SEO could benefit many businesses who are looking to increase their online presence and drive more targeted prospects to their websites. Unfortunately the SEO industry is not known for its openness which will be confusing for businesses that are wondering just what exactly they will be getting in return for their investment.
The SEO industry in addition has attracted a lot of cowboys who employ “black-hat” techniques that not in favor of the policies of Google and the other search engines. Factors to consider that your SEO will be done using honourable “White Hat” techniques.
Businesses that unwittingly employ an SEO that uses these techniques could see short term results until Google finds out the footprints left behind by these techniques, at which point they will see a negative influence on their search engine ranking positions SEO. The black hat SEO offers quick repairs and is usually gone by this point!
What’s With all the Hats?
The term “Black Hat” comes from the old western movies, the criminals always used black hats! The good guys used white hats, you will hear honourable SEO referred to as “White Hat” SEO. Remember the criminals always got their just deserts!
What Should your SEO be Doing for your Business?
It is important to know exactly what your SEO will be doing for you and how they can provide measurable results. Steer clear of any SEO who offers a guaranteed ranking, it is impossible to ensure a ranking with Google or any other search engine!
Any SEO who can guarantee results without even knowing which keywords you want to target is using this as a marketing ploy, how could they guarantee results if you wanted to compete for keywords like “Apple”, “Google” or “Facebook”?!
Without doing keyword research it is impossible to tell how likely the success of an SEO campaign will be and how long it’s probably to take. SEO is an ongoing process of research, testing and analysis. It takes careful planning to identify the best keywords and to then put a solid strategy in place to rank for those keywords.
On-site and Off Site SEO
SEO takes into account factors that are both on-site and off-site. On-site SEO entails an analysis of your website. It involves looking at many factors including the site structure, use of keywords, the sites content, page packing times and the HTML and CSS that the site is created with. Good on-site SEO benefits the end user and also helps to avoid any technical “Gotchas” that search engines don’t like, such as duplicate content.
A good SEO begins by studying your site and making recommendations to improve an optimise the site for both users and search engines. Off site SEO involves creating relevant backlinks from other sites to yours.
Each back-link is measured by the search engines as a election for your site. Websites get an authority score called Page rank. Each time a site links to you it shares a little bit of its page rank with you, links from high authority sites share more of this page rank than lower authority sites. Newly arriving links to a site are known as backlinks.
To follow in order to Nofollow…
Some links carry no authority at all, many links carry a nofollow feature that tell the search engines not to count that link as a election. Website owners and bloggers might add this feature themselves if they don’t their url to be measured as a election for the external site or it could be automatically added by the platform they are using to create their content, this is often the case when a site offers its user to add comments or content and the webmaster has little control over what links get created by the sites allies.
Links without the nofollow feature are classified as “dofollow” and pass page rank from your page to the linked page. In HTML there is no actual dofollow feature, dofollow happens automatically in the absence of a nofollow feature. Don’t ever nofollow internal links as this will cause any page rank that would have been passed fot it url to just evaporate!
Where Did You get Those Links?
You should ask your SEO how they will create backlinks, a good SEO will try to build a varied back-link collection for you. This collection ought to include high value links that are found in bodies of text such as blogs. These usually carry the most page rank but also require the most are the SEO will need to build connections with blog owners and often give you the content themselves.
Any good SEO will appear for quality over quantity, anyone promising a high number of links is probably best avoided. The search engines like to see “Natural Links of Love”, a few high quality links should go a lot further than many poor links.
Other linking strategies include using quality business directories or commenting on blogs and discussion boards as well as using social media and social bookmark management sites.
Link transactions are best avoided as these two way links don’t look like natural links. Search engines can see the internet as a series of connected nodes and easily detect not naturally made patterns like this.
Your business, Your needs
Your SEO should consult with you about your business needs and goals and also try to understand as much as they can about your target audience. If they don’t do this chances are they are unlikely to pick keywords that will attract and convert the right audience for you business. They should conduct extensive keyword research and then identify the keywords that will bring in more of the right traffic. Traffic is useless if it doesn’t convert!