There are numerous strategies to achieve top organic rankings, both ‘good’ and ‘bad’. The bad SEO is referred to as ‘Black Hat’ and should be avoided at all costs; punishment is a one way ticket to the void – your site will be removed from the search index entirely.
We do not advocate, teach or use black hat practices. ‘White Hat SEO’ is, for the most part accepted by the search engines, utilizing a simple logic – what is good for the user is good for the search.
Done correctly, SEO can provide the highest marketing ROI available today. However, putting keywords onto your site is just the beginning, and is often not enough to drive a successful rank building campaign. There are dozens of alterations to be made for every page of a site, which often require ongoing refinement to improve results. And that’s just for your on-site efforts.
It’s important to do On-Page SEO and Off-Site Link Building. On-site efforts outline your argument to the search spiders. Your content needs to support your argument. Link building can be seen as the citations by 3rd party sources which support your on-site argument.
There are two primary aspects to SEO: Onsite and Offsite.
Onsite SEO, as the name implies, is specifically concerned with the proper presentation of information on a website: the implementation of keywords, content and links to clearly define your products and services to search engines and users alike, in order to achieve top ranking positions in the SERPS. Keep in mind that you are dealing with an algorithm, a computer with set limitations and parameters of evaluation. There is nothing intuitive about it, with little to no comparative capabilities. In essence this means that targeting “shoes” will not help your rankings for “sandals”. Keyword content considerations necessarily include:
- Keyword Research is the single most important activity prior to optimizing any website. Keyword research not only helps better define the content on your website, but allows for the search marketer to hone pages of the website to match search engine user’s queries.
- Canonicalizing URLs is an essential way to make sure that: 1.Any instances of duplicate content on the website due to multiple URL creation is eliminated, 2.Make sure that the search engines have one true, primary source for your content. This helps ensure that authority of your content is not divided unnecessarily between multiple versions and can lead to better search engine positions by concentrating the power of a single page.
- Page Titles – the text placed in the title tag (between the <TITLE> and </TITLE> portions) in the website’s meta data will appear in the title bar of a user’s browser when they view the web page. Viewed as one of the most important factors in on-site SEO. Each page should have unique title, using a keyword or keyword phrase to describe what the page is about. Search Engines will display up to 68 – 70 characters to users in the search engines. Page title tags should be engineered for search engines and consumers on search engines looking for specific services, products, or information.
- Meta Descriptions - A Meta-Page Description is a short blurb with targeted keywords and phrases that will entice users to click through to the website when it displays in the search engine results pages (SERPs). Viewed by the experts in SEO as another one of the most important factors in on-site SEO. The information in these tags can influence how search engines rank your site for relevance. It behooves a company to the write unique, keyword-centric descriptions, to clarify and tantalize a user into clicking through to the web page.
- Site Platform and Coding concerns and requirements
- Content Visibility – just because you see it, does not mean the SE can
- Site Navigation/Menu naming conventions
- Internal linking opportunities from every page
- Graphics and layout considerations
- Image naming conventions
- The inclusion of a sitemap
Offsite SEO is alternately concerned with obtaining keyword optimized links to appropriate pages on the website. These links act as highly effective flags that attract the SE’s attention. They are used to both confirm and establish the relevance of your webpage content. Industry experts agree that offsite optimization is critical for SEM. Offsite optimization equates to what are commonly referred to as “Backlinks” or Textlinks”. These are links obtainable from a variety of online sources, such as directory listings, press releases, blog posts, etc. Google revolutionized the search marketplace by including a website’s interconnectedness to the rest of the web as a primary factor for determining rank. Therefore, your website’s ranking is determined by the effective implementation of keywords both on your site and as dispersed across the internet as possible. The object is to appear as a credible source of information, product and/or service, in relation to your keywords. The SE’s determine this by the quantity and quality of links to your site.
Seriously: Do not attempt this at home. Do not hire rookies. To give you an idea of how specialized this discipline is, we here at SunAnt contract this work. That is, we don’t do this in-house.
Quantity is simply the number of links – in most cases the more the better.
Quality is a bit harder to define as it is primarily a factor of relevance and importance. Links from a site that is relevant to your industry will have a greater impact than one that is not. Furthermore, a link from an important website (as identified by Page Rank) will also maximize the impact.
Reputation Matters - It used to be enough to tell the SEs what your site was about. These days, it’s not what you say about yourself… It’s about what Others are saying about you.
Diversification Matters – In-Bound links need to be properly diversified. Publisher Diversification, as well as Link Profile Diversification is crucial. Doing in-bound link building incorrectly can cause an amazing amount of headaches and heartache.
Natural Progression Matters – A typical rookie mistake is to attempt to build Rome in a day… that is, get a bunch of inbound links over a short period of time. This is a major no-no. Any link-building strategy must be built in a systematic manner over time.