In this new media age, if a company’s products or services can not be found within the first page of search engine results, they may be doomed to failure. Search engine optimization should be a major focus for any company that relies on attracting new customers.
“If your company does not have a solid search engine optimization strategy, your CEO may be looking for a new job,” warned John Spagnuolo, President of the New Media Institute. “Your organization needs to be found when potential customers are looking for information online.”
What is Search Engine Optimization?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the art and science of optimizing a web site or specific content to be found in search engines and placed higher in natural organic search results.
Companies are also using SEO when managing the reputations of brands, products and executives. When searching for a company, product or person, most people search online. Negative messaging could be at the top of search results. A good SEO strategy can boost a company’s web site and messaging to the top of those results.
IT or Communications Function?
Many companies are trying to figure out where the SEO should sit in the organization. Typically, the SEO position will exist within IT or communications. “Wherever the position is filed within an organization, a good SEO executive should have both a strong technical background and strong marketing/communications skills to be able to develop an effective SEO strategy.
While some would argue that the need for search engine optimization for a website can vary website to website, it is becoming more and clearer that search engine rankings can actually make or break a business. Every good businessman will agree that marketing is everything in a business, besides a quality product or service. Search engine optimization is high quality marketing for your website.
Let’s take a look at an example of how SEO can directly affect your business:
A freelance marketing copywriter set up a website to market herself and her services. She mainly used brochures and word of mouth, and while this worked in bringing in clients, she was not making a solid living off the clients that did make it to her website. Someone mentioned SEO to her and she researched and found an SEO company to optimize her website. Upon first analyzing her website, the SEO company had a hard time locating her website within search engine result pages. The SEO team began the optimization which resulted in the copywriter’s website ranking within the top 10 on most major search engine results under the major keyword searches intended. And while the search engine optimization company could happily step back and consider this story a success, the true measure of success after search engine optimization is how successful the website and/or business is after optimization has occurred. The SEO company contacts the copywriter with a follow up and discovers that not only has her traffic significantly increased, she is making a fairly decent living and has had to hire on an extra copywriter to help manage the incoming workload. Only now can the SEO company truly claim success on this search engine optimization project.
If more SEO companies took the time to send out a follow up email just to check in and see how optimization has affected their business clients, the revelations will be astonishing. These companies are spending twice as much on advertising campaigns and techniques, when, for half the cost, proper search engine optimization can actually provide bigger and better overall results. One of our recent clients, for example, is spending $70,000 a year on yellow pages advertising. This gives them a nice page ad in the LOCAL yellow pages. After we finish their new ecommerce website containing all of their parts and products they hope to do away with yellow pages and have little or no further investment while reaching a NATIONAL customer base. As more and more customers go online to search for products and services local advertising paper books are sure to struggle.
Having said this there still seems to be a large number of business owners who still rely on old methods of marketing using paper products. We feel that this is likely because it is hard for long-time business owners to give up on methods that used to work very well for them. There is a strong sense of fear when they consider giving up on paper and going digital. Some feel safer paying out a lot of money for something they know has worked for them in the past. Unfortunately it is not working as well for many of them any longer.
Other online business website owners are hurting because they chose the wrong firm to design their E-commerce website and perform SEO on the new website. Many thousands of dollars later and often many firms later they are still struggling to make any return on investment from their website. Be sure to find the right SEO and design firm before you spend any money. Make them prove their SEO capability with current high ranking websites. Examine their designs carefully to make sure they are clean and easy to navigate. This is one investment you cannot afford to go cheap on. Get the best.
Think of it this way: With regular, everyday advertising, you are only reaching the area within the boundary that you advertise in. With search engine optimization of your website, you are literally advertising to the world—an endless opportunity for success!
It is important to understand that even the best search engine optimization cannot help you if your website is poorly constructed, difficult to navigate, or the content does not contain and maintain fresh, up-to-date information. A major part of overall search engine optimization lies within professionally written and fresh marketing text. And, unfortunately, not all businesses will see such a huge turn-around after search engine optimization. However, considering that regular marketing can be substantially more expensive than SEO, it is safe to say that SEO is a more cost effective way to approach marketing where your business website is concerned. And as we stated earlier, with search engine optimization you are marketing to an entire world of potential customers.
Fresh Traffic Optimize can help bring the world to your website. Call us today for a free consultation and website analysis at 204-942-4200
A potential client recently asked a good question. She regularly reads various search-engine-optimization websites, and she was confused as to the current meaning of the term “SEO.” What, she wondered, was the difference between SEO and online marketing?
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is constantly changing. As the major search engines update their algorithms and redefine how their search results will be determined and displayed, the SEO industry must adjust and redefine to follow those trends. But there is a new trend as well: Search optimizers going well beyond search engine results and into other marketing areas but still calling it SEO. It gets a bit confusing.
By definition, SEO refers to the process of optimizing a website with the goal of having major search engines (primarily Google, Yahoo! and MSN Live Search) return pages from that website in highly-ranked search engine results. SEO is almost always employed as a form of marketing, but it is a very specific form of marketing that takes place within the search engines.
Lately, some industry blogs have suggested that SEO has grown beyond its primary parameters, suggesting that successful SEO includes expanding into other realms of marketing. I don’t think that makes any sense. By definition, SEO – search engine optimization – does not include any form of marketing that goes outside of search engines. The use of the term SEO in such a way is disingenuous and confuses many webmasters and owners of ecommerce sites.
Let’s be clear: Online marketing (also referred to as web marketing and Internet marketing) is a term that includes SEO as one marketing aspect among many and not the other way around. It may be a matter of semantics, but as there are well-defined terms to describe the wider practices of marketing on the Internet, why is there a need to redefine SEO to reflect that process? It’s a very useful term as is!
Some SEO professionals may be recognizing that search engine optimization is moving away from a stand-alone industry and towards being one arrow in the quiver of the online marketing industry. They are compensating for this by simply including more forms of online marketing under the SEO heading.
But SEO practitioners shouldn’t fear this move. If the natural path of SEO is to interact with other forms of online marketing, so be it. One can hold this SEO position quite confidently because SEO is not going away. Or, SEO practitioners can expand their boundaries to become more general online marketers – and call themselves just that. But, it should be one or the other; there is no point in redefining terms.
What does this imply for ecommerce sites that are simply trying to employ some SEO to boost sales? Well, first and foremost, a well-optimized and usable site is still priority number one. The best bang for your buck (or your time) is addressing the basic SEO assets of an ecommerce site because natural search engine results are still one of the best ways to drive traffic and sales.
If the SEO is solid for a website, look to augment it by incorporating other forms of online marketing, especially social media. Get involved in the blogosphere whether you do it yourself or hire an outside firm. Taking into consideration a website’s focus and demeanor, consider using YouTube and other video sharing sites to promote a website and drive traffic directly. Remember that PPC (pay per click) search advertising, while often overpriced, can augment a natural search campaign.
But don’t be confused by those who are twisting terms. SEO is still SEO – search engine optimization. Make SEO the skeleton of your online marketing efforts, but don’t be afraid to hang a little muscle and meat on those bones. If your optimization is strong, other online marketing avenues may be a natural – and logical – step towards more sales.
God grant me the serenity
to accept the SERPs where they are (for now)
Grant me the courage to change the tags that I can,
And the wisdom to update my pages daily.
A search engine optimization tip that I know helps me sometimes through the day.
You hear all sorts of stories about seo’s but what really makes them tick?
Doug over on his new blog Doug’s Mouthpiece lists these characteristics
large number of dyslexics
large number of left handers
all are obsessive
most can’t finish a task
most did not do well in academia
most are hopeless at being employees
they all like to work at night
most are heavy drinkers
most are over weight
they are all odd
most have bad diets
What do you think makes them get up on a morning or night
Looks like we have coursed a little stir within the SEO community in Canada,especially in the Winnipeg area where I new office is to open shortly, not before time may I add as Canadians spend more time online than any other country, have more connected households than anyone else and most are still in the dark ages when it comes to online marketing for there business.
Yes a new office in Winnipeg, another soon in BC and newly trained staff are ready to bring the world of search engine optimization and online marketing to the Canuck’s.
It’s going to be tough, these guys have heard it all before, they have either been ripped off by some website design company who profess to be SEO’s, been shafted by individuals who think SEO Winnipeg is being listed on top of Google AdWords and the list goes on, we have heard some horrendous stories within the last 6 month’s in Winnipeg while setting up the new global office.
All is not lost, we have been inundated with requests from every Province, why, because we get the job done right, we get results and we get return on investment, not hard to work out really, that’s all that anyone could ask, after all is that not what they pay us for.
So if your in need of an SEO company in Canada or search engine optimization in Toronto, a SEO consultant in Vancouver, a trusted SEO company in Winnipeg, SEO services in Calgary, website optimization in Montreal or an seo expert in Quebec, please give us call, it’s free and you have nothing to lose.
We work with company’s large and small from $100k – $100 million turnover, be the best you can, make that call today. SEO Winnipeg 204 942 4200
Below is list of names of some of the perceived experts in seo and Internet marketing,
Aaron Wall, Bill Slawski, Jim Boykin, Jeremy Schoemaker, Jill Whalen, Bruce Clay Barry Schwartz, Danny Sullivan, Dave Naylor and others.
I am sure most people in the industry will have come across or heard of these people, what makes them who they are? I personally know a few of them myself and from what I have seen do great work, I would love to see some answers on this please,
but Im guessing here,
but could it be fees they charge for there work?
results they achieve for clients?
or just be that they seem to be at every SEO marketing Internet show, they get out there and like to be seen?
Question, I know one so called SEO Expert, there retainer for consultancy is $300,000 per year to each client, they have other experienced seo’s in the company who work for a lot less.
They where making $2 million a year in the early 2000’s on affiliate websites.
They worked with both Yahoo & Google on PPC in the early days helping them improve the products we know today.
Google even paid an out of court settlement in 2004 to this person after a 2 year high court battle, along with a gagging order included not to divulge information about the company, it algorithms, its workings etc before the Big G’s floatation. I know that they are now free to speak if they wish, but will they?
Today they still work with some of the best known companies worldwide.
Who is this person?
Ideas are a plenty, do you know them?
Some people may be surprised to find out, they rarely ever post on forums, keep a reasonably low profile, don’t show up at shows and don’t write books.
All will be revealed in 2008
Let me have your thoughts
SEO, link building, website optimisation, article submission, directory submission, blog posting, the list goes on.
How many times have you sat at your PC and thought “OK I’m going to do some SEO for my site”6 hours later, you are still sitting there, your head hurts, your stomach is empty, and you have done nothing.
Search Engine Optimization is a frustrating time consuming job. You can spend weeks working on SEO for your site, and your rankings are still no where near where you want them to be.
The most frustrating thing about SEO is you cannot really see the results of your efforts. It may take several weeks, or even months, before you see any change in your search engine rankings. So how do you know that what you are doing today, is going to benefit your site 3 months down the line? Well unless you are an SEO expert you don’t.
So what is the answer? Well the answer is to outsource your SEO work to someone that specializes in SEO. Would you consider rebuilding the engine on your car? No, you would probably employ a car mechanic to do it for you. So do the same with your SEO.
How do you know which SEO companies are good at SEO, and which are just good at talking? Testimonials are one way. Don’t just read the testimonials on their site, as most, if not all of them, are made up. Ask for telephone numbers of their clients and speak to them directly. Or ask them to show you results that they have achieved for their clients. If they will not give you this information just move on to someone who will.
A good SEO company will tell you exactly what they are going to do for you. They will try to explain SEO in a format that you will understand, not try to baffle you with tech speak.
Take SEO Company Fresh Traffic for example, they are an SEO company based in Globaly with offices in the UK, USA & Canada. They believe that the key to their success is customer service. They give their customers free SEO resources to help them understand what SEO is all about.
Look for SEO companies like Fresh Traffic. Companies that are not afraid to explain SEO in lay mans terms. If you have a better understanding of what is involved, then you are in a better position to decide what you need. It is then down to the SEO company that you choose, to deliver the results that you are after.
Choosing an SEO company is very a difficult job, there is no doubt about that, but if you take a few of these pointers on board, then you should be better equipped to negotiate the minefield that is SEO.
Off-Site SEO refers to search engine optimization techniques that are not performed on your own website or page, and are therefore termed “off-site.”
You see, these days, optimizing the content on your pages is not enough. For effective SEO you need help from other websites in the form of incoming links, commonly referred to as backlinks.
That’s basically what off-site SEO is all about – getting quality links relevant to your topic to assist the search engines in establishing what your web page focuses on. You can think of each backlink as a vote for your page. This is what Google’s PageRank measures, albeit in a complex way, taking many factors into consideration.
There are many ways to get backlinks; unfortunately, few of them are quick and easy. Here are some options:
Creating content that makes people link to it
Doing link exchanges
Getting directory listings
Writing and syndicating articles
Making forum postings
Posting comments to theme related blogs
One link from a high quality site is worth tens from a poor site. And linking to bad sites can negatively effect your own website’s rankings.
One-way links into your website from another are of greater value than reciprocal links from carrying out link exchanges.
Links to your pages should use the relevant keywords in the anchor text. Use several variations on this text if you plan to create a high number of backlinks to a page. You’ll get better results and it looks more natural to the search engines, keeping you below the radar.
It’s generally best to avoid organized link exchanges or link farms. In the vast majority of cases they will harm, not help you. This is because the search engines see it as manipulation of the SERPS (Search Engine Results Page) and punish linked websites when they discover the network.
Although I’ve summarized link building in just a few sentences, don’t underestimate how important off-site SEO is. Good backlinks with targeted keyword anchor text carry so much weight these days that if it’s done well it’s entirely possible to rank a website highly for terms not even occurring on the page.
The advice on SEO in these 2 articles is all you need to start getting your pages ranking highly for traffic generating keywords. You just need to get on and do it, and be prepared to spend the time good off-site SEO requires. The more high rankings you get, the greater their influence on your overall rankings, and the easier it will become to tackle more difficult keyword phrases
I keep on getting asked by newbies so here goes
Search Engine Optimization is broken down into two segments. Aspects of onsite changes to make your site more spider friendly and Offsite keyword text backlinking.
From an on site SEO perspective, consistency and placement of your keywords are important. Spider read a page top to bottom left to right. Therefore your major keywords should be consistent from your Meta tags all the way down to your footer page. Consistency in Syntax as well a prominence. Interlinking your site with keyword text links not only helps navigation of your site but it improves your keyword density.
There is much discussion in regard to the keyword density as to what is considered a non spam factor. Each page should have about 350-500 words per page with a keyword density of no more than 7-10%. Keyword density is also considered in your graphic alt text as well as hyperlinks.
Generally speaking, if your keyword looks stuffed, it is.
Basic On site SEO Factors:
Title Tag ( with Keyword)
Meta Description ( Consistent with Title Tag)
Meta Keywords ( Consistent with Title tag and Description)
H1 Tags ( with Keyword)
Graphic Alt Text ( with Keyword)
Keyword Density in body text
Keyword in Menu Links
Footer Page with Keyword Text Links
Off site linking is generally though of as the most effective way to raise in the search engine rankings. However if your on site SEO is not complete you are battling an up hill battle.
When planning your off site linking strategy you need to keep in mind that reciprocal links are considered devalued through the latest round of algorithm updates. Textual Keyword Rich links from various C-block IP address are the best links possible.
There are many ways to receive quality links.
Some of the top linking strategies to receive quality links come from the following venues:
SEO Friendly directories
Growing your links in a consistent manor is also relevant. Creating 1000’s of links in a short period of time could set up red flags. You will receive many links via RSS Feeds from the sources described above and be successful in your linking campaign.
Getting Search Engine rankings can take time depending on your keywords, but consistency and effort both on site and off site will bring you the desired results.