticed.

Link Building VisualGoogle takes into account how many inbound links your website has coming from other websites. This number should be growing on a regular basis to keep search engines (Google especially) interested and re-visiting your website. Every time a search engines comes across a link to your website on someone else’s, they see you as an authority on the internet.

The more quality links you have, the more authority your website is given and your website will rank higher. Be careful, you can get too many too fast. Talk to an SEO expert before starting your own inbound link campaign.

The number one thing to help websites right now is an inbound link campaign. We call it Off Site Optimization, because all inbound links are from other people’s websites, not “on” yours.

Your website’s meta data can contain all sorts of data to help search engines rank you. There are a few that you should absolutely have:

  • Meta Title Tag – 70 characters or less and use keyword phrases only relevant to the page you are on.
  • Meta Description Tag – 155 characters or less. Use sentence structure and include keyword phrases. Just one sentence to summarize the page.

NOTE: The Meta Keywords Tag is no longer used by the major search engines. Google states outright that they do not look at this tag anymore because it was so abused. If you want to use the Meta Keywords Tag, enter keyword phrases that the content on the page represents best, 3 to 5 phrases maximum.

Your website structure and code are the bread, the text content is the butter (the flavor in the meal). You don’t mix flavors like ice cream and fish, so don’t mix your content with history and product information. They should be separate on their own pages.

Ideally, each page should be a representation of one particular keyword or phrase. The history and company information pages would use the company’s name as the keyword phrase for branding. When it comes to the content, using keywords like the product name or function is going to get better rankings than marketing terms like “high performance” and “state-of-the-art”.

Every product or service is meant to help or make things easier for someone. Always use the name of the products or services for search engines as well. Remember that search engines don’t read context, they read characters and see patterns.

On a single page, if we talk about SEO and how SEO can help and how SEO is easy and what SEO does over time, a search engine will see “SEO” several times and place our site at the top of the “SEO” search results because it knows we talk about SEO.


Is SEO Helping Your Website

In today’s market, every business can and should have a website for customers and colleagues to reference for contact information, at least. For those of us who wanted to have the essentials on our websites, we expand the pages and have our products and services listed with details of the packages and maybe even a shopping cart. All a website represents is an online, interactive brochure for your company, with as much detail to make a visitor feel informed and confident in your ability or quality of product to place an order or make a phone call.

The first step, of course, is to get the website built. There are so many options, bells, and whistles that come with websites these days but there are some cornerstones that need addressing if you are going to have a user-friendly and well functioning website.

Every great website has: a home page with a clear and concise message, services or products pages with lots of details, an about page with information about the company, its capabilities, its policies, and commendations if nowhere else, and a contact page with phone numbers, emails, fax, maps, and even a form for questions or comments to be submitted.

Once your website is built, it can function beautifully and the design can look amazing but these things will not get people to your website and get you business. The only way to get people to your website, besides you handing out business cards and people typing in your business name, is through search engine optimization.

Search Engine Optimization, commonly referred to as SEO, is the practice of developing the code and content of a website to make it easier for the search engines to read and rank the pages. The higher a website ranks for a keyword, the more likely a user is to click on it. Making an effort to optimize a website will pay off in the long run through increased website traffic and sales.

There are several factors that are straight forward to improve your visibility on search engines and some that are obscure even to an expert SEO specialist. Ask yourself these questions when going through your website and things will turn around. Are the keywords you want to rank for used often enough on a single page? Search engines only rank one page at a time. Does each page have straight forward and keyword rich meta data? At the top of browser windows and on the tabs within the browser, each page should be different and specific to that page.

While SEO works on improving website visibility, people become aware of a website and use word of mouth, social media, or email to pass it along. More importantly, SEO should NEVER be considered finished. It is an ongoing effort that takes time. A brand new website will not rank first on any phrase overnight. Through patience and persistence, a business owner will be able to watch their website soar through the ranks in a matter of weeks and even more in a matter of months.

Obviously it is better to start a website with a search engine optimization in mind but 99% of websites can be optimized just fine after the website is built because it’s not a design element. SEO is in the coding and the content and content should be changed on a regular basis anyway to stay current. Search Engine Optimization helps companies reach customers they never knew they could. All it takes is that first step of talking to an SEO company to get your website working for you.


What to Look for From an SEO Company

Search Engine Optimization Services Should Include:

Initial SEO Analysis
An evaluation of your website's vitality in the eyes of a search engine for your industry, products, services and overall content. The purpose of an SEO analysis is to establish a plan to modify the code of the site and the visible content to reach its peak potential or add more to improve it.

Keyword Phrase Selection
The keyword phrases chosen for your site are the focus of your SEO campaign. By evaluating the content, the services and the products your company offers, keyword phrases can easily be established and then elaborated on to improve your website's search engine presence. Analyzing your competitors' sites and researching product trends will also help establish a focus for the rest of the optimization.

Site Optimization
Once the complete keyword phrase selection has been made, the SEO company can start with the on-site optimization. The SEO company will run an initial report to document the progress of the optimization before the SEO and after periodically. After they run the initial report they can add all the essentials: Meta Data, Heading Tags, image tags and titles, footer text links and more to help the search engines see as much of your site's content as possible.

Site Submission
After the on-site optimization changes are completed, the SEO company will proceed to submit your site to the major search engines manually. This is essential for good rankings because Google, Yahoo and Bing do not look kindly on automated submissions by software programs, no matter how easy it is to use.

Use a tried and true ranking report software to "grade" your optimization on a month-to-month basis, because more frequently than a month, or so, will irritate search engines. This reports however give you valuable, "hard data" to improve your rankings with ease. As well as give you a definitive Return-On-Investment (ROI) for your SEO as you watch your website climb the rankings month after month.

Content Advisement
SEO changes can be made to your website "as is" and ideally your website could be off to the races for excellent search engine rankings. This scenario is rare and unlikely unfortunately. The company can make recommendations based on your SEO campaign's goals and improve your keyword phrase density within your website's content to improve your search engine rankings to their true potential.

Off Site Optimization (OSO)
Off Site Optimization or OSO is building inbound links from other websites to yours. Any self respecting SEO firm will recommend this. The absolute #1 thing to do after you do an On Site Optimization is to immediately start your Off Site Optimization. This "link building" can be a lot of things... Blog Commenting, Social Media Pages, Business Directories, Website Directories, and so on. The best tip I can give and its a pretty big one. Ask "Do you use an automated software to build the links". If they don't deny it and insist that they do them all by hand, the next question should be, "how many do I get?". The most important thing is they are done by hand and you don't get too many too fast. A search engine can spot it and will demote the value of not one but all your links potentially, leaving your website in very poor standing.

If  they answer with something ridiculous like 500 or 1000 per month. They are lying. On average, finding a potential link and filling out stuff takes 10 to 15 minutes each. Multiplied by 500 and you have over 83 hours work. Two work weeks. And OSO should be ongoing. Get the point. A good build number for a monthly OSO campaign is 15, 30, even 50. At a price tag between $300 and $1250 depending on how many you get.

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