What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization.
An extremely simplistic description of SEO is putting the right data on your website so that search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing list your website in a location where people can find you when they search for your service or product.
SEO is not rocket science but unfortunately many web designers do not incorporate search engine friendly design into the websites they build.
Why you need SEO:
In the old days people looked up companies in the Phone Book. These days they just "Google" whatever they are looking for.
If your company website is not in the top ten search results there is a very good chance you will miss out on this customer traffic.
But I already have a website, why doesn’t it rank well?
More than likely you hired a web designer. There are phenominal web designers who build absolutely beautiful websites, unfortunatley many of them do not put an ounce of SEO into their design.
What use is a great looking site if no one can find it?
Eleven indicators your site’s SEO sucks:
- Weak meta tags (or no meta tags) - often the exact same meta tags on every page
- Missing heading tags, especially the h1 tag
- Missing image alt tags and descriptive image names
- Primarily built in Flash - might look great but won’t rank well
- Less than one paragraph of text on each page
- Built around an iframed solution - iframed pages are not indexed as part of your site by search engines
- Built with frames - framed pages are not indexed by the search engines
- Not updated on a regular basis - if your site still says Copyright © 1997, you have a problem
- Cryptic URLs
- Large sites without sitemaps
- No analytics tracking (like Google Analyitics) - how do you know how your site is doing if you can’t track your visitors?
The cure for sucky SEO.
Research, research and more research! The first step in building a high ranking website should be keyword research followed by building upon a search engine friendly website foundation.
It is significantly more difficult to fix a lousy site than to build it correctly from the start.
- Research if there is a market for what you are selling. If not don’t waste your money.
- Research your competition. Can you compete on their level? It’s too late to start the next Viagra site. There is too much competition.
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Limitations of SEO.
SEO has its limitations. There is only so much you can do on your site itself before you experience diminishing returns.
If there is a high level of competition for your keywords you will have to begin an SEM campaign if you wish to rank well. Read about SEM
SEO does not work overnight.
Occasionally we can rank well for low competition keywords in just a few days but it can take three to six months to start ranking for keywords with a healthy level of competition.