We have been developing websites since the early 90s, and have watched as web site and search engine technology has changed and developed.
Search Engine Optimization is what makes your page easy for a search engine to read and understand. There are some ways that a web page should be structured so that it is easier for the search engines to find your keywords and to help them figure out which topics are the most important. So we use things like title tags, alt tags, and keyword-rich headers, etc.
Optimizing a site for search engines is not what makes your page rise to the top of search results. That usually falls more into the category of search engine marketing and we don’t specialize in that. However we can put you in touch with someone that does. (contact us for a referral)
Sorting out the facts before you hire anyone
When researching SEO, you are probably going to find a lot of misinformation, incredible promises, and a lot of snake-oil that costs more than your entire website did. So here are some fundamental facts to help you sort through it all:
“Black Hat” vs “White Hat”
Some SEO experts will gladly charge you hundreds or even thousands of dollars — but before you fork out a lot of money, be sure to find out exactly what they will be doing. Artificially loading your content with keywords or creating posts and pages for the express purpose of linking to you are ways of gaming the system. They do not work, and more importantly, they can get you banned from search engines. If a search engine suspects that you are trying to cheat, your domain could be removed from their index altogether. Do not deal with an SEO person that is unable or unwilling to disclose specifics about exactly what they will be doing and how it works. Ask for examples.
Search engines are designed to find content-rich sites with credibility.
They look at several things in order to determine this, but the most important things are:
1) Relevant content: Search engines will look at how many times a keyword or phrase pops up in your site’s content. It is important before you begin to know what keywords your users are looking for, and to try to include those words in your content. When you do this, be natural. Search engines know when you are intentionally loading your content with keywords. You can’t fake good content. Search engines know the difference!
Current content: This means you change it often and keep it up to date. Blogs are great for this. This is another reason having us develop your site in WordPress is a good idea, so that you can edit it often and keep a blog if you wish.
2) Incoming Links: The way search engines determine credibility is by looking at how many sites link to you, and if those sites themselves are credible, then their “opinion” (link) counts for more. This is a big reason that people pay to have banner ads on popular sites — it’s not so much that people will click on the banner (although you hope they will) it’s for the boost to your search engine ranking you will get by having a large website link to you. This is why ensuring a high rank in search engines can cost a lot of money.
When interviewing SEO experts, be sure to find out exactly what your SEO expert will be doing down to the small details.
There is always more to know — have questions? Let us consult with you.