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Know What Your Goals Are Before Asking for a Search Engine Optimization Quote

Getting a quote for search engine optimization (SEO) is not like getting a quote on a product; where what you are buying is always the same and the lowest price is the obvious purchase choice.

Choosing a search engine optimization company based on lowest price will seldom get you what you want or need to succeed.

Search engine optimization varies so much in process and approach that it is difficult to compare two SEO companies to each other, even when they both have a clear picture of what you want, let alone if they have to guess at what you want.

It’s like calling a dealer and asking “How much for a car?”

It’s impossible to answer that question without more information and if it was possible, why on earth would you want to let the sales person decide what he wants to sell you?

What kind of car are you looking for? What will you be using the car for? What options do you want?

Depending on your answers, your car could cost you from $100 to $300,000.

For myself, I would want to have some say on what the car dealer will sell me!

The same is true for search engine optimization; the options are endless and your participation is not only needed, it’s crucial.

SEO Quotes are Unique to Your Website

It is to be expected that when someone decides to market their company, they might not know or have thought of all the factors involved.

It is odd however, that many people requesting a quote prefer to avoid talking about what their goals are for their website. Instead, they insist they just want a quote, as if search engine optimization were some well-defined, off the shelf product.

SEO services are not all the same; in fact they are often not even similar. On a well developed search engine optimization campaign the actual process used to optimize a website is unique to that website.

To get a proper search engine optimization quote and to ensure your search engine marketing campaign will succeed, you need to provide the SEO Company with as much information as possible.

  1. What are your goals?
  2. What do you want your website to accomplish?
  3. Who are your competitors?
  4. What do your customers want?
  5. Is your market regional, national or world wide?

At its best, search engine optimization is a well-defined strategy to design and implement the changes necessary for your site to succeed.

Unless you have some new revolutionary product or service that people just can’t live without and everyone in the world is searching for, you will need to develop a good reason as to why they should buy from you rather than your competitors.

The process of discussing your goals with your SEO company will also educate you on the methods and the options available, thus enabling you to make informed decisions on all aspects related to making your website a success.

You will understand why you need to do some of the work to change your website to make it better and how you can help in that process.

When asking for a search engine optimization quote, you should look for an SEO company that wants to discuss your goals…so have an opportunity to reach your goals.

Chris Genge
Search Engine Optimization Strategist

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What do you Mean SEO Competition?

Getting a good result in search engine marketing is challenging but getting a good result when you don’t understand what you are up against is much harder.

This article stems from over 13 years of continuous calls from people with a similar problem. The calls are so similar it sends a chill up my spine. “We hired an SEO company ## months ago and our results are horrible.” Some feel ripped off and others are frustrated and want the issue fixed. I often feel sorry for them but reality is my feeling sorry doesn’t fix the problem.

So now I am going to explain what the actual problem is and you can decide to listen or not; that is your choice, but we have been able to increase revenues in a number of well established companies to over 10 times what they where when they came to us.

Here is what you need to know to win:

Understand the goal

Most tend to think the goal is simply to be listed #1 in Google.

While ultimately true at its core, this is not really a goal. The real goal of SEO is to get the search engines to understand fully what you offer and this will in turn, provide great results for your website’s most relevant terms by helping them to show up in the search results ahead of the millions of other competing pages.

You and your SEO Company are competing against all the other websites that use even similar words that you want to be found for. There are often millions of websites listed for similar terms and many of them have hired SEO Companies or are performing SEO themselves and their goal is the same; to get great results for their website’s most relevant terms out of the millions of other competing pages.

Understand the Competition

The SEO Company has been hired to refine the impression the search engines have about your website. Website rankings are based on the reputation your website has established to be more informative, more authoritative or more relevant than all the other websites that are related to or discuss the same topic.

This can be thought of as a competition much like any sports event where the SEO Company is the trainer and the website is the athlete. To win it requires the athlete (website in this case) give maximum effort and then perform at its peak. The best results are always attained from great coaching and top performing athletes (website) and if either party doesn’t perform you can’t possibly win. I am often amazed at how many companies are not willing to put any effort into their own success.

Understand Your Involvement

Yes I said you are included in this process as well. So many times the person heading the project is unwilling or unable to contribute anything to the cause. It is your business that will be affected by an SEO campaign and if you can help out by providing your Unique Selling Proposition (USP), a good SEO company can use this information to provide an edge against your competitors.

Like traditional marketing, it is always easier to get a good result if you have something to offer that differentiates you from the other competitors out there. The best success is achieved by working on providing something of value to the visitor. If you have something of value to offer, you will find that other websites will actually help make you more popular. Remember, the search engine’s main goal is to place desirable websites in front of the people searching for them. They need a reason to help you though!

Hiring your favorite SEO Company to optimize your website, then waiting for your phone to ring and orders to pour in is seldom successful. Success will come when you realize that you and your website are actually what is being trained.

Chris Genge

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Using Effective Optimized Press Releases To Boost E-Commerce Sales and Visibility

As an e-commerce website owner, you’ll find that optimized press releases are an effective way to impact your e-commerce sales and Internet visibility.

Optimized online press releases can be very useful as part of a successful Internet marketing strategy. In fact, a well-presented optimized press release with good online distribution can typically be read by over 40,000 people in one week. Read more

What Benefits Lie In Pay Per Click Engines?

Pay per advertisements (or PPC ads) are Internet based, online advertising campaigns where the PPC ads with the highest bids are placed in a prominent location on a content related website or, more commonly with search engines, displayed at the top of the organic search results as “sponsored” or “paid” listings.

PPC advertising does not involve long design processes or waiting periods and can be implemented instantly.

These advertisements show up at the top of the page or next to the organic listing results, which are displayed for the searcher after a search query. These campaigns include monitoring programs that make post click tracking easy.

Value for the Money

Large and small companies can make use of PPC engines and it is often used to test the consumer’s reaction to a new product or service.

One of the great benefits of PPC is that it is so easily measurable, making an accurate return on investment calculation simple. The return on investment (ROI) of these campaigns is usually great as the targeted audience can easily convert to sales.

Because the cost of PPC advertising is not fixed it was traditionally considered risky and very expensive. Modern PPC engines bridged this problem by offering the option to set budget limits. You can easily and almost instantly change these limits should your budget change and thus have complete control of how much is spent.

Traditional forms of advertising have a fixed cost regardless of how many potential customers look at it.
With PPC advertising you only pay for the amount of people that actually click on the advertisement.
With many web-based companies their sales are directly related to the traffic they receive on the website. These types of companies benefit greatly from PPC engines and campaigns can dramatically increase profits.

How the Internet User Benefits

Internet users will only receive PPC advertisements that include the keywords that they searched for. The Internet users get an accurate search result as the ads are delivered immediately and show up either beside or above the organic search results.

Many of the PPC ads are from smaller companies as well since PPC advertising tends to put everyone on an equal footing. As long as the advertiser can sustain the PPC advertising budget, it really doesn’t matter how large or small the company is.

By clicking on a advertisement the user is directed to the website where they are most likely to find what they were searching for. PPC advertisements are subtler than flashy banner adverts that may annoy potential customers.

How Your Company Can Benefit

Making use of PPC search engines is considered to be much more effective than banner advertising as PPC search engines tend to deliver more traffic to your website and increase brand awareness.

Because the audience receiving these ads searched the very keywords your ads are built around, they are a more targeted audience and you are more likely to receive a better conversion rate.

Advertisements are easily modified and changes are instantly applied giving you the opportunity to immediately adapt and respond to a changing market.

PPC engines often have post click tracking programs with real-time data that can monitor and analyze the performance of your different campaigns by adding tracking codes to a website.

Post click tracking makes it easy to identify poor performing keywords and modify them to include more effective keywords, putting you in complete control of your PPC advertising campaign.

Recession Marketing Opportunities

During financial difficulties, the first thing businesses typically cut back is their marketing budget.

While seemingly a logical step, the reality is that continued marketing during a recession can mean the difference between long term success and failure.

In the past several weeks we have been bombarded with updates on the current economic outlook. Intensified stress in the credit markets, falling equity, increased unemployment, and a completely destabilized stock market.

With each news update the economic situation looks increasingly grim. Already the typical consumer has “tightened their belts” because of a lack of confidence in the economy; budgets are being lowered on both personal and business levels.

“Recession” is the term being used to describe the present economy and there have already been whispers of “Depression”.

While no one is “immune” during a recession, often it is the smaller businesses (local retailers and services professionals) that tend to suffer the most mainly because of their “lack” of marketing.

Faced with the current economic crisis, far too many smaller companies are adopting the “wait and see” approach yet, from a marketing perspective (based on historical data) this is a mistake.

When the economy is good and sales are plentiful, losing a few sales is something that can usually be tolerated affordably. It is during an economic downturn when one simply cannot afford to lose sales that as a business, you have the greatest opportunity for online marketing success.

Only a finite number of sales can be made at any given time. For every dollar in sales you make, it means your competitor is not only losing that sale to you but they can’t replace that lost revenue.

Therefore for every dollar in sales you gain, you move ahead of your competition by a factor of 2.

And, since many of your competitors are cutting their online marketing budgets during a recession, your opportunities for marketing successfully are compounded. Because of marketing (or the lack of marketing) the gap between a successful business and an unsuccessful one widens considerably during a recession. There is historical evidence to back this up.

Looking back at the Great Depression we are able to see some solid advantages to maintaining or increasing marketing strategies during a recession. Companies that maintained their marketing budget, increased in visibility significantly compared to their competitors who slid out of public sight.

This knowledge indicates that a recession actually presents the opportunity to move your company ahead of your competition in ways that would otherwise be unobtainable.

John Quelch on http://www.businessweek.com predicted the current economic situation.

Six months earlier, Quelch stated: “This is not the time to cut advertising. It is well documented that brands that increase advertising during a recession, when competitors are cutting back, can improve market share and return on investment at lower cost than during good economic times.”

Dave Chase with iMedia Connection did some research using data provided by Rod Polasky with archaeolink.com. In his article he covers in more detail the impact on advertising and the accompanying rise and fall of businesses during the great depression.

I encourage everyone to read Dave’s article for some fascinating history on some very recognizable Brand names who owe their success in part at least, to marketing during the Great Depression.

The facts presented show people do not stop spending during a recession; they just spend more time looking for a better deal. If you are not visible to your online customers, then your competitor will make the sale. A sale you cannot afford to lose.

While the rules stay the same for marketing during a recession today, the actual strategies have changed significantly.

When people research for better deals, they tend to research online nowadays, since it’s much easier than reading junk mail flyers or browsing through phonebooks, catalogs, newspapers or magazines.
In a time when your competitors have already started cutting their online marketing budget don’t miss your greatest opportunity.

If you are planning on delaying search engine optimization, or planning on cutting back on your marketing budget, take note of such names as H.P., Disney, Kellogs & Microsoft; all underdogs who previously took advantage of their Recession Opportunity…and they remain on top to this day.

Market wisely…but market you must.

Now is the opportunity to step up and be seen. Now is your opportunity to take sales away from your competitor and solidify your business as a leader in your industry for the future.

Tips for Writing Good Web Page Text Content

If you depend on your website for business and most of your efforts are towards attracting a lot of quality traffic to your website, at some point (if you haven’t already done so) you will need to look at Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

Adding additional content pages to support your targeted keyword phrases is an integral part of any good SEO strategy so in this article we are going to cover some general guidelines for writing good web page text content.

Yes, the Website Owner Should Provide the Content

Copywriters and website content optimizers know how to optimize text content so that the text will work well with the search engines while meeting the needs of the website visitor.

It is erroneous however, for website owners to think that copywriters would know and understand the client’s business as well as the client.

Yet, many of my clients start by asking if I will write the text content for them. This is workable, but not recommended and usually does cost extra.

When the client provides the text content to be optimized the content pages are generally better, there are fewer edits and revisions required and the approval process is much quicker.

Do “NOT” Cut & Paste

The first rule of thumb when creating new content pages for your website is that the text content on each page must be “unique”.

“Copy and paste” is perhaps the worst sin and must be avoided at all times, even within the same website. Even if you have several pages that cover the same or similar topic, the content on each page should be unique unto itself.

The search engines have very intelligent ‘duplicate content’ filters. Once the search engines find duplicate content they simply give credit to the page with the ‘oldest’ history and then ignore (or worse, refuse to index) the rest.

Many websites, especially e-commerce websites, have product descriptions provided to them by the manufacturer which means of course that their competitors have also been provided with those same product descriptions.

The solution is to re-word and revise all third party content provided to you by the manufacturer. You will need to make the copy as unique as possible.

Extra Web Page Content Writing Tips

Not everyone is a writer, but by the same token, not everyone knows your business like you do. As the writer, however, you will find it much easier if you follow this brief overview of how to structure your web page text content.

  1. Your Web Page Text Should Have a Logical Flow

    Each page has a story to tell and all good stories have a beginning, a middle and an end… in essence, every line should be there for a purpose…leading to the next line or thought.

  2. Make Your Pages “Customer” Centric

    Write your content so that it speaks to your customer directly (ie: “you”) and if possible use the following “self-centric” references only minimally – “I”, “we”, “our” or “us”, etc.

  3. Discuss One Central Topic per Page

    The page text that you write should be focused around your main topic, which is usually dictated by the targeted keyword (as chosen by the keyword research provided by your SEO company). If there are secondary ‘related’ phrases, then these should be used mainly to support the ‘primary’ keyword phrase.

  4. Opening Paragraph – State Your Central Theme First

    The opening paragraph of each page should clearly set up the topic of the page and give a little background on exactly what the topic will cover

  5. Middle Text – Highlight the Benefits to the Buyer/Visitor

    It is better to highlight the benefits of your products to the buyer/visitor than to list the product features. People buy products for the benefits that those products bring them; if you can find unique benefits (something that is above and beyond what competitor’s products offer) than this is the place to disclose them.

  6. Review & Summarize

    This is a great place to introduce your company bio or history as a means of backing up and supporting the summary of your products and benefits. Be sure not to cut and paste your bio…paraphrase and reword your bio to ensure that it is unique on each page.

  7. Closing Action Statement

    End with an closing “action” statement (with contact links, phone number, link to a form, etc.) however, while the closing statement may be similar the content should still be unique to each page and revised to reflect the page content and targeted keyword phrase(s).

By following a few writing fundamentals, the task of writing good web page text content really isn’t that difficult. After writing a few pages most of my clients can usually pump out additional pages rather quickly and the up side is that these are skills they can use for the life of their website. Happy writing!

1st on the List Promotion specializes in Professional SEO Copywriting. Need some new content on your website and you don’t have the time or resources to do it yourself? Give us a call at 1-888-262-6687 to explore your options with us.

Read More About SEO Writing:

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PPC Versus SEO – Where Do You Get the Best Value

Pay-per-click (PPC) online marketing is much like conventional marketing where you pay for exposure; once you set a budget you can expect to have your ads shown and clicked on a “predictable” number of times.

PPC marketing is very conventional and very predicable except for the fact that you still cannot predict your cost per acquisition (CPA).

If you spend a determined number of dollars per month with PPC and you make money, that’s great and it may be worth it to consider spending more money to produce even more profit…that is, until you hit the limit of what that market can deliver of course.

Should You Spend Your Marketing Budget on PPC or SEO?

You have the choice of spending your advertising dollars on PPC (sponsored links) or SEO (organic optimization) but how can you know which one offers the best value for the money.

This is a crucial decision and something you need to decide early so let’s look at where people (online searchers) click to help us answer this question.

Organic Listings Get Searched on More Often

When you do a search, where do “you” click more often?

Do you click in the middle of the page from the organic results? Or do you click on the paid listing results (the sponsored links found most often at the very top or in the right column of the search results)?

Statistics show that most people click on listings in the middle of the page…from the organic search results. The general feeling is that organic results provide content that is far more relevant than the sponsored listings.

Although the statistics can vary, depending on the market and the products being sold, we have witnessed as much as 3-5 times as many clicks in the organic listing results as compared to the PPC listing results, in several markets.

Although the sponsored listings in the paid search section do get clicked on (and can sometimes deliver a slightly higher conversion rate) the traffic volumes for sponsored listings are significantly less than those for organic listings.

In addition, if your advertising budget cannot sustain the top spots in the sponsored listing results, as soon as you stop paying, your listings disappear completely.

Public Perception of PPC

Anyone with money can buy PPC ads (sponsored listings) so unfortunately for PPC, public perception is that these listings have not been rightfully ‘earned’ like the top listings on the organic search engine listing results, therefore most online searchers tend to favor organic listings.

With the added exposure that top search engine listings can bring, where do you want your pages to be listed?

We feel that top listings in the organic search results are paramount for any company doing business online…even companies that already have a strong PPC marketing campaign.

Getting listed at the top of the organic results will give your pages maximum Internet exposure. Having listings in both the organic and paid ‘sponsored’ listings can provide an even stronger marketing campaign, since your pages will have two chances at hitting your target audience and convincing them you have what they want and need.

Getting Ranked in the organic Results

Getting listed well in the organic search results under competitive terms is not an easy task.

The highest ranked websites have good content that describes concisely what they offer. They have plenty of good quality inbound links and the architecture of the website is ‘search engine friendly’, making it easy for search engines to crawl and index the content and follow the links.

Search engines endeavor to list the most relevant and most authoritative web pages for that particular topic.
We like to think of this as search engine reputation building and as we know reputations are not easy to build and take a long time to establish.

Getting Top Rankings is a Progressive Process

A new website will need to crawl before it can walk and walk before it can run.

Getting top rankings in organic search results is a progressive process where it’s important to determine where you currently stand and where you want to go, and then take the necessary steps to get there.

If your website is not properly developed to be search engine friendly, your pages won’t rank for competitive keyword phrases, however an experienced SEO can help you create a solid base and build up to that top ranking level by improving your website in stages.

If you have a more developed, established and search engine friendly website you could consider setting your sights higher to further improve your rankings on your more competitive keyword terms.

PPC & SEO Costs

In general, Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising tends to be an ever increasing cost issue, simply because advertisers with top PPC rankings do not want to give up their exposure in the PPC search results, even against mounting competition.

In effect, PPC costs tend to keep increasing over time, as more and more advertisers move into that market.
Existing PPC advertisers tend to view search engine optimization (SEO) with some level of uncertainty, especially if they are new to SEO, yet the cost of SEO is generally a lot less than PPC marketing.

Comparing the two side by side, what you might expect to pay for PPC for a popular keyword term is far greater than targeting that term using SEO to achieve top organic listings.

PPC results can be instant if you are willing to pay the price, however your listing disappear completely if you pull your PPC marketing budget.

Top search engine listings through SEO may take some time to build but the results can be long lasting and over time, can significantly out-perform PPC marketing.

While it is not unusual for some companies to spend $5000 to $10,000 (per month!) on their PPC marketing campaigns, some of these same companies can be very reluctant to spend $1500-2000 a month on SEO…
even though statistics show that the long term benefits are far greater and costs a lot less with SEO.

The perception of some companies who invest heavily in PPC marketing is that SEO won’t be able to provide the same ROI as PPC marketing, but this is simply not true.

There are many companies that have established a strong presence in the organic search results and can easily argue that organic listings produce a significant volume of sales for considerably less than what they would spend on PPC marketing.

Writing Powerful Product Descriptions That Sell

In terms of e-commerce, the job of any good product description is to persuade the customer to take the next step…in this case, to purchase your product.

In order to persuade, you need to inform and entice.

However, when it comes to product descriptions, perhaps the biggest mistake eCommerce site owners make is to use the generic “text description” provided by the manufacturer. Manufacturer descriptions tend to be full of product features making them dull and dreary and leaving the customer feeling that they’ve “heard it all before”.

The key then, to creating powerful product descriptions that sell is to bring something unique to the table…to capture the product’s essence and highlight your product’s unique benefits so that the shopper will be compelled to buy. Read more

Organizing Website Content Navigation for SEO

If you have 300 newsletters that you’ve written that directly relate to the topics within your website, then the newsletter articles should be readily available from the other pages that relate to that topic. More often than not, they are only available by a link that says “Newsletters” and then the links to the newsletters have textual links that look like “March 2007 Newsletters”.

This can often be missed by a visitor who could have actually found this information to be of value. Still worse, it might also be missed by the search engine robots who would have found additional content to support your targeted phrases had your navigation been laid out a bit better.

Anthing that supports your targeted keyword phrases adds value and can result in an increase in rankings. In this scenario, you could be missing out on added value that might be given to your website by the search engines simply because your navigation is set up improperly.

Site Navigation

Just as there are different ways people search for the same products online, there are different ways that people may look for something within your site. You may feel that your navigation works well for everyone but this simply is not always the case.

Many times customer service reps field calls where an online searcher states that they “can’t find such-and-such on your site”. Although the rep may feel it’s a no-brainer, they fail to hear themselves when they respond “go to ‘x’, then click on ‘y’, then look for ‘z’ and you’ll find it under the ‘m’ category”.

If this is occuring with your clients then you have an issue with your website’s navigation that needs to be corrected. Look at how your navigation is set up. Did you group your products and information together by a a topical category such as:
•    High Heel Shoes
•    Tennis Shoes
•    Golf Shoes

Or did you group them by the types of people who buy them?
•    Womens Shoes
•    Mens Shoes
•    Kids Shoes
The latter grouping could mean that your visitors will have to click on the multiple links to find what they want. In the following example, the product they want is four clicks down from the home page:
•    Home Page
–  Womens Shoes
– Dress Shoes
– High Heels
– Red ¼ Inch Leather Pumps
That form of navigation may seem natural, however many visitors do not want to click 4 links to find what they want. And neither do the search engines!

Google’s guidelines (and this is a good rule of thumb) say that your pages should be able to be reached by 1 to 2 clicks from the home page. Otherwise pages that are more deeper down than 2 clicks are more likely to not be indexed.

The more popular your site is and the longer it is around (the more history it has) may help to get those pages indexed but that isn’t going to help you now.

A quick solution would be to just leave that form of navigation in place; but consider adding a new navigation within your actual content area. Often times the quickest way to do this is through “bread-crumbs”.

Bread Crumbs

If you don’t know what a bread crumb is take a look below:

Where You Are:  Shoe Store>>High Heels >> Red ¼ Inch Leather Pumps

If you’ve ever seen this in a site, this is a breadcrumb.  It is a quick navigational bar that allows visitors to see what category they are in, but it also allows search engines to get deeper into your content with 1 to 2 clicks from the home page.  It also allows you to go back to the main category page or home page with just one click.

These types of breadcrumbs can be added to your pages easily and is a lot easier than reconstructing your left navigation.

SEO Content

For the busy shopper this removes a few clicks to find what they want.  It also makes it easier for the search engines to get to the content further down within your site.

Another reason for this is that to you, it may make perfect sense for your pages to be linked by the people who use them (mens shoes, womens shoes, kids shoes) but the search engines are looking for the concept and relation to the concept.

Once you do this, you need to ensure that your category pages are easy for everyone to find what they are looking for.  So lets say your home page looked something like this:
Webpage Optimization

Is it boring?  Maybe!  A good designer can possibly dress it up however they like. The main point is that the core elements are here and easily accessible by the search engines and your visitors.
If you want images, backgrounds or more stylish fonts, you can do whatever you need to make it your own but the concept remains the same.
Below is an example for someone who is looking to buy gym shoes (tennis shoes, sneakers, court shoes… whatever one likes to call them).

Category Page Example

With this example a man’s sneaker, a woman’s sneaker and a kid’s sneaker are all still a sneaker when all is said and done.  Having a page for sneakers that then breaks down by who wears them would also help the engines identify the relationship between your products.  An example would be:

Now if you look closely you could probably find many different types of navigation’s in place;

  • a header nav
  • a footer nav
  • a center nav
  • a left nav
  • and the original left nav

The purposes for these distinctly different navs is simply called ease of use, or accessibility.

Why should your visitor have to go click the back button to find what they want; here they can to the home, check their cart, click woman’s shoes and select from high heels or hiking boots. The concept is simple but so hard for some to grasp. This not only makes it easier for visitors to find what they want quickly, but this also helps the search engines find the information they want quickly.

If your website is not setup like this that’s okay; you can actually create additional pages that help to open up your site; you may find that it also increases your sales.  Remember that your site should continue to grow.

Take that one step further; allow your site to grow as your knowledge of what works online grows.
Often times people learn something new that they feel could help catapult their website, however they often feel that they should just dump their site and build a new one.  There is no need to dump your old or existing website; simply implement what you’ve learned into your existing site and move ahead.

Next post: Optimizing the web page

What Is Search Engine Optimization?

This three word phrase is probably the most misunderstood phrase known to online website owners.

Common SEO Misconceptions

Some will say search engine optimization is all about how many times the targeted “keyword phrase” appears on your page.

Others will say search engine optimization is about using the keyword phrase in as many different ways as you can; variations, stemming and related phrases plus using them in your body text, your headings, sub-headings, your meta tags, alt tags, etc.

Then you hear others say that search engine optimization is all about the number of good quality incoming links that point to your site.

The fact is, search engine optimization can be all of these things and more, and while these points may play a part in varying degrees, it is difficult to sum up search engine optimization in a one-lined sentence.

Good SEO Follows Search Engine Guidelines

It is possible for your website to be naturally optimized if it is built right the first time.

More than a few website owners have been taken in by in-ept or “black hat” search engine optimization companies who make false promises about how they will optimize a website but then completely ignore or miss many of the necessary core elements of good search engine optimization.

Did you know that you can find out how to properly optimize your website simply by visiting the the major search engine’s guidelines and following search engine recommendations that are given freely on their site?

It may be one thing if, as a website owner, you don’t have time to ensure your site conforms properly to search engine guidelines as posted on the search engine websites; but it’s another thing completely to believe that search engine optimization is a heavily guarded secret only known by search engine optimizers.

Legitimate “White Hat” Search Engine Optimization Companies

The main core ingredients of your website that are pertinent to search engine optimization and that must be easily accessible to search engine robots are your website’s text content, plus your website’s layout, navigation and structure. The rest is really just icing on the cake.

Unfortunately many websites have an abundance of icing and no cake or worse, a website may have hundreds or even thousands of pages of good content that desperately needs to be organized in a way that is user friendly and search engine friendly.

Legitimate “white hat” search engine optimization companies have access to a host of professional SEO tools that the average website owner simply does not. This allows good SEO companies to analyze and compare your website to your competitor’s websites.

Through proper website and server analysis, a good search engine optimization company is able to pinpoint and correct any back-end issues of your website plus they can discover keyword phrases that you may have missed, or to look at keyword densities, keyword frequencies, etc., in order to put together an SEO strategy that will not only improve your website, but also improve your user experience.

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