SearchEngine Optimization. OptimizeOnline Howto BuildyourPageRank

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1 SearchEngine Optimization OptimizeOnline Howto BuildyourPageRank

2 SEO Buyers Guide 1. SEO Terms 2. Getting Started with SEO 3. Why You Need SEO 4. What SEO Can do for your Business 5. Questions to ask SEO companies Things to know about choosing SEO companies Introduction to SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of implementing tactics and strategies that will increase your website s position in organic search results. More complex, a search engine friendly website is one that has been built on elements appealing to the search engines including, but not limited to, quality content, generous and diverse external links, page rank, optimized on-page HTML code like title tags, meta descriptions, 301 redirects, real canonical, etc. and in the end, a site that is worthwhile to users. Of course, the process itself isn t as cut and dry as changing a few elements, and waiting for the search engines to notice. Most of the search engines, and most importantly Google (ranked first in search engine use in America with a 64% market share according to 2009 Nielsen ratings) use web crawlers to track potential growth in traffic, unique content, as well as a multitude of other factors to position page rankings. In the same sense that paid advertisements always show up at the top of search engine queries, having your website and any services and products offered on it featured at the top of search engine results will essentially be organic advertising. Not only will your website be the first site users will find when searching, those users could turn into continued visits (depending on your site retention) and will keep your page at the top. SEO is a way for businesses to promote their brand as well as increase exposure through online, industry specific content. Optimizing for search engines the most direct way for consumers to find you online is a growing practice for established businesses, as well as start-ups and entrepreneurs to meet the demands for instant access to information.

3 SEO Terms Here are some of the more standard SEO and online marketing terms that you will come across during your research. Terms SEO: Search engine optimization SEO Copywriting Spam Landing Page Link Link Baiting Link Building Page Rank Definition The art and science of publishing information and marketing in a manner that helps search engines to determine if your site is relevant to search queries. Writing and formatting copy in a way that will help make the documents appear relevant to a wide array of relevant search queries. Search engines also like to outsource their relevancy issues by calling low quality search results spam. Also junk mail. The page on which a visitor arrives after clicking on a link or advertisement. A citation from one web document to another web document or another position in the same document. Most major search engines consider links as a vote of trust. The art of targeting, creating, and formatting information that provokes the target audience to point high quality links at your site. Many link baiting techniques are targeted at social media and bloggers. The process of building high quality linkage data that search engines will evaluate to trust your website is authoritative, relevant, and trustworthy. A logarithmic scale based on link equity which estimates the importance of web documents. Since Page Rank is widely bartered, Google's relevancy algorithms had to move away from relying on Page Rank and place more emphasis on trusted links via algorithms such as Trust. Google Home Page Spider (Web Crawler) Google Bot Fresh Content The world's leading search engine in terms of reach. Google pioneered search by analyzing linkage data via Page Rank. The main page on your website, which is largely responsible for helping develop your brand and setting up the navigational schemes that will be used to help users and search engines navigate your website. Search engine crawlers which search or "spider" the web for pages to include in the index. Google's search engine spider. Google has a shared crawl cache between their various spiders, including vertical search spiders and spiders associated with ad targeting. Content which is dynamic in nature and gives people a reason to keep paying attention to your website. Many SEOs talk up fresh content, but fresh content does not generally mean re-editing old content. It more often refers to

4 creating new content. Dynamic Content Editorial Link No-follow Age Analytics Meta Description Trust Rank Keyword Research Search Engine Content which changes over time or uses a dynamic language (such as PHP) to help render the page. In the past search engines were less aggressive at indexing dynamic content than they currently are. Search engines count links as votes of quality. They primarily want to count editorial links that were earned over links that were bought or bartered. Using an algorithm similar to TrustRank, some search engines may place more trust on well known sites with strong editorial guidelines. Attribute used to prevent a link from passing link authority. Commonly used on sites with user generated content, like in blog comments, to prevent spam and random links. Some social networks or search systems may take site age, page age, user account age, and related historical data into account when determining how much to trust that person, website, or document. Software which allows you to track your page views, user paths, and conversion statistics based upon interpreting your log files or through including a JavaScript tracking code on your site. The meta description tag is typically a sentence or two of content which describes the content of the page. Search relevancy algorithm which places additional weighting on links from trusted websites (seeds) that are controlled by major corporations, educational institutions, or governmental institutions. The process of discovering relevant keywords and keyword phrases to focus your SEO and online marketing campaigns. A tool or device used to find relevant information. Search engines consist of a spider, index, relevancy algorithms and search results.

5 Getting Started With SEO Search engine optimization started out very simple you would submit your website to each search engine. After you did this, the various engines which would send a "spider" to "crawl" that page, extract links to other pages from it, and return information found on the page to be indexed. The process involves a search engine spider downloading a page and storing it on the search engine's own server, where a second program, known as an indexer, extracts various information about the page, such as the words it contains and where these are located, as well as any weight for specific words, and all links the page contains, which are then placed into a scheduler for crawling at a later date. [Wikipedia] A few years after this process got started (which was around the mid 90 s) website owners saw the great effects of having their website come up on the first page of search engine queries. And this is how SEO got started, according to Danny Sullivan, an industry expert; the term search engine optimization came around in A year later Google was founded, and changed the game for search engine optimization by implementing an algorithm to process which websites were relevant to each search query The algorithm wasn t too complicated at the time, but Google soon found that people were cracking their code, and more spam was being filed to the front page. Now Google and other search engines are continuously changing their algorithm and monitoring what tactics SEO organizations are using to keep their content relevant. By 2007 Google realized many companies where buying links to get their PageRank up, so they decided to put a stop to it, and incorporated a nofollow tag. This will allow any website owner to keep links in their site, but when tagged with a nofollow, they will not be counted when the search engine spiders crawl that site. With search engines becoming smarter to the SEO game, SEO organizations have implemented white hat and black hat tactics to keep up. White hat tactics are fair move techniques that will not penalize your company in search rankings. Black hat tactics on the other hand, are more deceptive, and can penalize your company by lowering your ranking, or not indexing your website at all. To get started with SEO, it is a good idea to first do a little research on your business website to see where you stand. Internet browsers such as Google s Chrome and Mozilla s Firefox both offer SEO specific analytics resources, such as SEO Quake. Download SEO Quake for your browser (currently supported on Firefox and Google Chrome) and after the install, any webpage you visit will show you its current page rank, as well as the last time it was cached and how old the page is. These results are directly related to how high websites will rank on a search engine.

6 Studies in online marketing have shown that a large majority of web users never go past the first page of results after inputting a search query, so increasing authority of your domain is the advertising equivalent to running commercials on prime time television. Real Time Factors In 2009 Google and other search engines realized the need for real time search. With the advent of social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, and blogs more and more people found they could find information as it was happening. A great example of this was during the Haitian earthquake at the beginning of Even news stations like CNN were getting relevant newsworthy information from Twitter. Bing for example, has incorporated a Twitter real time search within their search engine. If you go to you can type in a search query and see real time results from tweets. The only problem with this is not all tweets are relevant or have valuable information. Google has realized this and come up with Google Caffeine. Although this feature is not fully live at the moment, rumored to be around 80% live (as of May 3 rd 2010) it could change the SEO game. We don t know how much since it is not live yet, but having real time search could make things more exciting for SEO organizations.

7 Why You Need SEO It's no secret that today's business world is being swept up by the ever-growing technological revolution. In order to stay ahead of the curve, business owners are utilizing new avenues to find creative, yet effective ways to market their companies to customers. SEO is quickly becoming a major marketing tool for many businesses. Not only does SEO increase a business' visibility on the Web, exposing them to thousands of potential customers each day, but it is also a much cheaper option when compared to traditional forms of marketing, such as print/ direct mail, paid online advertising, and telemarketing. Having organic search results that both rank high as well as feature important consumer information on a search engine query can establish both trust in your brand as well as offer uncompromised advertising space.

8 What SEO can do for your Business Among other things, an SEO service can: - Rework your website so that it's more "search engine friendly" - Determine which keywords should be optimized within your site - Review your site's HTML code and make any necessary changes - Edit and/or create copy on your site that will increase traffic and search engine rankings - Stay abreast of any shifts in search engine algorithms that may affect how your site ranks If your company does not have the resources to maintain a blog, and update with both dynamic as well as fresh content, an SEO service can fill in the spaces where you need the most work. Many SEO companies also provide quality content writing an invaluable resource on the World Wide Web. Gone are the days of content dumping and link hording, where information that was neither useful or consumer and industry oriented populated websites for the sole purpose of link building and search engine results. Google, and all other successful search websites such as Yahoo, have consistently updated their algorithms to deal explicitly with black hat and ineffective link pages that provided duplicate, rehashed, and irrelevant content. While early adopters of the web relied on consistently churning out information with an abundance of links, their content crowded the web with useless keywords, rendering search query results ineffective for users. Dynamic and fresh content consistently updated and consistently linked by root websites with trusted authority are what crawlers look for and help with SEO.

9 Questions to Ask an SEO Company Selecting an SEO provider is an important business decision. Here are some key questions to ask your potential SEO company. What kind of results have they achieved? Most importantly, you should ask to see some of the results the SEO provider has achieved with past clients. Good companies keep detailed records of past client performance and will share samples of their work with you as a reference (and proof that they are skilled SEO professionals). Have they worked with anyone in your industry? An SEO provider who has experience is your industry is a huge plus. They will already know many of the keywords that are popular with your target demographic, and have likely spent time studying the marketplace for potential opportunities. What methods does the company use? It is important to ask how, specifically, the SEO provider plans to get you improved results with the major search engines. While the majority of SEO companies use ethical, above-board methodologies, there are some companies who still use unpopular black hat methods to get results. Stay away from these companies! If Google or Yahoo! finds your site is not acting in a compliant manner, you will be black-balled and lose any chance of seeing results from this, or any future program. Are there writers on staff or will you have to supply the content? Many SEO providers have copywriters and content development specialists on hand to write search-friendly copy and articles for your site. This can be a major plus because writing the materials yourself can take a great deal of time and effort. Do they provide reporting, and if so, how much does it cost? One of the keys to a successful SEO program is monitoring results and making the changes necessary to continually improve your standing with the search engines. Ask about the types of monthly reporting the SEO company provides, and what the cost will be for such services. Many SEO providers will ask you to sign a contract, in which you agree to a certain number of months of reporting services.

10 10 Things to Know About Choosing an SEO Company When implemented correctly, a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) campaign can generate leads and sales for your website in a targeted, cost-effective manner. Here are ten things you need to know about SEO that will get you to the top of the search rankings in your area of choice. 1) Don't use images to display important copy Displaying your text as a jpg, gif or other image may look fantastic, but it doesn't help you get results with search engines. Make sure your best text is just that - text! 2) Describe images using the ALT tag If you want to get the search engines to pay attention to your images, then describe them using clear and concise copy in the ALT tag. This will point Google and Yahoo! towards your pictures AND your words. 3) Take advantage of the Title Bar! The blue title bar at the top of your browser is one of the single most important places to put effective SEO copy. Use the Title Tag to describe your business in keyword terms that will resonate with the search engines (and potential customers). 4) Make every page unique Don't make the title and headline tags the same on every page. By making the copy specific to each page, you will help searchers reach the pages that are most relevant to them. 5) Have an expert review your HTML code The difference between success and failure in the world of SEO lies in the code that forms the basis of your site. Have an expert review your site for common HTML mistakes or hidden HTML opportunities. 6) Keep everything on the up and up Once you get black-balled by one of the major search engines, it is very difficult to regain your good name. Avoid SEO providers who make outlandish promises and keep their methods in the dark. 7) Monitor your SEO program Keep a close watch on how you're performing with the major search engines. If something isn't working to your satisfaction, get in there and start making adjustments to the HTML code and the copy. 8) Increase your relevance with press releases

11 Writing great press releases and submitting them to online PR distribution services is cheap and a very effective way to boost your search standings. 9) Write great copy and content Great site content that features crucial keywords is still the best way to build your status with Google and Yahoo! Write well and the results will follow. 10) Show some patience It takes time to see results from your SEO implementation. Keep a watchful eye on the results, but give things a month or two to take hold before making any changes to the program.

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