When we sit down to the computer to search for an item, a place, or a term, we pull up our preferred search engine and type in our desired search. But how do the results generate? And what dictates the order the results appear? We see the word SEO in many places and often don’t realize how much of an impact SEO has in our day to day lives. SEO stands for Search Optimization and companies worldwide are using specialized SEO tactics to target potential customers online. Below, we take a deeper look at the ins and outs of SEO and how it can help your company achieve its goals.
What is SEO?
As explained above, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Every day, when users search on Google, Bing, or Yahoo they are presented with a list of results that appear for their particular search. That list is a display of all of the webpages that are relevant and authoritative about your given search result. The order they appear on the page is the ranking of their relativeness to the key search word. The idea of Search Engine Optimization is to be able to maximize the placement with a free, “natural” or “organic” listing, rather than paying for paid search adds. Achieving high optimization means that your company has found the optimal position on a search engine dictated by what your webpage can offer on the search topic.
How does SEO work?
SEO works by having your webpage gain a high ranking in what is called the SERP, or Search Engine Return Page. While some people who have a personal webpage may not care about how much traffic comes to his or her website, for a company it can be crucial to sales. SEO works by targeting customers with relevant and authoritative information and content to boost the ranking on SERPs. While good content alone can eventually allow your site to achieve a high ranking, there are some tips and tricks that an SEO expert is able to perform that can give your website a boost to the top. Search engines use computer programs called “spiders” that regularly sweep webpage content and scan for keywords that give the page relevance. Having these keywords can help increase SEO.
What are some techniques that are used?
In the world of SEO, there are typically two techniques used. One is called White Hat, while the other is called Black Hat techniques. Typically, White Hat techniques are business approved and “fair” ways to increase SEO. Keyword usage is a prominent technique. Adding keywords to titles and headers within your webpage is a great way to increase your page’s relevance. Another common practice that is seen in White Hat techniques is to take advantage of the spiders’ link analysis. If the search engines find that many websites are linking to your page as a reference then your page will receive a higher ranking. In Black Hat SEO techniques the focus is more intended to trick, or fool, the search engines into giving your webpage a higher ranking. Some common techniques for this can include key word stuffing which means that the webpage will have a high frequency of keywords that would trigger the spiders to think the page has high relevance. These key words may be listed repeatedly at the very bottom of the page where people seldom would look, or could even be invisible. Web designers will have the keywords repeating in the same color as the background so they are invisible to humans reading the webpage.
Are there any SEO challenges?
There are some challenges that a web designer will face when trying to create a good SEO website. For one, having a website that is idea for spiders to find is not always the most exciting website for people to look at. To further this problem, a person sitting at the computer does not want to look at a wall of text. Companies want to use images and media to illustrate their product. Unfortunately, spiders do not detect the media as having authority and relevance, so finding an appropriate blend can be a challenge. For this reason, it can be enticing to want to try some Black Hat techniques. If you are using a trusted provider to help with your SEO, the company should be able to creatively find a blend of appealing web content and vital SEO techniques that will make your page jump to the top of the list. Always ensure that your provider has credentials and references to be a trusted SEO provider in the industry.
What is fair pricing for SEO?
Luckily, there are many options when looking at achieving a higher SEO for your company. Depending on what exactly you want to get out of your webpage there may be a package that will work for you. Many companies will offer different packages that include different amounts of keywords, image optimization, meta tags, and website maps. Because companies are always changing and updating, it is important to also find a company that is willing to change and works with you to ensure that your keywords and website design still keep you ranked highly on the SERPs. Plans can range from $600 a month to $2,000 a month. Additionally, there are options to find SEO companies that can provide custom pricing to create just the right combination to really make your page shine.
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