They often experience a lot of costly difficulties and spend a huge amount of cash, when companies try to optimize their websites without guidance. That Is one reason it is crucial that you secure the companies for SEO experts. They suppliers can assist organizations in creating and implementing strategies that offer outstanding earnings and boost their professional pictures.
SEO is a very fluid industry that has a history of shape-shifting, leaving many who need these services in a tricky position when it comes to choosing an SEO company in 2013. The online SEO industry offers a cloudy mix of SEO tactics. Many are still being sold online as viable methods, despite their obvious lack of SEO value in the current SEO landscape that Google has terra-formed through its algorithms. Avoiding SEO companies that abuse and game both clients and the system is one of the first tactics you should adopt in your SEO strategy. Easier said than done – we are in murky waters here.
Aiming for Page One
The effort to get to page one includes a myriad of optimizations to content, media, website page structure, linking – the list is very long indeed. Standard optimization using regular and well-known methods includes adding keywords and tags and using social media to popularize the site. In the past tactics used by “optimizers” brought instant results and many were impressive. Getting to page one for any keyword within weeks were common claims and still are to be found in the recesses of the Internet. These optimizations either did not last long or, most likely, caused the site to be hit hard by Google, filtering out spammers and SEO gamers in their updates.
The different flavors of SEO companies
In an attempt to demonstrate what is available, we categorized the SEO providers that exist today into these types:
Resellers – they’re great at closing the deals, but simply outsource 100% of the work to their counterparts which leaves little to no room for flexibility. They bid on PPC, and usually talk a big game. These are more focused on traffic generation than SEO.
Cookie Cutters – typically larger companies with many past clients. They’re great at demonstrating their SEO prowess with sophisticated reports from clever looking SEO software. They usually have little up to date knowledge of trends sand movement in the industry/algorithm changes.
Followers – these are the medium sized SEO firms trying to be like the larger SEO firms. They want to be ranked on all the top paid SEO lists out there, and thrive on buzz. Their ultimate goals fame, industry recognition, and more profits; often at the expense of their clients’ mediocre performance or a short term result. They supply designer SEO reports from the same expensive SEO software as the Cookie Cutters.
The Guy Next Door – This is probably a guy or web design company offering SEO services as a secondary income. They can talk the talk and somewhat follow basic search engine guidelines, but may lack the requisite knowledge or resources to get sustainable results. They probably cannot afford mainstream SEO software like the larger SEO firms.
The Company Next Door – These guys are the smaller boutique-type SEO companies you see with an office next to a real estate agency, or local corner plaza. They usually have a connection with a few larger contracts that allow them to keep their doors open. They are little more than a storefront version of the guy next door and rely on image and marketing to survive. They will have the same banter as your average carpet salesman and often the same level of knowledge of SEO.
The Company You Should Stay Away From– This company will guarantee rankings, submit your website to thousands of search engines, directories and promises many other useless activities like a fast food menu. They offer thousands of inbound PageRanking links for $100, promise super-fast top of page one ranking and tout their methods as a lucrative industry secret that only they know. Yeah sure! Generally these are offshore enterprises using dubious tactics. Their backlink strategies can ruin a site SEO in the long term. Heaven help you if you get them to write your blog too, or market articles with your name on them, your reputation may never recover.
The Company You’ve Been Looking For – has references for you to contact and testimonials from real clients. They should offer a clear strategy which they should be willing to share with you -it’s no secret! This should be backed up by credible (and most importantly), uncomplicated information that you can easily understand. They will integrate a Social Media and SEO hybrid into your SEO campaign strategy. You should be able to read proper case studies to prove their worth, accompanied by regular reports from Google Analytics whose information can be trusted and not manipulated. They also follow search engine optimization and publishing guidelines and stay up to date with trends and algorithm changes. In addition, everything you pay for will be documented in a clear and understandable format. Their website will not look like a dollar store front window.
How Do You Measure SEO Success?
We measure our SEO success through traffic reporting, rankings in the search engines, and lead/conversion rates. Ultimately, did you get a return on your investment? The calculations are not difficult to make if you have before/after report on traffic. To check if you had a good ROI, you can simply look at the percentage increase in traffic. If that resulted in more revenue and a good position in search for appropriate keywords, then you probably chose well and can claim success.
SEO strategies have come a long way since the 1990’s. Successful SEO is now based on keeping up with algorithm updates, watching and reacting to ranking trends, and taking the appropriate steps to combat web spam (as viewed in Google’s eyes) on your own website. You would expect your SEO company to do this for you, but it pays to understand what they are doing and why before you pay out any cash for SEO. “If it looks too good to be true it probably is” has rarely been more appropriate.
SEO has always been a long-term effort for those who are successful at it. Choosing the right SEO company is largely about trusting that they are prepared for a long term effort, and knowing what that effort will involve. We all want to go viral and see those huge traffic numbers but in reality few ever do; if they do, it is usually very short-lived and hard to replicate. Making the right choices in selecting an SEO firm can require little more than common sense accompanied by an innate disbelief in SEO hype. A little background checking does not go amiss either. Always keep in mind that your SEO company is going to determine your online business success to quite an extent – Choose carefully my friends.
There are many impressive resources for checking that sector specialists use within order to observe their clients’ activities. This enables them to determine which are falling short and which initiatives are generating the best earnings. Instead of blindly investing in new interests, they check to find out which choices are likely to generate the absolute most competent web traffic.
They also apply reputation administration promotions that are both proactive and progressive in order to lessen reputation damages even before they occur. Initiatives such as for instance these help to reinforce the photographs of businesses. They produce conversions as well and gain the trust of customers.
How to Choose the Right SEO Company & Questions to Ask Them
The most important thing to understand is that SEO is only the beginning of your Company’s overall web marketing strategy. Organic Search Engine Optimization is not ‘one size fits all’, it needs to be tailored to your specific industry and needs. It is important to understand that just because your site is optimized for search engines, it doesn’t mean it will attract visitors. Once visitors are able to make it to your site, it doesn’t mean you will get conversions (sales or leads).
There has been a significant change to the way Google lists your site in a feature they call “Google Places”. They are business listings that will show up before organic search engine results (see below for an example). There are special SEO tactics that need to be employed to make sure that not only does your site show up in Google organic rankings, but also Google Places.
Below are links for additional resources on Google Places and the Warning Signs of a Bad SEO Company:
Below is a list of common questions about SEO services.
How will the SEO firm determine which keywords will be the target of your optimization efforts?
Research is an important element to SEO success. If they don’t have a research program, your project likely will not be successful. You need to understand how they plan and if it is reasonable.
Will the optimization program include an analysis of your site’s design, navigation, coding, content and incoming links?
A good SEO firm will be able to provide you with recommendations on improving other areas of your site that either affect search engine placement or the site visitor’s experience (graphical design). Site design (layout and graphics) has no bearing on proper search engine optimization, but site coding, content and incoming/outgoing links do.
Will they also analyze your competitors’ sites to determine what sites in your industry are performing well and why?
If there is no competitive analysis, then how will they know how to target your competitors online? A website should be part of your overall business strategy. If your SEO Company doesn’t understand the difference between your online and offline competitors, then they probably won’t understand how to target them.
Will the SEO firm be writing your content or will they work with existing content?
If the firm does not have someone who specializes in SEO copy-writing, look elsewhere.
Does the SEO vendor have a link strategy for your site and the ability to promote your site through content on appropriate third-party sites (ie article directories, blogs, video, images)?
This should be a given. If they do not have a link strategy then they won’t be any good. They also need to learn how to employ white hat search techniques and NOT black hat search techniques which could get you banned by Google.
Ask prospective SEO firms to scope out how they would optimize your site. What on-page and off-page tactics will they be using?
The reality is they can’t really know this until they have done the proper analysis. If they have a detailed plan before they have strategized with you and conducted their research then there is a reasonable likelihood they won’t target the right keywords. They company needs to know about your business before a keyword discussion can even begin. The most appropriate answer to this question is that this plan is built after the initial strategy session.
Things to Ask your SEO Company:
- Ask for references, and check them
- Ask for samples of successful results in the major search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo)
- Ask bidding SEO firms how long they have been in business, which will be working on your project and what type of Internet marketing experience they have
- Ask how many pages they will be optimizing for the price they have quoted
- How will your site be monitored and maintained over time, and what reports will you receive to measure your progress? Remember, SEO is nto a one-time event!
- What is the Google Places strategy? Google Places optimization is a very different process. If they say it is the same as SEO, they haven’t done their homework. If they don’t have a strategy for this in place then they will miss a key component to your organic ranking strategy. This can not be automatic or “tricked” into success. It requires work.
- What strategies beyond SEO does the firm engage in? What offerings to they have in traffic generation or conversion rate optimization?
Common Mistakes when Choosing a SEO Company:
- Going with the SEO vendor that promises a No. 1 position or first-page placement.
- Participating in offers promising to submit your site to the search engines.
- Selecting an SEO firm that offers you a quick fix — just adding meta tags, with no adjustments to content or external inbound links. Hint, Google doesn’t care about meta tags so if your SEO touts meta tags as an SEO tactic, they do not understand current standards.
- Developing your site in frames, which oftentimes creates problems for search engines trying to index your site.
- Developing your site entirely in Flash. Flash on a site exists as an image. Search engines can’t read text off an image.
- Using hidden links or text to try to boost your keyword density or link relevancy (search engines call this spam).
- Engaging in questionable linking schemes that generate reciprocal links with sites that have no relation to your business or industry.
- Buying scads of paid links from sites you know nothing about. There are specific directory sites that provide value from a search engine optimization standpoint. Stick with those.
- Setting unrealistic expectations. Search engine optimization doesn’t deliver results on a deadline.
- Changing content on a strong-performing optimized page without consulting your SEO firm.
It is important to stay informed of the changes that are created to the methods that search-engines use. The procedure of optimizing is constantly in a situation of flux. This make it best to have professional support when determining which methods can produce a preferred set of enhancements without warranting penalties or getting websites blacklisted.
SEO for Idiots: The 10 Basics of Blogging Search Engine Optimization
Recently Kelci asked me over on my Facebook Page about SEO for idiots. I decided to do a full post on it (isn’t she lucky?) because it is such a cool and expansive topic.
So what exactly was her question? Here it is:
Found your blog the other day and have learned MUCH more than the previous 100 blogs I had found combined. I see that you have an article about SEO secrets below but I was wondering if you can direct me to like an “SEO for idiots” type of thing… I really need to understand the basics.
So here you go Kelci. Here are the 10 basics of blogging search engine optimization.
Oh, and this isn’t really for idiots. None of my readers are idiots. And if you are learning about SEO so you can grow your blog you are a long way from being idiotic.
A crude illustration of how SEO works
Let me start by giving you a crude example of how Google SEO works.
Google has developed automatic algorithms that rank your site. They send out what are called “spiders” to “crawl” your site and check it for over 100 indicators that determine whether your site is valuable or useless. These indicators include things like backlinks, domain age, traffic, fresh content, etc.
SEO is the art of making sure those spiders are happy with that they find. It is an extremely complex field that is constantly changing but in all that chaos there are a few constants that have remained true since the beginning. I’ll talk about those here.
The 10 basics of blogging SEO
As always guys and gals, if you have any other tips please leave me a comment and add to the fun. I absolutely love reading the huge comment-essays that you all tend to write.
1. You need your own domain and hosting
The first thing that beginners need to know is that you need your own domain and hosting. Those blogspot and wordpress ones just don’t do well on Google’s rankings.
Why is that?
Well many people speculate that if you were really serious about your website you would get your own name and host it yourself. And Google only wants to point to websites that are considered serious and trustworthy.
- The best host
The best host for new bloggers is Blue Host. They have super cheap rates and amazing 24/7 support. Oh, and you can install your blog with one click.
- The best domain name registrar
I have used Namecheap.com for a number of years because they are cheap and the support is always fantastic. I also find their interface really easy to navigate unlike some of the more common ones.
- How to do it all
Check out my post on building a blog and then selling it as it shows you some general steps for getting started.
The sooner you can get on to your own domain name and hosting the better. Start building up your own asset instead of some other blogging company’s.
2. Solve problems with original content
You have to remember that Google’s whole purpose is to provide their customers with relevant and useful search results. Everything they do is built around the premise.
And, to be realistic, the most important thing you can do for your SEO is create massively useful content that solves people’s problems. If you are solving problems that people are searching for then it is likely that you are going to get shared on social media and ranked in Google.
The phrase “original content” means so much more than just blog posts nowadays. You should start expanding into:
Get on Flickr or Photobucket and use original images on your blog.
Make tutorials or do video posts with your webcam. This builds links and traffic from Youtube and does well on mobile devices.
iTunes is growing fast as people get better smart phones and spend more time plugged in.
- Tools and plugins
If you can develop an original tool and install it on your website you can be assured of top Google rankings for a long time. Google absolutely loves tools and helpful plugins that people can use in their lives.
The idea is to build a relationship with your readers by helping them out. This will mean more sharing and faster results on the SERPS (search engine rankings positions).
3. Build relevant backlinks in a natural way
If you are just getting started with SEO you might know a little about backlinks. A backlink is when another website links back to your site from their site.
Not all backlinks are created equal though. Some things to know:
- Never buy them
I once heard about a guy who was the head SEO guy for an investment company. He bought some cheap backlinks on a domain name with millions of dollars and got the thing banned from Google. Never buy backlinks. Google is on to them.
- The source matters
The blog that is giving you the backlinks makes a huge difference. If it is an old domain name with excellent rankings itself then the backlink counts for more. One good link from an authority domain name (.edu and .gov ones are amazing) and your rankings change more than hundreds of little ones.
- The anchor text matters
The anchor text is the words that are used as the link. For example, just then I used “anchor text” as the anchor text. You want this to be relevant to your targeted keywords.
As mentioned, the best way to build quality backlinks is to write amazing quality content and then guest post on the best blogs in your niche.
Remember, backlinks to your OWN content is also really important. See how many links I have to my own articles in this blog post? Those count too!
NOTE: Using plain keywords as anchor text is no longer the recommended method. There needs to be a natural mix of keywords in your links.
4. Make sure your theme is SEO optimized
This is the topic of a whole series of posts so I’ll keep it brief.
Think of SEO as having two components: the off-site stuff like social media and backlinks and the on-site stuff like optimizing your theme.
Optimizing your theme is important because it helps give Google indicators that you are a trustworthy site. It also helps Google find your content. Some of the things you can do include:
- Cleanly coded
Make sure your theme is coded with the latest and greatest techniques so that it is easy to get around.
- Fast loading
A fast loading site is good for user experience and thus good for Google. Make sure your theme is pulling its weight and loading quickly. You can check out its speed here. You can usecache plugins to help speed things up.
Some people disagree but I still reckon that my original themes do better than themes that thousands of other people are using. A newly developed and original site also comes with dozens of other benefits.
- No broken bits
Make sure you clean up any broken links and make sure your navigation all works smoothly.
The best paid themes for SEO at the moment are those made over at Studiopress. Yep, Brian Clark again.
Having a well designed theme is also important for your brand. Separating yourself from the competition is a very important thing to do.
5. Fix your permalink structure
Permalinks are how people locate your blog and its internal posts and pages. They are made up of a root and an extension.
For example, on this post we have:
Now, it is very important to have a good permalink structure. You can change this in WordPress by going SETTINGS > PERMALINKS and tweaking the options. The best option to have in there, in my opinion, is just the post name. So you should select CUSTOM STRUCTURE and then add /%postname%/
However, even better than that is to research what keywords you are trying to rank for and then shorten your URL to match those keywords. Take a look at this post and have a guess what key words I was trying to rank for.
Be warned! You don’t want to change the old permalinks because then any backlinks you have will be broken. Just new ones.
6. Install a sitemap
One of the easiest things you can do is install a Google Sitemap plugin that gives a full map of all your posts, pages and archives. The most common one that people use is this one and it seems to work quite well.
This automatically generates the sitemap for you at regular intervals and then submits it to Google, Bing, etc. on your behalf. Its literally giving them a map of your site so they can index it better.
7. Comment on other blogs
For a long time my SEO strategy consisted of just commenting on other authority blogs. Not only does it get you more traffic, exposure and new relationships, it also counts as a backlink.
Now, some blogs you can leave target anchor text because they aren’t real worried about user names. But on most blogs you need to use your real name. That’s fine.
Try and use Market Samurai to see where your competitors are getting their backlinks from. You might just find a bunch of them come from comments on well ranked blog posts.
8. Build your social media profiles big time
As I mentioned in my post on SEO secrets you want to now have a big focus on social media for SEO purposes as well as traffic building purposes.
Well because Google is now looking to social media as a signal of an article’s authority and relevance.
If thousands of people are tweeting about it then chances are you have written something pretty good. And the best way to get tweets is to build a loyal following and write killer content that they just love to promote for you.
Some things you need to start doing:
- Tweeting big players
Get to know the big players in your niche by casually building a rapport with them on Twitter. Down the track you can hit them up for re-tweets.
- Add separate value
Tweet and Facebook information and facts that don’t appear on your blog. Think of it as a separate resource for people to tap in to.
- Share others
The more content you share from other bloggers the more likely they are to share your stuff. Give and then get later.
Neil Patel (one of my blogging heros) has just written a really cool list about how to use Twitter like a boss. That is a good place to start if you want to really amp up your social activities.
9. Use SEO plugins
There are lots of WordPress plugins out there that you can install to get some help with your SEO. One of the best ones to start with is the All in One SEO Pack which does so many of the nasty little things for you.
There are a lot of other good SEO plugins out there so I thought I would open this one up to the audience and see what everyone else is using. Please leave a comment and let me know.
10. Read, study and use SEOmoz
As far as I am concerned the absolute best resource for SEO related material in the world is over at SEOmoz.
And their tools are even more amazing.
Now, the content on their blog might be a little over your head to begin with but you will slowly start to absorb ideas about trends, tactics and best practices over time. Even if you only check in every couple of weeks and read one or two articles you will find that your SEO knowledge just grows and blossoms.
Rand does a Friday Whiteboard session which, perhaps, is the most valuable video series I have ever watched. And he is a super cool guy.
What have I missed?
Okay guys. Hit me with it. What beginner SEO tips have I missed? Please leave everything and anything that you can think of in the comments section. I’m hoping we can come up with a nice sized list to help out all the newcomers.
Accounting for different ways in which web users are joining is crucial as well. It is essential for corporations to help you to accept traffic from many different devices. Receiving the assistance of a reliable pros is therefore, for ensuring that a site is fit and features and optimal amount of functionality critical.
Bloggers: 10 SEO Mistakes You Should Avoid
By Issac Atia.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is vital to any successful blogging campaign. Therefore it should be implemented in the right manner. SEO itself is quite intricate for numerous reasons, but mainly because Google uses an algorithm, which takes several factors into account when ranking a webpage, and they keep changing it.
There are virtually so many SEO myths that it has become very difficult to know what’s 100% true, but I can advise you on which SEO mistakes you should not make:
1. Buying Links
You might get a short term boost by buying links if your website is already popular, but you’re still taking a risk here. Paid links are sometimes flagged by Google’s search engine experts. You may wonder, how will they ever catch me? Well, Google’s bots and a special team at the company search for questionable linking patterns every single day!
For example, if you pay for a few hundred links to be pointed to your website in the very same day, some links will probably be flagged as a sort of ‘irregular linking activity’. Links from totally unrelated categories will seem suspicious as well.
I would recommend the old fashioned method of comment linking, manually — your blog will still be able to grow, albeit at a steady pace. Over time, the end results will be worthwhile. If you are however settled on purchasing links, do not use the same anchor text for all of them; mix it up a bit.
2. Duplicate Content
Many bloggers I know try to target the same topic with a variation of essentially very similar keywords. For instance, ‘make money on facebook’ and ‘making money with your facebook’ are quite similar, and creating a completely different page for each keyword won’t add much value to your site.
How much can you really play with topics or keywords that are essentially identical? If you can’t, then you’ll probably end up writing the same content for both keywords, which poses a risk of a search engine penalty. Instead, you should try to penetrate one original topic or keyword in detail and make an effort to strengthen each post.
3. Chasing PageRank
Don’t get me wrong, PageRank is important for any website’s success. The higher the PageRank you have, the better you rank in search engines, and the more visitors you’ll get. However, it’s definitely not the only metric that’ll help you improve your blog’s success. Furthermore, Google has mentioned previously that PageRank is just one of two hundred (wow!) indicators used to crawl and rank a website. Instead, you should focus on your analytics, ROI, and relevancy as recommended by Google itself.
4. Leaving Title Tags Automated
The title tag is undeniably one of the most important aspects when it comes to search engine rankings. Beginner bloggers usually write a post with a long title that describes the topic in too many words. First, you want to keep the title rather short, (not more than 60 characters) but more importantly, you should aim your focus at optimizing the title tags.
For example, if you write a post titled ‘What Is A Niche Blog And How Do I Create It?’ your title tag should be more targeted towards a keyword, perhaps something like ‘What Is A Niche Blog?’ with ‘a niche blog’ being a possible keyword. You would surely want to check the popularity of the respective keyword with a keyword tool such as Google Adwords before optimizing for it. Consider changing it and you may enjoy a better placement in the search engines and as a result, more visitors.
5. Sacrificing Looks For Content
While many bloggers depend on content to grow their blog, there are some who had become obsessed with the design of their blog. Don’t get me wrong, if you don’t have an appealing design, some visitors won’t be attracted to your website. However, using too many graphics or images will overcrowd your page and slow it down.
I see many sites using Flash and sacrificing page speed for motion and sounds. Definitely an attractive setting, but not a worthy enough tradeoff. This will also prevent search engine bots from being able to crawl your pages at a desirable faster rate.
6. Using Free Hosting Blogs
Blog services that offer free hosting such as Blogger, TypePad, and many others, can offer a decent platform and an excellent value. However, they are not flexible enough to be able to install the Plugins, themes, and other extensions you truly desire for superior SEO results.
All it will take is to register your own domain, and to purchase an inexpensive hosting plan. If you do enough shopping around, you shouldn’t spend more than $50 for both for the year. It’s worth a few bucks per month to have total control over your website. The power of independence can reap great rewards when your blogging operation grows.
7. Keyword Stuffing
Probably one of the most common SEO mistakes is common stuffing. It’s not only unethical, but also will hurt your search rankings. If you really want to rank for a bunch of keywords, create a separate page for each keyword and optimize for it accordingly. Instead of using hidden or duplicate text, focus on creating useful pages that have your keywords implemented in them as part of the content. Trying to manipulate a search engine like Google is a big no-no.
8. Writing Little Content
Many websites, especially blogs, suffer from posts that are too short. I personally get at least a few guest post submissions per day, and more than often, I have to reject them on the basis that they are too short to publish. How great can a piece be if it’s written at just 400 words? Writing extremely short posts hurts reader loyalty plus your page could be considered as low quality when it comes to SEO rankings.
9. Not Doing SEO Correctly
There’s not only one right way to optimize your posts for the search engine, but there are general proven methods you can use. For example, in regards to link building, several bloggers I know make the mistake of only linking to the front page of their website. Instead, you should build links that also point to your top, most popular posts. There’s always something new to learn about SEO, so make sure your optimization knowledge is up to date by reading articles or guides from qualified authors such as Google’s Matt Cutts.
10. Forgetting The ALT Tag
While Google reportedly (WebCEO software) doesn’t place a big emphasis on ALT tags, other search engines such as AOL, Bing, and Yahoo do. The truth is that a picture is just an image file if it’s not optimized for a keyword. To optimize it, use the ALT tag when inserting your image in a post; you’ll definitely see better results. Also, consider naming the file of the image as your keyword or at least to a defining term. If you’re blogging about copyright laws, name your image as ‘copyright-laws.jpg’, not something like ‘picture10.jpg’ — that simply won’t do you any good.
I see additional SEO mistakes regularly, such as the use of generic descriptions for posts, not updating the sitemap, broken 404 pages, and grammatical errors in various site contents. Most of all, I see posts that lack organization and simply contain too much text without separation of any sort, such as spacing or headings. That’s simply unattractive to your valued readers. It takes away from the overall experience, and the quality of your website will take a beating. These SEO mistakes may seem basic to some but shouldn’t be overlooked or ignored. Better yet, consider evaluating your blog right away to ensure that your overall SEO is in check.
Providing thought to all of the required facets of an extensive optimization strategy could be both costly and time consuming, specifically for those businesses that decide to work alone. They can usually save a great deal of profit the method, although some businesses balk in the prices of having qualified help. More notably, they are able to enhance their traffic, enhance their conversions and generate more profits in the resulting income.