Search Engine Optimization

5.19.16
Introduction

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a marketing discipline focused on the growing potential in search engine results that are organic. Organic means non-paid. Search Engine Optimization consists of having a professional website, and great blogs/articles with keywords that will encourage high ranking on the search engines. There are a plethora of aspects to SEO that range from the words on your page to how other sites link to you on the Internet. SEO encompasses the creative and technical elements required to increase awareness, drive traffic, improve rankings, and drive traffic in search engines. They do have guidelines for businesses to follow, they use analytics, and they do give penalties to companies who are using shady business practices to try to get high search engine rankings. Nevertheless, search engines must have professional websites and great blogs and articles with certain keyword density to determine how websites are ranked. Additionally, search engine optimization is also about having a better site for visitors. SEO can be done by many helpful agencies like Gilbert SEO.

Why SEO is so Important

While social media and other marketing tools can assist in bringing more traffic to your site, search engines are the ultimate when it comes to driving traffic to your site. SEO brings in passive leads. The main commercial search engines include Google, Yahoo, and Bing. And with these search engines and others, people will type in keywords that are relative to what they are looking for in the search query. Because of this it’s important that they would be able to find you in the first few pages of the search engines, and not deep down in the search engine pages. You must make sure to use a certain keyword density in your site and in your content to make sure search engines can find you. Even though search engines do have the capability in crawling throughout the web to determine what your and others sites are about, they don’t have the capability to crawl to determine on a deeper level what your site is about. Also, without using the search engines and using them effectively, you will be missing out on tremendous opportunities in gaining an astronomical amount of traffic to your site, compared to just a small portion with other marketing methods. And lastly, if you don’t effectively use search engines, your site can be listed deep down in the search engine, in which hardly anyone ever go to. Most people would check only the first few pages in the search engines.

When getting started with SEO, certain questions must be addressed:

1. Are you doing it yourself, or are you hiring a consultant?

Now that you know the importance of SEO and what it is about, you can write down a clear list containing your goals for the SEO campaign. Doing this is the first step in utilizing SEO effectively to reach your objectives.

Then you must determine whether or not you are going to do this yourself, or hire a SEO professional. The first step in determining this is quite easy: Determine whether you have more time and less money, or if you have more money and less time. It’s quite obvious that if you have more time and less money, you should do this yourself. And because attending to an SEO campaign is time consuming, it would be in your best interest to hire someone. Hiring a proficient and competent professional would run you around several hundreds to several thousands of dollars. However, if you do hire a SEO professional/marketing professional, you must still check in and attend to the SEO campaign sometimes. These professionals still need your input sometimes, and it’s important to make sure everything is up to par in reaching your goals.

2. Will there be others within your company assisting in the SEO campaign, or are you doing it all by yourself?

If you decide to do the SEO campaign yourself, now it’s time to determine if others in your company will assist in this project, or if you are doing all by yourself. If you are doing it yourself, then you must do the blogs, redo the website, and other
things. However, if you are having others in your organization to participate, you must make sure you choose the ones who have at least some knowledge on the matter. Secondly, you must designate what each party would do in this SEO campaign. And of course, review their work to make sure everything is going accordingly.

Hiring a Consultant

When hiring a SEO consultant, you should look very seriously at the credentials, and their reputation. This is very serious because a good SEO consultant is costly. This is a serious investment that can make you or even break you. With spending up to several thousands of dollars, you definitely want to insure a good ROI. If not, your business can be damaged significantly for the great loss, or at least suffer some with spending so much money with no return.

With that said, the following are key things to look for when hiring a SEO professional:

1. The requirement of due diligence- while there are many companies/individuals out there that claim to specialize in search engine optimization, you have to make sure that you are hiring a reputable and proficient professional in this field. They must be experienced, and have good reviews/testimonials from their customers. They must have the proper training and certification, and they must keep abreast of the different guidelines concerning SEO, because the guidelines change in some aspects sometimes. They also must know about Google algorithms, the amount of keyword density to use, site metrics, and other tools. This is extremely important because you are investing tons of time and money into hiring someone who has the power to hurt or prosper your business.

With this in mind, you must interview potential applicants for hire, and ask tons of questions. You also must verify their training and certification, and perform research about their reputation, reviews on their services, and testimonials given by their previous customers and agencies.

2. Whether or not the SEO consultant contacts you first - one red flag that a SEO consultant is not what he/she is cracked up to be is when that person contacts you first. With SEO being in so much demand these days, they wouldn’t have as much time to contact you first especially if they have tons of clients working with them in which would happen due to their great services. Otherwise, a SEO company that doesn’t have as much clients may be due to substandard services, or they are new in the business. Not to say a new SEO business is not trustworthy- the market are just not aware of them yet. So, if considering to hire a new SEO business, they should have proof of great training and certification, a great resume of work experience in the field, and good recommendations. Additionally, a SEO consultant who has been in business for quite some time shouldn’t spam you offering free site analysis, because if they are proven to be great in SEO, they wouldn’t have time to contact you. They would be in much demand if they are known to provide great results. Therefore, if a SEO consultant spam you, it’s important to delete those emails.

3. Good SEO consultants are expensive- when any product or service is in great demand, you can expect the price to be higher. This is the same for quality search engine optimization services. SEO is expensive, and it normally is charged per hour. The prices can be $200 per hour and more for good, quality SEO services. They may be some that may charge as low as $75 per hour or more, but some of the good ones start at $200 per hour. There are, however, some professionals that charge around $500 to $1000 per hour, and they do have a lot of business.

How to do SEO Yourself

If you have more time and less money, you should do this yourself. And it may be time-consuming in learning SEO tools and techniques, but it’s well worth it. Anything worth having is worth working hard and smart for.

The first thing to note is that the SEO world is complex; therefore, it’s best to start with the basics which still goes a long way. And then, you can just build on your knowledge from there. For several years now, the overall picture of search engine optimization remains the same. There may be a few changes every other year, in which it’s important to keep abreast of, to prevent possible penalties. Otherwise, the gist of SEO is the same with your site and content writing (blogs and articles) having keywords and no more than a small percentage of the keywords. Keyword density rates the percentage of keywords used in your site, meta description, blogs, etc. Another basic thing to note is that keywords should be mentioned close to the beginning of the title for the content and site. This would really let the search engines know what your product or service is all about.

Those are the main basics of SEO, and there are other things that should be done in the pursuit of knowledge in SEO techniques. There are many great material that is found online through Google, and through reputable blogs and articles online. However, there are unfortunately some content online that are not accurate. With this said, it’s vital to find dependable sources that would teach you step by step the different aspects of SEO. Google Webmasters is definitely the place to go, for instance. They have courses, guides, resources, support, events, and community news to keep you abreast of all the know-how and go-to for all your SEO needs.

When you are have learn the most important basics mentioned above and in some reputable resources, you can implement what you learn for your site and content. However, it’s very important to check periodically on your ranking, site metrics, Google analytics, and content. You must update your website and content every so often, or else you can risk getting a lower ranking due to an unresponsive and old site and content. You should also add to your knowledge pool by consistently setting a reading time schedule. If you read and study at least one hour each day, or every other day, you will be a SEO wiz before you know it.

Conclusion

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a marketing discipline focused on the growing potential in search engine results that are organic, in which organic means non paid. Search Engine Optimization consists of having a professional website, and great blogs/articles with keywords that will encourage high rankings on the search engines. And while social media and other marketing tools can assist in bringing more traffic to your site, search engines are the ultimate when it comes to driving traffic to your site. The main commercial search engines include Google, Yahoo, and Bing. And with these search engines and others, people will type in keywords that are relative to what they are looking for in the search query. Because of this it’s important that they would be able to find you in the first few pages of the search engines, and not deep down in the search engine pages. If your site would be deeper in the search engine, it would not be found by most people because most people are not willing to search that long.

When getting started with SEO, certain questions must be addressed that include: Are you doing it yourself, or are you hiring a consultant; and will there be others within your company assisting in the SEO campaign, or are you doing it all by yourself. If you are going to hire a consultant, you must make sure he/she/the company is experienced and reputable. Good ones are also expensive because SEO is in great demand these days. Other than that, one red flag that a SEO consultant is not what he/she is cracked up to be is when that person contacts you first. With SEO being in so much demand these days, they wouldn’t have as much time to contact you first especially if they have tons of clients working with them in which case would happen due to their great services. A SEO consultant who is not new to the business and yet contacts you first might not have as much business because of substandard services.

If you are doing it yourself, keep in mind that SEO is complex, but learning the basics to start can still take you a long way. And it’s vital to keep updating, keep checking periodically on search engine and new information, and to add more knowledge about SEO. Another thing to be mindful of during the SEO process is that it’s imperative to be patient because the learning process and implementation takes some time. It also takes even more time to start seeing positive results, like two to three months. And then, it may take a year or two in building your site in which the search engines can trust enough for a high ranking. Nevertheless, the sooner you start the process, the better off you will be. And lastly, the SEO is an ongoing process. It is never done once and that’s it. As mentioned above, you will periodically check, update, gain more knowledge, and get updates.

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