What Is SEO Optimization?
Search engine optimization is the art and science of making your web pages ready for the search engines to index and display on their results pages. Search engine optimization is different than web optimization. Web optimization is making your web pages fast loading so that your visitors do not get bored and move to another website. action is the art and science of making your web pages ready for the search engines to index and display on their results pages. Search engine optimization is different than web optimization. Web optimization is making your web pages fast loading so that your visitors do not get bored and move to another website.
Good search engine optimization includes web optimization. Conversely, good web optimization has nothing to do with search engine optimization. For example, in search engine optimization terms you need a website to be fast loading so that both visitors and search engine robots do not move onto other websites. If a search engine robot has to wait too long it will skip your site and may not index it for months (or ever). Web optimization involves creating small, fast-loading graphics, usually with a program such as Photoshop, ImageReady, or Fireworks. The images are "optimized" for fast loading in a web browser.
Search engine optimization takes into account many aspects of getting a website indexed and ranking at the top of the search engine listings. Some aspects of search engine optimization are web optimization, acquiring a fast, reliable host, meta tag optimization, title tag, alt text tags, and creating keyword-rich body text and link text optimization. Also, creating an incoming link program is part of good search engine optimization. Google places special emphasis on incoming links, so a professional link-building campaign is essential to achieving high rankings. Search engine optimization is an important and one of the most cost-effective types of marketing on the Internet.
The return on investment with search engine optimization can many times be better than all other marketing plans combined. With proper search engine optimization, a website may receive hundreds or thousands of targeted visitors per day. Many profitable web businesses only use search engine optimization as their only form of marketing. Most web businesses, however, combine search engine optimization with other forms of online marketing such as marketing through newsletters, banner and text ads, email, press releases, contests and giveaways, web addresses on all printed materials, and affiliate programs.
Choosing A Hosting Company
Choosing a hosting company may not seem like it has anything to do with search engine optimization but it does. First, it is important to choose a reputable and reliable hosting company with a minimum of 99.7 percent uptime. If your website is often down, the search engine robots will not pick it up and fail to index your site.
it is important to pick a reputable hosting company.
There are some horror stories out there about hosts who have placed "invisible" information on all of the websites they are hosting which exclude the sites from certain search engines and other sites. This "invisible" information is not invisible to the search engine robots, however, and has caused many sites on a single host to be excluded from several of the search engines. Another host was placing "invisible" links back to its own site to build up its own link popularity. Because this host was already on some of the search engines' black lists it caused many of the websites it hosted to be penalized by the search engines.
One way to search out the reputable from the disreputable hosts is to do a search for "unethical web hosting" on some of the major search engines and check out the message board. Generally, you will receive personal accounts on which hosts are honest and reliable and which are not. Third, watch out if you share an IP address with other companies through your host. By sharing an IP address with another website that has been penalized or banned from the search engines your site may suffer from "guilt by association." The search engine may do a partial or total ban of your IP address for acts that someone else committed and you may never be the wiser until your switch hosting companies.
Avoid free hosts
Hosts such as geocities.com and angelfire.com may work for personal pages but if you have a business and need to get top rankings then spend a little money for your own URL and a reliable, ethical host (generally you can find this under $100). Free hosts may bombard visitors with popup ads, have frequent downtime, and take down your website when it exceeds its monthly bandwidth allotment. All of this can be avoided by spending very little money.
SEO Services provides one-stop shopping for all your search engine optimization needs. Why not contact SEO Services now with any questions you may have? Choosing Domain NamesChoosing domain names is an issue with much debate right now. Some SEO professionals suggest buying domain names with keywords as part of the domain names, others suggest against this and others say it doesn't matter.
Buying Domain Names With KeywordsThe case for buying domain names for websites with keywords embedded stems from a couple of issues. First, some search engines only index websites according to the URL name. Second, there has been evidence in the past that the major search engines have given the URL some weight when indexing a website. Right now, if you do a Google search for a particular keyword or key-phrase you will see the keywords/phrases highlighted in the URLs of sites that use this technique.
The Case Against Keywords In Domain Names
In November, Google's famed Florida (Hilltop) update seemed to bury many websites that used keywords in the domain names. This gave rise to much speculation that Google was penalizing these websites for URL spamming. Since this update, however, many of these same URLs have resurfaced so, if this was the case (which was a doubtful premise), this does not seem to be the case anymore.
The Case For It Doesn't MatterMany SEO professionals now take the stance that the search engines have taken a rational, neutral approach, never giving weight to nor penalizing domain names with keywords embedded. This makes sense. At one time, URL spamming was getting out of hand, with long URL names filled with keywords and phrases that told nothing about the site. On the other hand, if an identity had already been established with these long URLs and customers knew where to go to find these long-established sites that had their corporate identities intertwined with these names then why penalize them? The best solution is to neither give these sites an advantage nor penalize them.
Buying Domain Names NowThe best advice for buying a domain name now is to buy one that best describes your site without worrying about keywords. Go for branding instead of keywords or take a half and half stance and incorporate both keywords and company identity into your URL. Things may change, but for now, focus on having a URL that describes your website and is memorable for your visitors.
Achieving High Rankings
Achieving high rankings in the search engines is the goal of many and is why so many are flocking to search engine optimization companies for help. Achieving high search engine rankings will increase website traffic and if your website is designed correctly, will increase sales as well. This is what it's all about, right?
Achieving high rankings have some inherent problems, the biggest of which is patience. In our drive-up window society, customers rightly expect fast service and thus fast search engine rankings. Many search engine companies will fudge the truth of the timeframe for high rankings to attract and retain customers. If a customer looks at one search engine optimization website that promises results in 15 to 45 days and the other one promises results in 90 - 120 days, most customers will pick the company that promises the quicker timeframe.
Is one search engine optimization company better at achieving high rankings than the next? Not necessarily. The one promising results in 90 - 120 days is providing a realistic timeframe for results but someone needing quick results (and who doesn't, this is business right?) will think this is an unacceptable figure. The one promising 15 - 45 days most likely will get the business and then have to "hold the customer's hand" along the way as the optimization has been completed and the website is heading into the 90 - 120 day figure.
This is understandable in a way since the SEO business would have been lost with the longer figure. At SEO Pros, our philosophy is that the customer wants to hear the "bad news" upfront so that he or she can make an informed decision. What we are saying is that no matter which SEO company you choose (and yes some will make wonderful money-back guarantees that are both tricky and worthless) you should not expect high rankings on your web pages in less than 90 days.
Why is this timeframe so long?
Most search engines like Google index websites once a month (some take longer such as 2 - 3 months). Just being indexed in the search engines does not mean your site will be placed high in the rankings. Many times, there is a 30 - 60 day "holding period" when the search engines are evaluating your website and incoming links and deciding where to place your website among the search results. Yes, your site may be indexed within the 15 days claimed by some SEO companies, but this is a far cry from achieving high rankings. Also, many times the search engines will index the homepage first and then weeks later come back to index the rest of your pages.
How are high rankings achieved?
High rankings are achieved by first researching the appropriate keywords and key phrases for a website and then optimizing a site's title, meta tags, body text, link text, link URL, and creating an incoming links program. Once a website is optimized it is then submitted to the search engines and in this period one can "hurry up and wait." If a website is already listed in the search engines and already has high-ranking incoming links then the timeframe for achieving high ranking can be a little shorter. Websites that are already listed generally move up the rankings more quickly than new sites.
How Search Engines Work
How do search engines work? Search engines like Google are called organic search engines and are based on objective algorithms when indexing websites. Some other search engines are pay-per-inclusion (PPI) or pay-per-click (PPC) and a fee is involved for being a part of the search engine. There is a third type which is the search directory, such as Yahoo or DMOZ.org which uses human editors to index websites on their site.
Organic search engines like Google are the ones to be concerned about search engine optimization terms. In a pay-per-inclusion search engine, your search engine optimization techniques may or may not work. In the pay-per-click search engine, the results are based on a fee paid for a particular keyword or key-phrase and your search engine optimization techniques will most assuredly not work.
In a search directory, a human editor will most likely rewrite your title and description, taking out relevant keywords, so you are at the mercy of someone else for your search rankings. The search directories give no importance to the search engine optimization that has been performed on a website.
Organic search engines use robots (sometimes called spiders) to crawl web pages and gather this information into a huge database. Once in this database, several different ranking algorithms are used to determine the ranking for each keyword or key-phrase searched. Most organic search engines also give weight to incoming links.
The theory is that incoming links count as a vote from the incoming link to the site it links to and thus that website is more popular than one without any incoming links. In addition, links from higher ranking websites are deemed "more important". Thus an incoming link from an "important" site is more valuable and will push the site it is linked to into a higher position in the rankings.
Search engines take into account a web page's title, meta tags, body text, link text, and URL names when indexing a website. This information is indexed within a page itself and with the other pages on the website so that it can come up with a theme on what the website is about. Once the search engine can determine what the website is about it will publish the site in a certain position in the rankings determined by the keywords / key phrases on the site and incoming links.
Keywords and Key-Phrases
Keywords and/or key phrases are one or more words that describe what your website is about. For instance, a website that sells contact lenses online would build its site around the key phrase "contact lenses." If this site was built around "contacts" or "lenses" and achieved high rankings for either of these keywords, it would be lumped in with many other sites that had nothing to do with contact lenses, and thus, while achieving high traffic, it would not be achieving targeted traffic.
Keywords (and we will use this term to include key phrases as well) are the meat upon which the search engines chew. Search engines rank websites according to keywords that are being searched. So, websites have to be built around one or more keywords so that the search engines will know what the site is about and rank it accordingly.
To build a website around a set of keywords, research has to be conducted to find the highest-ranking keywords on whatever subject the website is about. Hopefully, the highest-ranking keyword is the subject of your homepage. Lower-ranking keywords in an ideal world will be what your supporting pages will be about.
If this is not the case, then efforts must be made to make your homepage and supporting pages relevant, with high-ranking keywords.
To build a website around a keyword, first research the keywords that are relevant to your website. Once you have analyzed the highest-ranking keywords for your website, then start with your homepage and modify the title text, meta tags, alt text, link text, link URLs, and body text around your highest linking keyword.
Don't forget link building as well. When you develop a linking program (acquiring incoming links to your site) your link text needs to contain your main keywords. Not all your incoming links must say exactly the same thing otherwise the search engines will mark down your site, believing these are all paid links. It is better to mix up your incoming link text. Going back to the example above, some of the incoming links should say "contact lenses" while others will have variations such as "daily contact lenses," "contact lenses for you," "contact lenses cheap," etc.
If a search engine optimization company does not offer to do keyword research for you, then become suspicious. Choosing the correct keyword or keywords is the most important part of search engine optimization and without research and advice on this subject, these SEO companies are just looking to take your money and optimize for your uninformed choice of keywords. These companies will then show you how your keywords achieved top 10 rankings in the search engines and how they help you with this. The keywords you pick may, however, gather only a few hits per month. No reputable search engine optimization company would let you "run with scissors" in this fashion.
Keywords are the key to your online success. Research them and use them wisely.
How Long Does It Take To Achieve High Rankings?
How long does it take to achieve high rankings in the search engines? The answer to this question is almost always 100-percent disappointing to most consumers. The short answer is that one should expect a minimum of 90 days to achieve high rankings and sometimes longer.
Why does it take so long?
First, there is a difference between being indexed by the search engines and achieving high rankings in the search engines which we will discuss later. There are several reasons it takes so long to achieve high rankings. First, most search engines such as Google index websites once a month. This means it may take 30 or more days just to show up in Google at all, let alone be ranked. Second, most search engines also take a fair amount of time to check the incoming links to your websites.
Search engines place high relevance on the amount and relevance of incoming links to your site. Websites that are deemed "authority sites" will give your site a boost in the rankings if you have an incoming link from one of these sites.
Third, depending upon the popularity of the keyword chosen to optimize your site around, you may have lots of competition to wade through when trying to get into the top 10 or 20 of the search engine rankings.
Doesn't Indexing Mean High Rankings?
No, being indexed is not the same as achieving high rankings. Many search engine optimization companies will promise that your site will be indexed by the major search engines in 48 - 72 hours, 5, 10, or 15 days or whatever. This only means that your website will be in the search engine's database. The search engine still has to run its ranking algorithms against your website and check the number and quality of the incoming links to your site and this takes time. Don't be fooled by claims of guaranteed fast indexing or rankings. No search engine optimization company has the "inside track" over another company though many claims to have this advantage.
What can I do to speed things up?
By performing search engine optimization, securing incoming links, and submitting your site to the search engines promptly, you may be able to speed things up a bit, but we are only talking days and not weeks here.
If it takes so long to get high rankings, why do people do it?
Though the initial waiting period can be painful to even the most patient person, the reward is worth the wait. Increased traffic and increased sales are the main reasons people turn to an SEO company. Imagine doubling or tripling your traffic or even increasing it tenfold. Many business owners have achieved this and wonder why they didn't get their websites optimized sooner.
What if my website is already indexed by the search engine?
If your website is already indexed by the search engines and buried in the rankings, your wait will most likely be a bit shorter than a new website. This is because the search engines have already re-indexed your website several times and you most likely have some incoming links pointing to your site. There seems to be a certain "grandfathering" that occurs where older sites are a bit easier to move up in the rankings than newer websites.
Website submission is a controversial subject lately. One part of this controversy that is not under debate with the search engine optimization community is that automatic submissions are bad. Automatic website submissions are viewed by many search engines as spamming since many sites that do automatic submissions do so in bulk. This taxes the search engines' resources and violates many search engines' terms of service.
The downside of automatic submission is that the company doing this will take your money and your website may potentially be banned for this behavior. Not a very good ROI!
Manual Submit Versus No Submit
Many search engine optimization experts believe that manual submissions to the search engines are the way to go. Most of the major search engines have an easy online submission process in place. In this way, they argue you don't have to wait until a search engine finds your website from an inbound link and thus your website will be indexed a bit quicker.
There is another group of search engine optimization experts who believe that the best method of submission is to not submit at all. They point to evidence that some search engines will actually give your site a small boost in the rankings if they find the website themselves. They also believe it is unnecessary to submit since the robots are out there crawling millions of pages constantly.
At SEO Services we believe that it is still a good idea to submit to the general search engines and directories manually according to their terms of service. Once a website is indexed most search engines are pretty good about re-indexing the sites from thereon.
Small Business SEO
Small business SEO is our specialty. A small business needs SEO to be both effective and affordable. Many search engine optimization companies focus on high-dollar corporate websites but we prefer working with the small business SEO sector exclusively.
SEO for small businesses is both an art and a science. Since many small businesses are niche companies the SEO needs to study the site, competition, and marketplace to know how best to optimize the small business website.
Our SEO company works with many small businesses daily honing and refining the current optimization technology to the greatest advantage. By knowing a small business intimately, we can achieve higher search engine placement than most other SEO firms.
Small business SEO takes a certain aptitude and we have just the right aptitude and attitude to get the job done. We know, for instance, that small business owners wear many hats. Many owners have made attempts to do SEO on their own only to find that SEO is taking up too much of their time and energy to self-educate and apply what they've learned.
This time what the small business owner could be using on his or her own website is actually taking care of the needs of the business instead of spending way too much time doing SEO. That is where our small business SEO firm comes in. We offer great expertise at a low price geared toward the small business market. So why not have us SEO your website today? You'll be glad you handed your small business SEO matters over to the experts.
Branding vs. SEO
Branding versus SEO is a very important marketing consideration. A recent survey indicates that less than 50 percent of the top 300 companies in the U. S. perform search engine optimization on their websites in favor of branding their corporate name and trademark.
This philosophy is literally neglecting hundreds of thousands of visitors who would be streaming through their websites, had they been optimized.
Some marketers think branding and search engine optimization providers and either/or situation. This is far from the truth as companies like Sony, Jaguar, and Visa have found out. They have their cake and eat it too by both promoting their brands and optimizing for their main industry keywords.
Do a search for electronics and see where Sony is. Now do a search for Sony and see where Sony is. You See? They are getting traffic from both their brand AND the generic term for what they sell. Now do the same kind of search for Cars and see where Jaguar stacks up. Next, do a search for credit cards and see where Visa stacks up.
Noticeably missing from this list of companies are Best Buy for "electronics", Ford, GM, and Chrysler for "cars", and MasterCard for "credit cards."
So why would some of the largest companies, some of which are on the Dow 30, neglect such a large market as the major search engines?
It's hard to tell. But the good news is that this reflects attitudes in general towards search engine marketing. Some are early adopters, some are middle adopters and some are late getting in the game. The good news part of this is that you and your business don't have to be late adopters, struggling to get into a game that has been going on a while and playing catch up.