Search engine optimization (SEO) is a controversial topic because many companies take advantage of people in the general public who have a lack of knowledge on the subject. When searching, most people choose organic listings over sponsored ones. Ironically, many search engine optimization providers emphasize pay-per-click tools (Search Engine Marketing). If you're working with a white hat (ethical) SEO specialist, who is focused on organic search engine performance SEO is fairly easy to understand. The added benefit is that you'll know what you're paying for because it will be clearly defined.
Web Design and SEO
Because of aggressive marketing by SEO service providers it seems like Web Design and SEO are separate. Nothing could be further from the truth. Web Design and SEO are inextricably linked. Design affects the user. That includes hierarchy, layout, page speed. The truth about SEO is that everything about your website affects SEO.
SEO is making the website easily understood by search engines, such as Google, so that your website shows up high on the list of results for the types of information, products or services you are offering. Good SEO includes making the website easy to understand by humans too.
Onsite Search Engine Optimization
This is the absolute minimum your webmaster should provide even if you don't have an ongoing SEO maintenance package. It is the up front work all webmasters should do. The basic elements of onsite optimization are:
- Well written content that is intended for both people AND search engines
- Hierarchy of your pages
- Tags (titles, headings, and images)
- Internal links (links to other pages on your website)
All of the above require using words very carefully and focusing on the keywords and phrases which will launch your website to the top tier of search engine rankings. Onsite optimization should also be part of any ongoing SEO program.
Off Site Search Engine Optimization
This work is done outside of your website to improve its performance. It should include as a minimum:
- Link building (getting relevant external links to your website). This is an area that is abused constantly by those trying to aggressively compete using unethical practices.
- Writing articles that link to your site
- Getting Reviews on Google Maps, Yelp or other websites
- Social media specifically supporting your business
- Setting up interviews with media representatives
- Creating Press Releases
If you have an existing website we can do a comprehensive analysis and take steps to substantially improve your website's search engine ranking. Call us: 941-374-7711.
Search Engine Marketing is not SEO
Search Engine Marketing (SEM aka Search Engine Advertising) is usually lumped in with Search Engine Optimization but we believe that SEM should be kept separate from SEO. Both SEM and SEO involve “optimization” but paying for placement is much different from organic placement in search engine results. The only time we would recommend paying for sponsored listings is if you have money to burn as it adds up very fast. If you have the resources an ad campaign can be effective. Keep in mind that organic listings get much more attention than sponsored search engine results so put your effort where it counts the most.
Search Engine Optimization for Humans
It doesn’t matter if your website comes up as number one if nobody clicks on it.
What I mean by this is that the text chosen for your title tag and your web page description has to work for both the search engine and for the humans who are deciding, based on that information, whether to click on it or not.
Does the human visiting your site do what you want them to do? Call, email you, fill out a form, donate money, buy products? The bottom line is that your search engine optimization strategy must work for both the search engines AND the humans actually reading your content.
It doesn’t matter how many people visit your website if nobody contacts you.
Empowered Marketing includes initial search engine optimization with every website. We carefully consider search engine optimization every step of the way as your website is built. If you are in a competitive industry we recommend an ongoing program to make adjustments for optimum performance.