What is Search Engine Optimization again?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of administering a wide range of proven and industy approved practices in creating or modifying a web site in order to have it naturally rank as high as possible in natural (organic) search engine listings - primarily those of Google, the world's most popular search engine. A professionally optimized site will bring you the highest number of targeted web visitors, and is at the same time the most cost effective means of doing so. SEO offers the highest return on investment, above any other forms of advertising,
Can't I just pay Google to position the link to my site at the top of the search engine results?
Sure you can, for a pretty high price. Google's paid advertising system, Pay Per Click (PPC), will place your listing at the top of the search engine results pages (SERPs), in the highlighted paid listings section, directly above the organic listings. The advantage of PPC is that it takes effect immediately after starting your ad campaign. This advantage, however, is outweighed by several factors, including much higher, recurring costs, and a much lower click rate than with natural listings. The higher cost of PPC advertising often necessitates fixing a daily spend limit, resulting in your ad not appearing at all, once that limit has been reached for the day. A PPC campaign such as Adwords may be run alongside an SEO strategy for a more diverse online marketing presence, however PPC alone will most often be too costly as well as ineffective as a stand-alone method of internet marketing.
Click fraud is yet another factor pushing up the costs of PPC, and is rising every year. According to leading click fraud auditing firm Click Forensics, the click fraud rate was 27.6% in the 2nd quarter of 2008 (Q2 2008). Ouch.
I already have a web developer, why would I need another company to get my site found on the search engines?
The overwhelming majority of websites on the net have been created by web designers, at best. Considering primarily the visual appearance of a web site, the typical web designer begins the process of creating a web site by opening up a graphics editing program such as Photoshop, or worse yet, a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) html editor; a visual editor that allows the creation of - bloated and terribly coded - webpages, without having to actually learn any HTML or CSS, let alone any scripting languages such as PHP.
Needless to say, visual design is very important in web development, and photoshop is an indispensable tool in creating the most esthetically pleasing sites as possible, but is rarely the place to start building a website. Visual design, no matter how masterfully created, is meant to complement the content of the site, and should be created after the site's data architecture is complete. In other words, don't design the body of a vehicle until you know what type of transmission, engine and passengers it will carry.
Want to put up a small site featuring pictures of your cat for family and friends to see? By all means, Dreamweaver or Frontpage might be the best option. Want to develop sites? Close the WYSIWYG, and open a simple text editor, and write valid, strict web standards compliant, semantic html, styled with external CSS - and this is only the very beginning of SEO. The intricacies of search engine optimization begin where web standards leave off. Enter Marketing.
Many SEO firms focus only on search engine ranking, without taking into consideration generating qualified leads and revenue, they fail to succeed in creating traffic that actually results in sales for their clients. The , Mix in the rapidly expanding industries of Search Engine Marketing (SEM), Social Media Marketing (SMO),
Will SEO change how my site looks?
Not at all. Visually, your site will look exactly the same, assuming that you want it to. If there are usability issues with your site such as an unintuitive navigation structure, or any other design flaws, then of course we can make some minor changes if and when necessary. Most of the changes to your physical site are all behind the scenes, in what's called the source code of your web pages. You can view the source code of any web page easily, by loading the page into your web browser, and then in the menu bar (the bar at the top of your browser listing menu titles like File, Edit and View), doing view > source (in Internet Explorer) or view > page source (in Firefox). The new window that pops up will be the source code that the search engines see when they crawl that web page.
Many other factors are involved in optimizing a site aside from making changes to the source code, but as far as the changes to your actual web pages go, they are only made in the source code. While 2 sites may look visually identical to the eye, they may look 100% different from each other to the search engines. Often, the source code of a page is erroneously put together using tables for layout, as well as with a lot of html elements that the search engine bots have a hard time understanding. This code is often replaced in favor of web standard compliant html and css. This is sometimes referred to as clean code
So how does SEO work anyway?
SEO is an amalgamation of web coding, programming, Internet marketing, and web statistics. By first analyzing the online market through keyword research, the most valuable internet search terms that relate to your niche must be compiled in order to indicate exactly how the public is searching online for goods and services that you provide. Once the research is done, and before any optimizing, we generate pre-optimization internet traffic reports on your site's present rankings for these keywords and keyphrases on the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) - for Google, MSN and Yahoo.
Depending on several factors that influence your site's present indexing on the SERPs, the appropriate combination of various web standard and Google approved search engine friendly alterations will be made to different aspects of your site. While Search Engine Optimization involves many variables, Google's SEO Starter Guide is a trusted source of information that may provide you, as a client with some confirmation on the value of the SEO services that we provide.
Factors that influence your current rankings and the types of SEO services that are suitable for you include:
- The methods employed in the initial construction of your website
- The strength of your online competition
- The content of your site
- The number of pages of your site indexed in the search engines
- The strength of your domain, including its age, trust factor, SE popularity, Google PR, etc
- Much more
The above is not a complete rundown of every factor influencing a site's success on the search engine results pages, by any means - it merely demonstrates that each individual site requires an SEO plan tailored to its specific needs.
When will I see results in Google?