WHAT SEO IS
With so many companies cutting back on their traditional advertising budgets (TV, Radio, and Print) since the near economic collapse in 2008, one form of marketing seems to be doing just the opposite. SEO marketing or Search Engine Optimization as it’s called is the process used by internet marketing companies to help improve the visibility of a website through a search engines organic search results. While traditional advertisings recent failure is due to the fact that only some people read a magazine, watch a television show or listen to the radio due to audience fragmentation, almost everybody goes on the internet on a daily basis via personal computers, laptops, and smartphones due to its wide variety of content.
In the world of SEO marketing there is different techniques online marketers use when performing online marketing and much like the world we live in, there is a right way and a wrong way of doing it.
The Right Way:
- White Hat SEO:
- Is considered by most to be the right way of performing SEO.
- Is also called ethical SEO because it follows a search engines rules and policies.
- The techniques used are focused on people as opposed to search engines.
- It utilizes quality keywords, keyword research, backlinking and link building to improve a web sites popularity.
- Those who look for a long-term ROI (Return on investment) on their web site will use these techniques.
The Wrong Way:
- Black Hat SEO:
- Is considered by most to be the wrong way of performing SEO.
- Is also called unethical SEO because it utilizes techniques that focus only on search engines and not on people.
- It utilizes keyword stuffing, invisible text, doorway pages, re-directs and link farming to improve a web sites popularity.
- Those who are looking for a quick financial return and don’t care about the long term success of a site often use these techniques.
- Due to the Google Panda update, it is much harder to perform these techniques without getting banned or penalized by Google.
Whether you use the right or wrong techniques, both practices try to achieve similar results. Marketers are trying to get their site into the highest position possible in a search engines search results. Web design firms using the proper techniques are trying to get a search engine to place their web site in front of its targeted audience first by being higher up on the search engines organic search results. All the techniques discussed above are incorporated because marketers believe the higher up and more frequently a site appears in a search engines search results, the more people the site will obtain from a search engine.
SEO IN WEB DEVELOPMENT
Proper techniques can also be used in SEO web design when designing and developing a web site from the ground up. Following these techniques can help optimize your site while you are building it.
- SEO development practices:
- A search engine puts a higher value on the title element, Meta description, heading and first paragraph of a web page. Always make these elements keyword rich to help search engines with users search queries.
- Use unique product names and descriptions of elements with pictures, files and folders on your site to better assist search engines when indexing your site.
- Utilize a site map generator to help search engines index your site more efficiently. Do this by creating an XML, video, and image site map to better index your site’s local, image and video search results on a search engine.
- Use a Dynamic site map that will automatically submit a new sitemap to search engines every time new content is placed on your site.
- Use quality content on your site in order to engage your potential customer to gain a lead, sale or desired response.
While this lens just scratches the surface of what SEO really is, now that you know the basic idea of what it is, remember that although SEO is very effective it cannot guarantee a web sites success. SEO only helps improve a web sites visibility to search engines which in turn puts it in front of more people which then boosts the sites traffic. If SEO is performed properly by a digital marketing firm using White Hat techniques during the development phase of a site, SEO can help bring long term ROI. SEO may bring traffic to a site but once a person is on your site it is up to you to have the quality content that is needed to succeed in today’s market place. Just remember that while SEO marketing is not perfect, it is the webs appeal to billions of people and the cost of SEO that makes this form of marketing continue to grow while traditional advertising continues to decline.
- Keywords: also called Meta keywords or tags, provide a search engine with additional text to crawl that describes the contents of a page or site it is indexing, when performing a search query for the user.
- Keyword research: is the practice of researching actual search terms people enter into a search engine when conducting a search query and matching them to the contents of your site.
- Backlinking: also called incoming links or inbound links, are incoming links that link to a website or web page. The number of them helps determine the popularity and importance of a web page and is used by Google to help determine a web sites PageRank in search queries.
- Link Building: refers to the quality and number of incoming links that are pointing to your site. When a trusted site links to yours, people often follow the recommendation.
- Keyword stuffing: occurs when a developer stuffs a web page with keywords in its Meta keyword and description tags and in its content.
- Invisible text: is used by some marketers as a technique to fill a page with keywords that a search engine will recognize but a person will not see.
- Doorway pages: insert results for a particular phrase with the purpose of sending visitors to a different page than the one searched for.
- Link farming: is a group of web sites that are all hyperlinked to every other site in the group. These sites most likely will not be relevant to each other and are often created through automated programs and services. This technique tries to mimic quality backlinking.