Unfortunately, not many Search Engine Optimization companies know what this
involves. You may see a "one size fits all" package, link popularity development in
the form of submitting to link farms, or even the dreaded "Submit Your Site to
1000's of Search Engines" scam. While the basic premise of each of these ideas is
true, the execution of them is extremely important.
First of all, your web site needs human attention. A real person should thoroughly
analyze your site before any work is done. Get them on the phone and ask them
questions. There should be a clear process that the Search Engine Optimization
company uses and tailors to each client. The SEO company should also have a clear
idea of what your goals are for your web site.
The first step in any work that is done should be keyword research. Like any kind of
advertising, you need to know where your target market goes and how they find
businesses like yours. The keywords chosen should apply to the theme of the web
site. High rankings for these keywords should also be obtainable given your budget.
If you are a computer repair shop with one or two locations in a city and can not
service computers outside your area, then targeting a term such as "computer
repair" is overkill. The cost for obtaining high rankings for a term such as that will
be far greater than what you will make from the exposure, as much of your web site
traffic will not be targeted enough.
Once keywords have been chosen for the web site, the content should be updated to
reflect them. This may include subtle changes to the meta tags, page titles and text
headings; or it could involve adding additional sections to the site, rewriting content
and reorganizing the web site's structure. It all depends on the specific
requirements of the site and market.
Once the on-page content optimization is complete, link popularity development
needs to be done. A link development campaign should be done to acquire quality
incoming links to the web site. This phase of search engine optimization should
take place as soon as possible and can be continued as needed. Reciprocal linking is
fine as long as some caution is used. There are many sketchy services out there that
use huge networks of gambling and pharmacy sites with no unique content. Always
make sure that each incoming link can be interpreted by the search engines as a
'vote' by that site for yours. It is worthless and possibly dangerous if the site links
out to link farms and Free-For-All sites (FFA's). Writing articles with a link to your
web site, getting people to post on forums and message boards, and advertising or
getting links to drive targeted traffic to your site are great methods to use in
improving your link popularity.
For the most part, you get what you pay for with Search Engine Optimization. A
quick fix will rarely works, and if it seems too good to be true it probably is. Talk to
the search engine optimization company about your concerns and make sure they
understand your goals. Read their site and make sure they seem legitimate. Ask for
results they've obtained for previous clients. Methods that not effective and have a
chance to get a site banned include hiding text or links, participating in link farms,
keyword stuffing, repeat search engine submissions, and copying web sites to
Proper SEO does not involve tricks. Web sites that have well written and well focused
content, have been advertised in one way or another (including link popularity
development), and overall are a good informational resource will get traffic from the
search engines. Search engines are constantly updating ways to weed out the
spamming and illegal SEO methods, so think long term with any search engine
John Metzler is the co-creator of Abalone Designs, Inc. http://www.abalone.ca, a Search
Engine Optimization company in Vancouver, Canada. He has been involved in web
design and web marketing since 1999 and has helped turn Abalone Designs into
one of the top SEO companies in the world.