Search engine optimization, or SEO as it is often referred, is the process of generating website visibility and traffic from unpaid, organic and natural search engine results. SEO employees a number of strategies, techniques and tactics to improve a website’s search engine ranking. Improving the ranking of a website’s search engine results page (commonly known as SERP) helps ensure that a website is visible and accessible by both search engines and internet searchers.
Generally speaking, the higher ranked a website on a search result page appears and the more frequently it appears, the more traffic it will receive from search engine users. Simply put, the higher the organic or natural search engine ranking for a website, the greater the chance the website will be visited by a user. Furthermore, most internet searchers will not click through page after page of search results, therefore ranking high on the first page is essential for increasing traffic to a site.
Search engine optimization, as an internet marketing strategy, focuses on how search engines determine their search results. All search engines, including Google and Bing, have search results where website pages are displayed and ranked based on what their specific search engine algorithm deems to be the most relevant to users based on the search terms entered. Search engine crawlers, armed with algorithms, use a number of different variables when crawling and ranking a site. SEO can even target the different types of search such as image search, local or map search and video search.
The process of optimizing a website for optimal search engine rankings involves a number of components however they are typically broken down into two main categories: on-site (or on-page) optimization and off-site (or off-page) optimization.
As you may have guessed, on-site optimization refers to all optimization that occurs on a website or page itself. Items like creating, editing and generating new content (with a blog for example), optimizing page titles, site linking, HTML, alt tags, sitemaps, robots, meta data and coding can go a long way to increasing a websites relevance in relation to specific keywords.
Off-site optimization deals with all the SEO elements that take place off or away from a website. Items such as adding quality backlinks or inbound links and improving social media performance are off-site SEO tactics that can really make a difference especially for more competitive keywords.
Do I Need Search Engine Optimization?
In today’s ever increasing digital world, search engine optimization is more important than ever. SEO, in many cases, can be the difference between a profitable company and one that closes its doors. In most cases SEO generates an amazing ROI however there are many other items to consider before moving forward with an aggressive SEO campaign. Here are a couple of questions to ask yourself regarding SEO as a internet marketing strategy:
1. Does your website display on the first page of search engine results for important search terms?
2. Do you need your website to display on the first page of search engine results page for these keywords?
If the answer is YES to these, then you need SEO!
Ideally if you are launching a new site or planning a website redesign, this is a perfect time to implement an aggressive SEO campaign. This way you can ensure your website is fully optimized for the targeted keywords that important to your business. In essence you will be able to build a completely search engine optimized website from the ground up.
If you already have a website, a high quality SEO campaign can also produce great results. In many cases, websites have a number of minor issues (when combined, add up to major issues) that inhibit SEO effectiveness. Most of the time these can be easily rectified and SEO results will improve in a very short period of time. Regardless of your situation the sooner you begin your SEO campaign, the better as performance history is also a factor in SEO ranking.
Selecting An SEO Partner
Before moving forward with any search engine optimization service provider, here are a questions to ask:
Are you willing to share previous SEO work with you?
If not then that is certainly a red flag.
Do you use Google Webmaster SEO Guidelines?
If not then another red flag. Using this guidelines is the basis for improving SERP ranking on Google.
How long before I can expect to see results?
Some SEO techniques can produce almost immediate results however for more competitive keywords and industries, it is not uncommon for real results to take up to three months or more. Anyone promising instant results… red flag.
D0 you guarantee placement?
If the answer is yes then red flag. Any SEO company promising results especially before examining your particular situation just isn’t being truthful. With frequent algorithm updates and other factors, SEO is fluid and ever changing.
What are your most important SEO techniques?
These should be the proper mix of on-site and off-site optimization. If the SEO company relies too heavily on any one element or technique, that is another red flag.
Will you provide info about site changes and the reason for them?
If an SEO company is not willing to do this then they may be employing black hat tactics which is a major red flag.
Contact KEX today to discuss our Search Engine Optimization services and how they can help you achieve your goals.