SEO: A Quick Overview

SEO also known as Search Engine Optimization is one of the best ways you can get your business ranking high on Search Engines such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing.  What is this process really about? Is it worth it?  SEO can be a very time consuming task, which is why SEO agencies take the heat and get the hard work done for you.  With brilliant results! We have broken down the various parts to building a successful SEO Strategy.

Selecting The Right Keywords

The first part of an SEO strategy is your keywords.  Keywords are the search terms that your customers are using to find you and, as the case may be right now, your competitors.  Search Engines use keywords to determine exactly what a website is about, as well as the individual pages.  They can be generated from your blog, your sales pages, even your membership forum. When optimizing a website for certain keywords its best to focus on the ones which will have the highest volume of searches each month.  However the thing to remember is that you should be targetted as many possible keywords as possible.  Its not everyone who is searching for very specific terms, in fact LSI Keywords (Those generated through Latent Semantic Indexing) can be a key to a businesses success. LSI keywords will be explained in a following post.

What to remember now is that you have a few chosen keywords, they get a great search volume and your website content should be geared towards demonstrating that your page is the most relevant for these keywords. Careful of using them too much.  Your keywords should still fit into your content and maintain its use, readability, and understanding for any customer who is going to read it.  Poorly written content is the number 1 reason potential clients will leave your website. If you over-optimize your content then you can potentially get hit by some very harsh penalties from the Search Engines.  Make sure to keep your customer first, and keywords second.  If you are writing about a specific topic then the keywords will include themselves.

Optimizaing your Meta Tags and Titles

There are several meta-tags that the search engines look at. The two most important are:

1. Title Tags (The title of your website, blog post, and pages)
2. Description (The description used to display your site
within the [tooltip position=”top right” icon=”yes” color=”light” tip=”SERPS: Search Engine Results Pages”]SERPS[/tooltip])

The title as well as the description should hold the most relevant keywords that you are targeting.  This should be refined to also encourage people searching to click through to your website.  This is known as the CTR (Click Through Rate) and can also impact your search engine rankings. Often people obsess too much about the ‘keyword meta-tags’ .  While Google doesnt use these to determine how a page will rank, Yahoo and Bing do.  So it is important to include them however not to overcrowd them with too many keywords also known as ‘keyword stuffing’.

Internal and External Linking

Linking is a fundamental part to building an SEO campaign.  Without it, you are missing out on the promotion and authority generated from other websites online.  Link building is about establishing connections online which in tern, show the Search Engines that you are the authority on a subject.  If you have well written content then people will want to give you credit for your expert knowledge.  Without links, no matter how brilliant your site is, your rankings will not reach their full potential.  A link building company specialises in making these connections for you.

Inbound Link Building

Inbound link building creates links that point to your website and transfer authority to your business.  It is also a paramount part of increasing your rankings in Search Engines.  To get inbound links there are many methods, far more than can be included into this post, however we will cover a great deal of them in another.  One great way is to publish content online, such as articles, guides, and newsletters.  Content distribution puts your content and link back to your website from many different places online.  Many of these places such as Blog directories generate a lot of traffic and some of this can be yours!

Is Outbound Linking A Good Idea?

In the SEO industry this is a heated topic. Some believe that linking to authoritative websites from yours will somehow impact your ranking also.  However this has never been proven.  The only time you should consider linking to other websites in from a ‘futher reading’ point of view.  Sometimes you might be talking about facts, figures and topics which others have also covered and feel that it will enhance the readers experience by provided added information.  This is an ideal time to link to another website.  One reason to avoid linking is that you might send that user away from your site without taking all of your information, signing up for your offers, and reading more posts.  Its a catch 22 situation and should really focus on adding value.  To keep people on your website it is best to have your external links open in a new tab or window.  This way they can easily come back to your content and continue reading. External links can also impact the way the PR or Page Rank of your website is calculated.  This is avoided by adding a “nofollow” tag to any external links.

So What Is The Verdict?

When its comes to SEO this is just the tip of a very large iceberg.  While the basics of SEO are simple enough to understand: Write good content, and gain authority from other websites; it is certainly a much more complicated task to master. SEO is a very time-consuming job which is why most companies get their SEO services from agencies who specialise in this.  It is the best way to avoid the lengthy overhead costs from man-hours allowing you to focus on your business. Can you see a fast return on your investment from SEO? No, SEO is a long term business strategy which can create a long term flow of highly targeted customers.  By investing in SEO you are also securing your future as a business.  The ROI is very achievable and actually SEO has the highest ROI of all other marketing methods in the industry. Its better to gradually gain credibility, traffic, and customers over a long period of time; than to use up all of your connections in 1 giant leap.  There are many one-hit-wonders, but your business should be focused on delivering for the long foreseeable future! Is SEO worth it? You can be the judge of that 🙂

Alexander Jordan

I am a director, marketer, designer and thinker. I love all things tech, travel, music and culture. Follow me on Twitter, and Google+
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