SEO could benefit many businesses who are looking to increase their online presence and drive more site visitors to their websites. Unfortunately the SEO industry is not known for its visibility and this can be confusing for businesses that are wondering just what exactly they will be getting in return for their investment.
The SEO industry has also attracted a lot of cowboys who employ “black-hat” techniques that opposed to the policies of Google and the other search engines. A few that your SEO will be done using meaning “White Hat” techniques.
Businesses that unwittingly employ an SEO that uses these techniques often see short term results until Google finds the footprints left behind by these techniques, at which point they will see a negative affect on their search engine results positioning SEO. The black hat SEO offers quick steps and is usually over by this point!
What’s With all the Hats?
The term “Black Hat” comes from the old western movies, the crooks always donned black hats! The good guys donned white hats, you will hear meaning SEO referred to as “White Hat” SEO. Remember the crooks always got their just deserts!
What Should your SEO be Doing for your Business?
It is important to know exactly what your SEO will be doing for you and how they offers you measurable results. Keep clear of any SEO who offers a guaranteed ranking, it is impossible to make sure a ranking with Google or any other search engine!
Any SEO who can guarantee results without even knowing which keywords you want to target is using this as a marketing ploy, how could they guarantee results if you wanted to compete for keywords like “Apple”, “Google” or “Facebook”?!
Without performing keyword research it is impossible to tell how likely the success of an SEO campaign will be and how long it’s likely to take. SEO is an ongoing process of research, testing and analysis. It takes careful planning to identify the best keywords and to then put a solid strategy in place to rank for those keywords.
On-site and Off Site SEO
SEO takes into account factors that are both on-site and off-site. On-site SEO entails an analysis of your website. It involves looking at many factors including the site structure, use of keywords, the sites content, page running times and the HTML and CSS that the site is built with. Good on-site SEO benefits the end user and also helps to avoid any technical “Gotchas” that search engines don’t like, such as duplicate content.
A good SEO will start by analysing your site and making recommendations to improve an optimise the site for both users and search engines. Off site SEO involves creating relevant backlinks from other sites to yours.
Each back link is mentioned by the search engines as a political election for your site. Websites pick up an authority score called Page rank. Each time a site links to you it shares a little bit of its page rank with you, links from high authority sites share more of this page rank than lower authority sites. Inward bound links to a site are known as backlinks.
To follow or Nofollow…
Some links carry no authority at all, many links carry a nofollow characteristic that tell the search engines not to count that link as a political election. Site owners and bloggers might add this characteristic themselves if they don’t their hyperlink to be mentioned as a political election for the external site or it could be automatically added by the platform they are using to write their content, this is often the case when a site offers its user to add comments or content and the webmaster has little control over what links get created by the sites contributors.
Links without the nofollow characteristic are named “dofollow” and pass page rank from your page to the linked page. In HTML there is no actual dofollow characteristic, dofollow happens automagically in the absence of a nofollow characteristic. You must never nofollow internal links as this will cause any page rank that would have been passed to it hyperlink to just evaporate!
Where Did You get Those Links?
You should ask your SEO how they will create backlinks, a good SEO will try to build a varied back link account for you. This account includes high value links that are found in bodies of text such as websites. These usually carry the most page rank but also require the most act as the SEO will need to build connections with blog owners and often provide content themselves.
Any good SEO can look for quality over quantity, anyone promising a high number of links is probably best avoided. The search engines like to see “Natural Links of Love”, a few high quality links is going a lot further than many inferior links.
Other linking strategies include using quality business directories or commenting on blogs and community forums as well as using social media and interpersonal sites.
Link deals are best avoided as these two way links don’t look like natural links. Search engines can see the internet as a series of connected nodes and easily detect made with chemicals patterns like this.
Your business, Your needs
Your SEO should consult you about your business needs and goals and also try to understand as much as they can about your target audience. If they don’t do this they’ll likely are unlikely to pick keywords that will attract and convert the right audience for you business. They should conduct extensive keyword research and also identify the keywords that will bring in more of the right traffic. Traffic is useless if it doesn’t convert!