What Is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization, also known simply as SEO, is a technique by which programmers and internet connoisseurs methodically apply tried techniques to websites in order to increase their rank in popular search engines such as Google, Yahoo!, or Bing.
Upon their conception, search engines such as Google literally changed the way we viewed the world and marketing. People began to recognize their utility and convenience, and thus wanted to explore the ways by which they could use search engines to their advantage online. As it became popular for businesses to own websites, they found a direct correlation between the amount of people that visited their website (i.e. traffic influx) and the amount of customers that made purchases from them. In fact, the correlation was so strong, that it is now almost a necessity for an agency or firm to have a website to be successful.
Search Engine Optimization, also known simply as SEO, is a marketing technique by which programmers and internet connoisseurs methodically apply tried techniques to websites in order to increase their rank in popular search engines such as Google, Yahoo!, or Bing. The ultimate goal of SEO and those employing its techniques is to achieve a top position in search result rankings for a variety of keywords and phrases relevant to the website being promoted. For example, a web design company in Philadelphia will likely want to appear at the top of Google for phrases such as “web design,” “web development in Philadelphia,” or “web design for small business.”
The reasoning behind the desire to be number one is simple: the higher your rank in Google for relevant keywords and phrases, the more people will be exposed to your company or business. The more people that see your website, the more money you stand to make. Plain and simple. SEO can drive sales, increase calls to your company, even find you new employees. It is really a fascinating way to increase business. But all of these benefits beget this question: why doesn’t everyone use search engine optimization on their website to increase their rank and become the best?
The truth is, SEO is an art. It is a science that never stops developing or changing because companies like Google are constantly updating and perfecting their search engine algorithms that they use to create as fair and accurate search environments as possible. To become a true SEO specialist would require years of work, training, and sleepless nights. While not many people want to dedicate this much time into understanding search engine optimization, they do increasingly want to understand the general principles behind it. SEO could not be more relevant to a business’s success today. In this article we hope to open your eyes to the complex world of SEO in a way that is easy to understand and put into practice.
WHAT IS SEO?
It is worth repeating that SEO is a website promotion service that combines in depth knowledge with complex processes that work in conjunction to reach a desired outcome. While we could provide you with an extensive list of various SEO techniques, you would be better off buying a textbook on the subject that explains some of the jargon. With this information in mind, you must realize that it is only a true specialist who can bring a website to the forefront of Google’s result rankings online.
Not all websites are created equal. The classic SEO model will work for some company websites, but not for others. This is where the specific knowledge of an SEO specialist comes into play. However, that is not to say that the standard approach to SEO won’t bring your company results. In fact, SEO is so effective that a company, in theory (though companies like this do exist), could be successful by spending nothing on marketing but their website, internet access, and search engine optimization. Let’s now take the time to consider some of the main tools of SEO promotion and why the internet is such a popular advertising outlet for goods and services promotion.
FIRST AND FOREMOST, SEO IS NECESSARY FOR GOOGLE
Google is most interested in creating an environment where its users are delivered the most relevant and accurate search results as possible. Therefore, as developers and SEO specialists, it is our task to show Google and its robots that the site we are promoting is the most relevant site to appear for a certain group of keywords and phrases.
However, we must also consider the fact that there are literally millions upon millions of websites in existence today. There will be thousands of websites that cover the same topic. In order to compensate for this, Google has developed an algorithm according to which websites are evaluated and assessed. This algorithm is what determines the rank of one particular website in regards to another.
WHY DOES MY COMPANY NEED SEO?
Attracting people to your website through paid advertising is becoming more expensive, yet less effective. Further, once you stop paying for the advertising, the results disappear entirely. SEO offers a different approach. Yes you will still pay an expert to optimize your website, but these payments all contribute to a permanent adjustment strategy. SEO has multiple compounding effects who results continue to improve over time. In the long term, search engine optimization is one of the best investments for your business in terms of visibility and promotion, and we highly recommend you find a trusted service that can walk you through the pros and cons.
Greater visibility and promotion are good for both you and your potential customers. Not only are you receiving the obvious benefits from having more people visit your website, but you are also providing an added convenience for your existing and potential customers. If, for instance, you are a web design company in Philadelphia and your website is optimized for search engines, potential customers who Google something like “web design studio in Philadelphia,” and you appear at the top of result listings, you just made their search easier for them. The convenience of Google then reflects positively on your company and customers begin to associate it with you.
WHAT ARE THE BEST KEYWORDS TO USE?
We divide keywords into three categories: high-frequency, mid-frequency, and low-frequency. The keywords and phrases you use will dictate your site’s placement in Google. For example, the pair “web design” is a high-frequency keyword. As a web design agency in Philadelphia, we search this term hundreds of times per month and it is still very difficult to reach Google’s number one spot with it because it is such a competitive word.
“Web design firm” is an example of a mid-frequency request. There are not thousands of key phrases like this, but hundreds. Their competitiveness is noticeably lower, and it is much easier to attain top-ranking positions with them. “Best web design company for small business” is an example of a low-frequency key phrase. These phrases are searched only a few times a month with practically no competition. It is thus much easier to achieve high results and better placement with these types of phrases, especially if those searching for your services are local.
You should note that it is better to have a site with 20–30 low-frequency words in the number one position of Google’s rankings than a site that has one or two high-frequency words in the back 30. This is because you will get much more traffic! When working on a particular project, we select an SEO strategy that best works in accordance with the above-mentioned facts, as well as that particular industry’s standards.
IN SHORT, WHAT DO I NEED TO DO TO INCREASE THE RANK OF MY SITE?
As a preface to avoid an unwitting oversimplification, we will repeat that SEO is a science with literally thousands of moving parts that work together in a multitude of ways. It is best conducted by professional promoters. However, for the purpose of a general understanding, SEO promotion work can be divided into three large blocks.
The first block is internal optimization. This is where our developers will optimize your site code, the text on your site, the photos, videos, etc. We go through every page and every line on every page and make adjustments according the preferences of Google’s algorithms and our promotion strategy.
The second block, external optimization, focuses on sites referring to you. Which sites reference you, how often are you referenced, how popular are these referring sites. These are factors that Google also takes into account when promoting your site. There is an obvious difference between your mom tweeting a link to your site on Twitter and The Wall Street Journal sharing a link to your page.
The third block consists of behavioral characteristics. This holds a lot of weight for Google. It has to do with a combination of the functionality and design of your website. If users are finding your site through Google and closing out right away (bouncing), then this will have an adverse effect for your site on Google. If users are entering your site, clicking through, reading, watching videos, and making purchases, this is going to positively effect your search result rankings.
WHY PROFESSIONALS SHOULD TRUST SEO
Since its conception, people have been trying to manipulate their appearance on Google. What was once a simple task has become incredibly difficult thanks to the extreme technological advancement of the company. It is nearly impossible nowadays to skew Google’s results beyond the confines of its algorithmic boundaries. The only way you could do this inauthentically is through black-hat SEO techniques, which, by the way, are illegal.
There are also scams. Some “SEO experts” will proclaim that the number one way to be number one on Google is to have as many links referring to your site as possible, and that they are willing to sell you these links at a bargain. So you buy the links and notice that your results have increased ten-fold on Google. The next day, however, Google has already noticed and corrected your falsely inflated rank on in its results, and you’re down thousands of dollars. We see this happen all the time and it is fixable, but it is a long and expensive process.
This is why we work with organic search engine optimization techniques, also known as white-hat SEO. These techniques are those that last even after the SEO work is complete. This is incredibly valuable. Organic SEO is a permanent adjustment strategy designed to benefit your website long after the process has been completed. If you are curious as to how your site stacks up against the others in your industry, send us a link and we will run a free SEO analysis of your website. We hope you enjoyed this article and were able to get a general understanding of the multi-faceted world of SEO.
Original publication can be read in our blog!