A decade ago, SEO was a completely new term for entrepreneurs – only a few were aware of it. However, this is not the case today. Virtually every business owner and member of senior management, especially those involved in marketing, are familiar with the term. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, which involves trying to improve how a website appears in a result when somebody uses a search term on a search engine. Google, Yahoo, Safari, Bing, and Firefox are search engines. SEO is one of the components of online marketing (digital marketing, Internet marketing).
If you have a financial news website, you want it to appear in the first page of Google when people search using the word, for example, ‘finance.’ or the term ‘financial news.’ If your website appears on the first page of a search result, it has excellent SEO.
Large businesses can employ a whole team of SEO experts. Small and medium-sized enterprises, however, don’t have the resources to employ full-time search engine optimization professionals. They have to contract agencies that provide affordable SEO packages.
For SMEs (small-to-medium enterprises), senior managers want to spend their limited time finding clients, focusing on quality control, hiring and training staff, etc. Using an SEO agency allows them to focus on running their company.
SEO agencies have teams of experts with extensive experience and knowledge. They know how to get websites to appear nearer the top of search results.
The criteria for SEO services vary, depending on whether the client is a large, medium, or small company.
For effective SEO great content matters
It does not matter what type of website you have, in every case ‘content is king.’ If a site has great content, other websites will link to it. Search engines notice how many backlinks point to a specific website.
The more backlinks there are directing visitors to your website, the more search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo will take note.
When people submit a search term, search engines want to show authoritative and interesting web pages. If many websites link to yours, search engines will give it a high ranking.
Google and other search engines promote authority web pages to the top of their rankings. Therefore, it is your job to create authority pages, i.e., pages with great content.
White hat & black hat SEO
Black hat and white hat are two common SEO techniques.
Black hat is an unethical way of raising the rank of a website; hence the term. Websites with poor content use different ways to manipulate Google algorithms using keyword stuffing, stacking, unrelated keywords, gateway pages, and page swapping. They also use spam blogs, duplicate content, cloaking, and hidden text and links.
The black hat approach was once extremely effective. However, over the years, Google and other search engines have introduced new algorithms in their systems that seek out unethical or undesirable techniques. Today, websites that use black hat techniques are punished, i.e., their ranking suffers significantly. In some cases, search engines may even ban them (not list them).
The white hat approach includes techniques and strategies that search engines reward. This means adding, for example, top-quality content to the website, building quality backlinks, and related keywords and phrases.
Webopedia makes the following comment regarding this SEO approach:
“Some examples of White Hat SEO techniques include using keywords and keyword analysis, backlinking, link building to improve link popularity, and writing content for human readers.”
“White Hat SEO is more frequently used by those who intend to make a long-term investment on their website. Also called Ethical SEO.”
Keyword research is an important part of good SEO. It involves finding and researching search terms that people use in search engines. Specifically, search terms while they are looking for something.
According to Wikipedia:
“The objective of keyword research is to generate, with good precision and recall, a large number of terms that are highly relevant yet non-obvious to the given input keyword. The process of keyword research involves brainstorming and the use of keyword research tools.”
It is important to optimize a website with several relevant keywords. Ideally, you should seek out related keywords that have relatively low competition but are also fairly popular.
Ask for regular reports
If you use an SEO agency, make sure they send you regular reports. A monthly report, for example, will help you monitor their progress. The report should have details on your website’s traffic, backlinks, keywords, and related keywords.
Some agencies may provide more comprehensive information, such as where your visitors are from, how long they stay on each page, how many pages they look at before they leave, what your competitors are doing, etc.
To get an affordable SEO package, you must understand that SEO and content marketing go hand in hand. Ask the agency for its content marketing tactics and how it plans to include rich and informational content on your website.
According to the Content Marketing Institute:
“Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
Social media marketing
More and more companies today are using social media marketing. This involves using a social media network such as Facebook, Instagram, or LinkedIn to promote your company’s goods or services.
Social media websites offer many marketing benefits for companies, such as user-generated content, which some businesses have found is more effective than marketer-prepared advertising copy.
Now matter how big or small your company is, there is an SEO package out there that is just right for you.
Since the turn of the century, e-commerce has grown dramatically. E-commerce refers to business that is done online, i.e., on the Internet. E-commerce means Electronic Commerce.
Over the next ten years, virtually every company with an online presence will focus increasingly on SEO. Those that don’t will run a higher risk of struggling and eventually having to close down.
SEO today is not an extra benefit for your business, it is a basic requirement.
Thanks to the Internet, we can do business with people from all over the world. They can purchase goods and services at any time of day and night. SEO helps get them to know about your business. That means more potential customers.