I know, I know, another blog about Search Engine Optimization (SEO)? Well it’s a hot topic with our clients and often an area of confusion. SEO is simply optimizing a site to ensure that it is found when doing a search on Google, Yahoo or other search engines. Now the term ensure may be too strong because although SEO is important, there’s no magic to guarantee placement. A site that ranks third on the first page on Google one day may be at the bottom of page two the next day due to changes in the way in which the search engine looks at the site. And it may also vary form person to person–but that’s another story.
Although this can be a bit frustrating we do know that there are a few things we can do to make sure a site improves its ranking. First and most important is content–making sure that the keywords used in a search are in the content of a website is essential. The more comprehensive the content of the site, the more likely it will rank well on search engines.
The second way to improve search engine rank is to make sure that the keywords used in a search and in the content are included the meta and title tags . The most important terms should be included in these 2 tags. This is also important because the title and meta description may be what the search results will show and you’ll want to make sure that it correctly conveys your message.
Also important to SEO are incoming links. The more links you have from other sites to yours, the higher you may rank. The key here, however, is QUALITY links. You’ll often see ads to get you 15,000 links. Most of these won’t be applicable to your site and can even hurt your ranking. Quality links would be regional, industry directories, etc.
The bottom line is…SEO is a continuous process. Since search engines constantly update their way of looking at sites, SEO is not a one time fix and although there are no guarantees, it’s not something you can ignore.
How is SEO like a college degree? With a degree you’re not guaranteed to get the good job, but without it, you’re not likely to get it. Similarly, SEO doesn’t guarantee a first place search engine rank, but without it, you’re not likely to be found.