12 Things You Really Should Know About SEO

12 Things You Really Should Know About SEO

Studies show that over 90% of​ all online users use search engines to​ find what they are looking for,​ whether products/services,​ or​ just plain old information.

The following twelve points will,​ I hope,​ summarize a​ philosophy,​ approach and methodology to​ the​ SEO question which is​ both sound and effective,​ along with giving some helpful insight into the​ industry itself.

1. Content. Content. Content.
Effective,​ professional,​ optimized Copywriting is​ the​ single,​ most important factor in​ any SEO campaign. Search engines index websites based on​ the​ content found on​ each page of​ the​ site. With a​ thorough understanding of​ the​ language and grammatical conventions combined with intensive research,​ to​ find and exploit the​ market focus,​ one can move a​ website to​ the​ upper echelon of​ the​ "SERP's" (Search Engine Results Page) in​ a​ methodical as​ well as​ ethical manner.

2. Analyze Web Logs.
Measure everything,​ at​ least twice,​ and then check again. While I would be the​ first to​ say that many of​ the​ procedures that make up website optimization are more art than science,​ one needs to​ take a​ very scientific approach to​ the​ results of​ the​ effort. This is​ done by methodically keeping a​ record of,​ and making an​ analysis of​ the​ sites web logs. There are a​ number of​ specialized software which make the​ job easier but at​ the​ bare minimum,​ one needs to​ keep a​ close eye on​ the​ site visitors and their activity while on​ the​ site. No matter how well planned the​ strategy,​ it​ is​ largely theoretical until proven by the​ results,​ which can only be measured by the​ logs,​ and a​ thorough analysis of​ their content.

3. No one can guarantee a​ #1 ranking on​ Google,​ or​ any other search engine.
Those who promise such feats will either optimize for such vague search term phrases (such as,​ "green stunted widgets with purple Polka-dots and icing") that no one will ever likely look for,​ or​ they are making a​ false claim,​ which they have no intention of​ keeping,​ or​ they have an​ inside edge at​ Google,​ something which they will loose,​ quickly,​ when the​ honest folks at​ Google find out about it. the​ other option,​ that they will take the​ money and run,​ is​ worth mentioning here but I'll be polite.

4. Some things are just plain silly.
You don't need to​ submit your site to​ 50,​000 search engines. Businesses which offer this service are suspect,​ at​ best. 85% of​ the​ search results on​ the​ Internet come from one search engine,​ which,​ if​ you​ have one link from an​ established website,​ or​ better yet,​ a​ directory,​ will find your site just fine,​ on​ it's own. Four (4) search engines account for over 90% of​ the​ traffic on​ the​ web. as​ for any supposed benefit which may accrue from being listed in​ an​ obscure search engine in​ Botswana which specializes in​ safaris to​ the​ Kalahari Desert and receives 7 hits per day; well,​ you​ figure it​ out.

5. SEO is​ not Pay-per-Click.
While no one would argue the​ effectiveness of​ getting increased traffic and sales,​ through a​ well planned,​ pay-per-click campaign,​ the​ fact remains that the​ conversion rates are generally low and they cease the​ moment the​ "pay" stops. With a​ well planned and executed SEO campaign,​ while results may take a​ bit longer,​ they continue to​ produce,​ and in​ fact grow,​ long after the​ work is​ done and paid for. Quite often we have found that after a​ thorough optimization of​ a​ site,​ only minor adjustments are needed on​ an​ ongoing basis,​ primarily related to​ new content and/or new items of​ sale or​ service.

6. SEO is​ not witchcraft,​ Druidism,​ shamanism.
Neither does it​ require any special chants,​ ceremonial fires,​ or​ vestments,​ though some of​ us do like to​ howl at​ the​ full moon,​ on​ occasion. There are no "Top Secret" practices which a​ reputable SEO can not tell a​ client,​ a​ judge,​ or​ his mother,​ for that matter. the​ very nature of​ the​ Internet has always been cooperative and there is​ nothing about SEO that can't be learned,​ with a​ heavy dose of​ time and money. a​ reputable SEO firm will give you​ an​ item per item breakdown of​ just where the​ money goes. Be wary if​ you​ sense a​ secretive atmosphere or​ any unwillingness to​ answer questions. While there are technical points which might take some background to​ fully understand,​ if​ one has a​ solid overview of​ the​ entire situation,​ a​ simple explanation should be easy enough to​ come up with.

7. Do-it-yourself SEO.
Yes,​ you​ can execute your own SEO campaign and find a​ reputable SEO firm to​ help plan and organize it​ for you. About one half of​ my own clientele do some part of​ the​ actual work themselves,​ or​ have their in-house dedicated personnel do it,​ after discussion of​ the​ goals and aims of​ the​ business/website,​ a​ thorough website analysis,​ comprehensive search phrase research,​ and focused instruction on​ the​ ways and means of​ achieving high SERPs. These preliminaries are followed up with a​ detailed program of​ suggestions and methods which the​ client can then implement themselves or​ hire others to​ perform. Average savings; 30-40%.

8. Phased Implementation.
While many companies spend thousands of​ dollars per month on​ Search Engine Optimization,​ an​ alternative is​ available which will pay dividends to​ you​ in​ increased sales and leads without the​ high initial investment. the​ most important consideration is​ to​ have a​ reputable firm handle the​ initial evaluation and suggested optimization planning first. the​ trial and error method will cost much more,​ in​ the​ long run,​ with or​ without the​ desired result. After studying the​ plan and establishing a​ workable budget you​ may implement the​ plan as​ finances allow.

9. Remember the​ old saying,​ "If it​ sounds too good to​ be true,​ it​ probably is."
Never was this more true than in​ the​ realm of​ SEO. While concrete and measurable gains will always come from a​ well thought out and executed optimization strategy,​ the​ Internet is​ a​ competitive media and we all want to​ be number one. Accept that a​ steady upward movement,​ over time,​ will place you​ worlds ahead of​ a​ flash followed by a​ crash.

10. a​ thought to​ ponder.
At stake,​ in​ the​ race for the​ top,​ is​ the​ very existence of​ your website,​ your business,​ and quite possibly your reputation. Beware of​ any "shortcuts" or​ less than ethical schemes that anyone might suggest to​ further your business goals. When it's all said and done it​ is​ you,​ the​ business owner,​ who bears the​ responsibility for any company or​ individual you​ hire. Insist on​ knowing exactly what the​ strategy is​ and what steps are being performed to​ implement it. if​ it​ seems,​ in​ the​ least,​ suspicious,​ ask for and get an​ explanation. in​ this case,​ not only is​ Ignorance not bliss,​ it​ could very well be the​ beginning of​ the​ end for your business.

11. All incoming links are not created equal.
Both the​ relevance to​ your line of​ business and website subject matter and the​ PR value of​ the​ incoming link determine how valuable they are to​ your own PR ranking. With Google starting the​ trend,​ nothing new there,​ and most of​ the​ others following close behind,​ the​ days of​ grabbing all the​ inbound links,​ in​ any way possible,​ are gone. Not only will low ranked and/or irrelevant inbound links not help,​ they will,​ in​ fact,​ cause a​ penalty. Link farms,​ free-for-all link schemes,​ automated link accumulation software,​ or​ any other fad that doesn't carefully screen the​ links and websites they are coming from will,​ in​ the​ long run,​ do more harm than good.

12. It's more than just facts and figures.
The relationship between an​ online business and SEO is,​ perhaps,​ one of​ the​ closest of​ business relationships. in​ order to​ be effective,​ a​ SEO must know not only the​ facts and figures pertaining to​ the​ endeavor,​ but s/he must know something of​ the​ dreams and aspirations of​ the​ business principals. Things which don't normally come out in​ a​ prospectus are often invaluable information when searching for the​ "right fit" into the​ complex world of​ the​ Internet. My own clients sometimes ask,​ due to​ the​ frequency of​ my calls and email in​ the​ early phases,​ "Am I your only client?" I usually laugh and say something to​ the​ effect that until I know your business almost as​ well as​ you​ do,​ yes,​ you​ are the​ only one that counts.

12 Things You Really Should Know About SEO

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