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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Online business management: What you should know about SEO

Website SEO can be improved via ongoing SEO adjustments
Implementing SEO techniques helps boost ranking on search engine results
By Valerie Stout Cyrus

Just about anyone who needs to get their name out there, whether it be a business owner or the lead singer of a band, cannot do so without having a web presence. In today's technological world, not having a spot on the World Wide Web is one of the most damaging things that a person can do to their marketing campaign. This is where search engine optimization (SEO) comes in, and those who know how to properly employ these techniques will definitely see an increase in their consumer base.  

SEO in a nutshell

Search engine optimization is pretty self-explanatory. It is the optimization of a website in order to achieve a higher ranking on search engine results. The sad truth is that most online searchers never go past the first page of results on Google, Bing, Yahoo or whatever other search engine they may be using. This makes it imperative for an individual to get their site ranked on the first page of these sites. SEO companies like Everspark Interactive spend hundreds or hours analyzing different methods of getting websites on the first page of search results and keeping them there consistently.

Search engine optimization employs various techniques to achieve this coveted higher ranking. When search engines crawl the web looking for the best websites to return as search results, they look at multiple factors on each site. Knowing what to focus on, then, is the best way to achieve a high search engine ranking.

Components of successful SEO

As mentioned, there are various aspects of a successful SEO campaign. Employing just one of these techniques may help, but it's essential to focus on as many of these factors as possible.

Link building: Link building is the process of getting other websites to provide links on their page leading to a specific website. Search engines see a website as more relative if they have inbound links from other pages. It's important to note, however, that these links should come from high quality web pages.

Guest posting: Providing guest posts to other blogs is a way to increase the aforementioned inbound links and gain exposure to a wider audience. A lawn service company, for instance, could provide a blog to a popular gardening website on how to naturally kill weeds. It's important to ask the website to provide at least one link back to the website when posting.

Content marketing: Content marketing is the next big thing in online advertising, and it also greatly benefits a company's SEO. Creating content, such as informative articles, blogs or videos, is a great way to bring people to a website. These individuals will feel as if they're finding their way to the website themselves rather than being advertised at. This is known as inbound marketing, and it can do amazing things for SEO.

Other vital aspects: Though the aforementioned aspects of SEO are essential, it's important not to forget the more mundane SEO practices. From providing a good concentration of focused keywords to consistently updating the site, these minor tactics can have a major effect.

Why bother?

Many individuals wonder why they should even focus on using SEO. After all, it's possible to simply purchase ads at the top of Google results, right? Unfortunately, between 70 and 80 percent of people actually ignore these ads and focus on organic results. In fact, about 70 percent of all clicks on search engine results are on organic links.

Some webmasters try to take shortcuts by purchasing links to higher PageRank sites. According to Wikipedia, "...Google has publicly warned webmasters that if they are or were discovered to be selling links for the purpose of conferring PageRank and reputation, their links will be devalued (ignored in the calculation of other pages' PageRanks). The practice of buying and selling links is intensely debated across the Webmaster community. Google advises webmasters to use the no follow HTML attribute value on sponsored links."  Employing SEO tactics seems to be a much better plan than taking these shortcuts.

Search engine optimization can take a website to all new heights. Statistics have shown that around 90 percent of people make their purchasing decisions after doing research online, so having a strong website that's easy to find is vital. Simply understanding this and properly employing the aforementioned techniques can do amazing things for a company, organization or anyone else with the need for marketing. 

About the author: Valerie Stout Cyrus is a freelance writer and link builder who frequently researches SEO trends. She has found that Everspark Interactive is an innovative full-service SEO company that consistently produces positive results for their clients.

* Image license: MoneyBlogNews; CC BY 2.0