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Demystifying Search Engine Optimisation

Written by Brett Sidaway, January 19, 2011

Demystifying Search Engine Optimisation

What is SEO

Every business owner who has a web site must know that to keep their head in the game they need to be fully aware of the importance of having their business listed on and easily findable on all the major search engines as this is probably the most important piece of the jigsaw of an effective Internet marketing strategy.

When you open your email inbox daily, it is not a surprising fact to see at least one email from companies pitching SEO service with promises of guaranteed top spots on Google, Yahoo and Bing as well as all other major search engines. At this point you may begin to wonder how these types of companies promise you top spot rankings for a low cost, whilst others charge thousands for the same top spot ranking. Many people are under the illusion that there is a secret formula that is used for getting ranked on the first page of all major search engines and it is this myth that leads to confusion about what is actually required to achieve that goal of first page ranking. So, let’s clarify what actually makes your web site rise and rank at the top.

Using the right Keywords and Keyword phrases

In simple terms, these are the words and expressions that you think your customers are most likely to type into the search engine when they are searching for products or services offered by you. It is very important when building your SEO strategy that the right keywords are chosen to ensure your strategy is successful. Companies that promise to get you ranked on the first page for a low cost, tend to suck you in by selling you offers like, “Guaranteed first page ranking on Google with 10 keywords”. Although, an attractive deal, the reality is these companies use keywords that low quality keywords and less competitive words that not many people enter when searching. These companies apply this offer not just to you, but to all companies in the same industry, therefore showing little interest in your business or your customers. They ask you for your chosen keywords that you want people to use when searching for you, when in actual fact you are supposed to be hiring them for their expertise and knowledge. Choosing the correct keywords is the most important and critical part of a successful SEO campaign. You need to seek out your audience as this is what drives your search engine optimisation efforts. The low cost companies tend to focus more on keywords ignoring the bigger picture – your customers. Optimising a website with keywords used by shoppers not in your audience may well guarantee you high ranking but if that audience are the wrong audience, you won’t see the return you are hoping form your position. Before hiring an SEO company to take on your project, go back to the drawing board. Ask yourself who is your market? who do you want to attract? and what will they be searching for? Once you can answer both of these questions, then you can start your SEO campaign.

Keyword Placement: It is all about the location

Once you have your chosen keywords, you need to strategically place them in various areas on your web pages. It is very important to have keyword rich pages that have strong title tags, excellent Meta data and content. Providing content that is of good quality will result in better organic ranking in the search engines which will lead to more people clicking you. Be careful however not to overload your page with keywords (known a s keyword stuffing) and repeat the same content in lots of different places as this can hinder your SEO efforts and even prevent your web pages from being displayed in search results.

Link building strategy

One of the prominent attributes of search engine optimisation is link building. Inbound links are seen as a “vote of confidence” or a “recommendation” from other websites, meaning that your website is seen as a more credible and reputable source of information. Building links from a variety of good quality and relevant websites will help improve website’s search engine ranking. Considering factors such as whether the links are one-way vs. reciprocal, do-follow and the Google Page Rank of the page linking to your website all influence the effect of your link building strategy. To create a successful SEO campaign with guaranteed results requires a lot of planning, following industry bets practices and 100% commitment to the entire journey of the SEO campaign. Using a reputable search engine optimisation consultancy, with a proven track record in delivering results can be worth its weight in gold. Over the next few weeks we will be covering a series of SEO topics in more depth. Please follow us @opaceweb on Twitter for information on blog updates, and feel free to subscribe to our feed.

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