If you are a web master running either your own website or websites belonging to your clients SEO (search engine optimization) is something that you cannot afford to ignore.
There are many different types of SEO and many different strategies that you can employ but whether you are working on local SEO, global search or any other type of search engine optimization it is of key importance that you do something.
The aim of this article is to provide an overview of SEO – the areas which are important and to build up a structured SEO framework that you can implement and add to as you see fit.
The first point to make – and lets face it, the one that everyone hates – is that you must have great content. This isn’t the usual cop-out that white hat SEO promoters will make when they profess that good content will rank itself but it is simply a warning that when you are working on SEO for your site, your end goal is to attract visitors to the site – and if there is nothing for them when they arrive then they will not stay and your efforts will be in vain.
In summary the better the content, products or services that you are offering on your site the more effective any SEO strategy is likely to be and the more fruitful the results of your work will be.
Once you have your site ready and you feel that your content is engaging and of interest to your target audience the next thing to concentrate on is your on site optimization. This stage is extremely important and must be perfect in order for the following stages of marketing and SEO to be effective.
The concept behind on page SEO is to make sure that every page on your site is optimized for the keywords that you are targeting – this ensures that it will be clear to search engines such as Google what the page is about and therefor what they should be ranking it for.
The best way to make sure that your on page optimization has been done correctly is to use something like Viral Service who offer a full range of SEO reports that will detail every potential issue on your site in terms of on page optimization and provide you with a step by step report that you can then go through, modify your site as necessary and check off one by one.
3.Off page SEO
Lets face it, there is only so much that good content and an optimized website can do for you in terms of marketing. Before entering stage 3 you may be seeing some small amounts of traffic and you may have a few page 1 positions on search engines such as Google but if you really want to push those positions further up the page then you need to promote your site and get people really talking about it.
Off page SEO is a very complex subject and also has much scope for abuse and trickery if desired. You will often here people talking about white-hat and black-hat SEO and off page SEO is where those techniques really come into play.
White-hat SEO is the safe Google friendly techniques such as getting involved in the online community within your websites niche, publishing press releases and guest blogging on legitimate sites with the aim of attracting visitors and promoting your brand.
The idea behind white-hat SEO is that you follow web master guidelines such as those published by Google, and you rely on the fact that once people start reading and talking about the fantastic content on your site they will in turn promote it further.
Black-hat SEO involves less ethical techniques and also tends to disregard guidelines set out by the search engines. The idea behind black-hat SEO is to take advantage of insights into the search engine ranking algorithms and try to trick them into putting your site above others.
Some of the common ways in which this can be done are to actively create back links on related sites by posting your links in forums, as comments on other blogs and also actively guest posting on related sites whilst also including a link back to your own site.
Black-hat SEO can be very effective in pushing your site up in the search engines but does come with a risk – if the search engines are made aware that you are using these methods then they are likely to either completely ban or at the very least penalize your site which will set you back a long way and is extremely hard to fully recover from.