Sunday, June 15, 2008

Components of SEO Strategy

SEO – Search Engine Optimization is defined in Wikipedia as "the process of improving the volume and quality of traffic to a web site from search engines via "natural" ("organic" or "algorithmic") search results for targeted keywords. Usually, the earlier a site is presented in the search results or the higher it "ranks", the more searchers will visit that site. SEO can also target different kinds of search, including image search, local search, and industry-specific vertical search engines." Most of the businesses which have web pages and participate in online advertising are at least vaguely familiar with this term. Search Engine Optimization is a sophisticated marketing strategy ultimately dedicated to improving site´s visibility to the internet public. SEO strategy takes into consideration what people search for and how search engine algorithms work, and combines various tactics to increase site´s presence on the internet, and consequently, to generate more traffic. Technological landscape changes too rapidly to define the strategy and tactics of Search Engine optimization in certain terms because certain algorithms of search engines are subject to frequent innovations. SEO is more capricious than fashion, that what was a new, blisteringly ´hot´ technique may be no longer useful in a month. Search Engine Optimization experts work around the clock to find the loopholes within the system to push their clients up on the search results page, the staff at the search engines computer labs work twice the time to find and fix the loopholes and to determine and discourage any strategy which might be used by the former to gain momentum. Some of Search Engine Optimization tactics consist of the website´s html code, structure and presentation, unique content which would be interesting to the users and is easily indexed by search engine robots, proper keywords, building external link inventory, and increasing site´s ´stickiness´. Three most consistent ways of increasing one´s ranking within search engines are creating authority by external link development, useful and compelling site content, and finally, by selecting the right keywords. Relevant links to your site greatly help you to increase the ranking of your site. Not just any links, however, the highest is the rank of the other site, the higher authority the link carries. Any links from government websites, or other major, ´reputable´ sites of unions and organizations are recognized by robots as the highest letter of recommendation. Links from personal pages, small business, and small websites with low ranking do play a role to a degree, but are not nearly as influential. It is possible to buy links, but this merely increases the quantity and not the quality; for the purposes of high ranking within search engines one link from a reputable source is weights more than a hundred links from questionable sources. In terms of where it will get If your business is to rank well, the importance of having authoritative links from ´quality´ websites cannot be stressed enough. Whether you are an entertaining site which makes profit from advertisement, a merchant or a service provider you want your visitors to spend as much time browsing your site as possible. As part of ranking the site search engine robots take into consideration the time visitors spend on the site. (Next time you are studying websites of your competitors – try to gather as much information in the smallest amount of time possible. If you have an addictive habit of frequently spending a significant amount of time there, you are increasing their search engine ranking. The more fresh, interesting and relevant your content is – the better. HTLM text copy is considered to be the most search engine friendly. Large images and complicated graphics weight down the site, and make it more difficult for the indexing robots to crawl it properly. To bring your site higher on the organic search listings content rich site is required. Content has to match the your keywords, if you are selling bananas wholesale, content about weather in South America, fruit plantation and history about fruit evolution might be interesting, but is only vaguely related, hence while it might improve the site stickiness, it won´t score high on the relevance scale. Well thought – out content development is a key component of SEO efforts. Keywords selection is as simple or as difficult as figuring out what words searchers are going to use when they search for your product or services. Keywords serve a dual function; they must bring traffic to your site, and they must be specific enough to bring the targeted audience. If you are selling antique cars, keywords like ´car´ and ´auto´ are fairly useless because they are too broad and do not reflect the nature of your business. They also tend to be very busy – in all likelihood there are hundreds of websites, selling new and old cars, but only a few make it to the first page of the search engine results. Statistics show that searchers generally don´t go past page two – which means virtual invisibility, pun intended, to the rest of the sites under these keywords. The ones who are fortunate enough to be displayed on the first pages of search engine results receive vast majority of all traffic – those who are searching for toy cars, pictures of cars, car history etc included. Should you opt to use sponsored search to promote your business, be aware that the same rules apply and at a price. A healthy balance between cheap obscurity and luxurious greatness is highly recommended. Successful SEO may require a continuous improvement and optimization of site´s content, HTML coding and keywords. That much is certain. To know what other strategies will be effective in the near future – stay tuned. Today, no expert can predict it with a complete certainty.


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