SEO 101

Search Engine Optimization

The majority of business owners and website designers merely focus on how a website looks and feels but often forget about attracting customers to that website. As long as a website contains some content about the business, has professional graphics, maybe some videos or flash animation, most owners believe it is enough maintain an online presence and to attract customers. Nice as these features are, they do nothing for SEO. Search engines can not crawl embedded links in graphically navigation bars, javascript or flash animation.

A professionally designed website will be difficult, if not impossible, for customers to find if it is not listed in search engines and listed high in the rankings. Most users do not go past the first or second page of the search results. According to Search Engine Watch, the first three spots of a Google search result gets more than 58% of the clicks, with the first spot getting more than 60% of that. With the correct SEO assistance though, that same lonely website can be transformed to one that has good visibility within search results and receive a greater percentage of clicks.

Search Engine Watch - Organic Click Thru Rate Chart

SEO Defined

Search engine optimization, or SEO, is optimizing a website so that it is listed at or near the top of search engine results. There are many aspects of this optimization to be considered including keyword research and keyword density of the content, latent semantic indexing, or LSI, linking structures, both internal and external, correct usage of meta-tags and HTML tags, just to name a few.

When each of these are dealt with and done correctly, a website organic ranking will rise and it will be more readily found by users searching for the information you have to share on your website. This translate to more leads coming to your website and an increase of potential customers.

SEO has changed and evolved since the time search engines began and they continual to change as technology emerge. In order to use the Internet and your website as an effective marketing tool, to stay competitive and to continue seeing results from your website, SEO consultants and business have to stay up to date with the changes in the search engines.

Brief History of SEO

Search engines began cataloging, crawling, and indexing websites and web pages in the mid-1990s. To have your website listed, webmasters simply needed to submit their website to several search engines for a specific category and it is listed there. The search engines would “crawl” and catalog the information and links it found there.

It was not long after that webmasters realized having a website listed in the right categories allowed for better exposure and increased visits. They just needed to find a good keyword and category, submit their website with these categories and they got good exposure for those keywords.

Just a few years later, SEO experts began touting their skills and abilities to increase a website’s ranking in search engines. There were two types of SEO practices, white hat and black hat. White hat SEO practitioners would focus on and use quality SEO techniques to help rank websites for the long term. Black hat SEO “gurus” would find ways to trick search engines in ranking a website for certain keywords.

In 1998, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, two Stanford University graduates, founded Google. Because of Google’s simple design it became popular very quickly and with it’s in-depth indexing and ranking system, returning relevant search results, Google rose to the top of the search engine market.

In the following years, in order to give users more relevant search results, search engines have refined their algorithms and added complexity in how they rank website.

Search Engines & SEO

In the early days of the Internet, webmasters thought, “If you build it, they will come.” That misconception can lead to a useless website and cost the business quite a bit of leads. The fact is, the Internet is bigger than most people can imagine, there are tens of billions of pages indexed by Google alone. Just take a look at this chart of pages indexed by Google from WorldWideWebSize.com.

WorldWideWebSize.com - pages indexed by Google

This is why search engines are so important for someone looking for information or a product on the Internet. Wading through the millions of pages returned would be impossible unless the search engines ranked them according to relevancy. This is also the reason why having good SEO in your website is so crucial for your business’s online marketing.

SEO, Critical for Online Business

For a business to compete online with it’s website, besides having a professional website, the owner needs to understand the relevance and value of good optimization. Knowing how to create relevant keywords and meta-data is only part of the equations, figuring out what terms are actually being searched by users is just as important if not more so.

By knowing what your potential customers are searching for and using SEO techniques to optimize for those keywords, both internally and externally, you can create a more relevant website which will be ranked higher in search results and attract more leads. With this type of targeted marketing, your website will attract more users, which will lead to it staying at the top of search results longer.

The SEO Consultant

The role of the SEO consultant is to increase the search ranking of a business’s website and to improve it’s visibility with in the search results, thereby increasing the click-thru rate of organic search results.

Before any work can begin, the SEO professional would assess the current state of the website by checking it’s rankings and it’s internal optimizations. Some of the things that he would look for include meta-tags, HTML tag usage, the navigation and structure of the pages, and the quality and number of incoming links.

With the assessment done, research of relevant search terms and the real work of optimization can begin.

Give EskieTech a call or email and find out how we can help you optimize your website and increase your traffic.

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