Search engine optimization (SEO) is essentially about giving your web site a protuberant position on the web and making it easily found via search engines such as Google, Yahoo Bing etc. While you can use a diverse number of strategies to promote your web site, including advertising and social media, it’s likely that the approach most people will take to discover your web site will be via a search engine.
Stories are rampant about companies that have paid online swindlers to improve their website search results, but instead ended up having their site dropped altogether from Google’s index because of devious SEO tactics. Business owners are becoming very cautious when investigating SEO because of these unpleasant stories. But the principles of the technology are sensible; it’s about fine tuning your web site to clearly communicate what your business does to search engines and internet navigators.
If done right, SEO ought to be an additional instrument to assist you in winning new business by utilizing your improved web site presence online. To optimize your web site means to develop and design it at the back, end and write proper content for it at the front end so as to ensure that it is ranked highly on most search engines across the web. In other words, you want to turn your web site into a spider that attracts your ideal customer. This will allow your webpage to rate higher in searches, making it easier for potential customers to find you when they’re searching online.
There are ways to ensure that when your pages show up in a list of search results, the information is detailed as displayed in a Google search which will encourage people to click on them. This means creating descriptive, unique, and accurate text for the page title, URL and a ‘description’ meta tag for each page. Scripting clear titles and keywords can also help improve your search results.
There are also ‘offsite’ elements which increase your search ranking, one of the most important being back-links that encourage other sites to link to your site. The vital ways in which Google’s search algorithm decides on a site’s search ranking is by how many other sites link to it, which is why achieving back-links is important. However, be careful here and make sure that your site is linked to relevant directories that are related to your industry. Google is always a step ahead of everyone and if they sense that you are linking your site to thousands of irrelevant links they will terminate those links, causing your site to sink very low in the ranking.
One of our clients who paid high price to have her web site “Optimized” by an unscrupulous online source discovered to her shock horror and disbelief that her web site was linked to countless obscene sites, which explained the reason behind the flood of spam emails she was getting.
The advent of the SEO wave has created many acronym and labels. One of these labels is Black Hat SEO. Unethical or ‘black hat’ SEO employs morally twisted and sometimes even illegal means. It may involve using spam tactics to dishonestly place links to your page on thousands of other sites in the form of spam comments on blogs, or by creating thousands of fake web sites by registering vacant domain names. This can also be done by creating web sites using fake content and germinating those web sites with links to your business name and web site. Black hat SEO tactics can drag your company name into disrepute, lead Google to ‘ban’ your site by removing it from its search index, and generate a bad relationship with web site visitors.
Getting your web site on the first page of Google is not that hard, and you don’t have to be very technical to do your own SEO. If you can operate a word processor and can use Google, then you can do your own search engine optimization. The trick is to be consistent and to be relentless in your efforts. If you feel that you will not be able to follow through it is advisable that you appoint a professional to do the job.