Austin SEO Inc. – SEO Company Ratings, SEO and Web Design Instruction, and Consulting
Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is becoming more and more important. With Google’s algorithms changing the rules about how websites appear in search results, website operators and business owners have to be more conscious of quality content on their websites.
What is Professional SEO?
Search engine optimization, or SEO, refers to the process actively transforming a website to increase traffic by improving its rank in a natural, or “organic,” search. When most people search the internet, they only consider the results that appear on the first or second page of search results. A simple search can yield over a million results. Professional search engine optimization companies use techniques to make a website more visible to the search engines, so that the site will likely come up on the first page of a search. There are different strategies and techniques used to optimize websites for search engines. Ultimately, the more user-friendly a site is and the better the content within its pages, the higher it will rank during a search and the more potential traffic it will receive.
Why are Professional SEO Services Important?
The way search engines are able to pull up search results for keywords is through a complex system of indexing and linking pages, determining their relevance, and rating their popularity. In the past, webmasters have been able to manipulate the system by including hidden text and programming code in order to receive more traffic. These are often referred to as “black hat SEO” techniques, which are discouraged in the industry and will result in eventual removal from the search engine.
“White hat SEO” techniques are the practices that lead to natural search results that are helpful to the internet user and promote the search engine’s mission of identifying what kind of information users are looking for and providing it to them. Common techniques that help to promote a website while simultaneously increasing the popularity and trustworthiness of a site include an easy-to-navigate site, unique content, quality content, and providing what internet users are looking for.
SEO must be considered not only as related to internet users and potential customers, but also in relation to the competition. Creating value in a website and making sure internet users can find what they are looking for is the most important aspect of professional SEO. Search engines are continuously coming up with new ways to make sure their searches are producing accurate results, and they will remove sites from their results if they are found to be deceiving the search engines and internet users. Companies are realizing this and updating their websites accordingly. For those that are not using professional SEO techniques, online traffic will suffer because the competition is likely using SEO techniques. In other words, if you are not using SEO techniques in your web design, your competition probably is and will leave you in the dust.
What about Keywords?
Keywords are the input from users that the search engines use to find web pages that will be of interest to the internet user. As the search engines find web pages on the internet, they categorize them into smaller groups based on the keywords that appear in the page. This makes results faster for the internet user. Generally, the more specific your keywords, the easier time users will have finding you. For example, on a pet website, don’t just use the word “dog,” use other words including breeds of dogs and other pet related words. But be sure they actually relate to the content of the web page. Using black hat techniques to insert keywords to attract traffic will result in eventual removal from the search engine.
Researching keywords is an important part of the overall SEO process. Knowing which keywords are important to your target market is essential for attracting the right kind of traffic. In the past, webmasters considered any keyword that was relevant to the website important. But search patterns have changed, and the more specific the keywords, the more targeted traffic visit the website. “Long tail” keywords are keywords or phrases that are more specific than single word searches and comprise the majority of searches performed through search engines. Long tail keywords also tend to result in a higher number of conversions at the website. The keyword “puppies,” or even “puppies for sale,” can bring up tens of thousands of search results for users to wade through. But concentrating on specific long tail keywords like “miniature schnauzer puppies for sale in North Carolina” will more likely attract the right kind of traffic to your website and result in more sales.
So, What Makes Good SEO?
Search engines are always looking to provide what they think the internet user is looking for when they type their keywords and hit Search. There are four main traits that great websites share:
1. High quality, unique content that is relevant to the website
2. Easy to use website with logical navigation
3. Provides information and solutions to the specific query
4. Intelligently designed and capable of working with an array of internet browsers
Obviously, the mechanics of the search engines cannot evaluate websites like human users can, and predict what humans are looking for in their searches. But there are many sophisticated algorithms used by the major search engines that work around this problem, actually taking into account what humans think of the website. Using metrics that gauge how popular a website is and searches people use to get there can help the search engines decide how to rank sites in their results.
Traffic and backlinks signal to the search engines that a site is popular. When a site is popular, that means that it must have quality information users are looking for. Links from other pages are a sign that people want to share this website and its information with all the people they know. Thus, it must contain quality information that is related to the keywords it displays throughout its site. But just like all SEO techniques, the efforts need to be organic. If you are leaving links to your site on every comprehensible blog you can find, the search engines will become wise to the tricks and remove you from their search results.
DIY or Hire a Professional?
This all depends on the comfort level of the webmaster. Search engines want websites to provide quality content when they appear in their search results. So the major search engines provide free tools to help figure out how to optimize a website. Google, for example, offers Google Webmaster Tools for free. These tools are designed to help webmasters improve their visibility in Google’s search results and to track a number of data about the website. There is more than enough information available for webmasters to work SEO into their websites on their own.
On the other hand, pro-quality SEO is not as easy to achieve as it sounds. A lot of strategy goes into figuring out how best to get the right users to your website. There are many professional search engine optimization services that will set up a website for SEO and monitor the site in order to tweak the efforts according to how well the website is performing. They can analyze performance and recommend improvements that are tried and true to the industry, using the expertise they have accumulated through their work with various websites.