Search Engine Optimization
Does your business website not have the traffic you expect? It's possible that your website lacks search engine optimization, which refers to a collection of strategies to improve your website's visibility on web searches for words related to your product or service.
A business should not underestimate the power of its website to increase its reputation online, bring in new customers and make sales. Search engine optimization is the way to go in making sure your website gets picked up by Google, Yahoo and Bing. It takes more than just sprinkling in keywords though, as SEO is both a science and art form.
Do You Need SEO?
Very often, you will always receive email from SEO firms and web consultants or agencies that send you email out of the blue.
I visited your website and noticed you are not listed in most of the major search engines and directories…. We are an IT company having expertise in …"
Reserve the same skepticism for unsolicited email about search engines as you do for sliming or diet pills or requests to help transfer funds from deposed dictators.
Google search engine includes organic search results and paid advertisement (denoted as "Ads" or "Sponsored") as well. Advertising with Google AdWords won't have any effect on your site's presence in organic search results.
Hiring the right SEO to improve your site is a big decision. A great time to hire is when you're considering a site redesign, or planning to launch a new site. This way, you and SEO consultant can ensure that your website is designed to be search engine-friendly from the bottom up.
Many SEOs and other agencies and consultants will provide useful services for website owners, including:
- Review of your site content or structure
- Content development
- Management of online business development campaigns
- Keyword research
- SEO training
- Expertise in specific markets and geographies.
While some unethical practice have given the industry a black eye through their overly aggressive marketing efforts and their attempts to manipulate search engine results in unfair ways, it also risk damage to your website and reputation.
One of the common scam is the creation of "shadow" domains that funnel users to a site by using deceptive redirects. These shadow domains often will be owned by the SEO company who claims to be working on a client's behalf. However, if the relationship sours, the SEO may point the domain to a different site, or even to a competitor's domain. If that happens, the client has paid to develop a competing site owned entirely by the SEO.
Another illicit practice is to place "doorway" pages loaded with keywords on the client's site somewhere. The SEO promises this will make the page more relevant for more queries. This is inherently false since individual pages are rarely relevant for a wide range of keywords. More insidious, however, is that these doorway pages often contain hidden links to the SEO's other clients as well. Such doorway pages drain away the link popularity of a site and route it to the SEO and its other clients, which may include sites with unsavory or illegal content.
There are a few warning signs that you may be dealing with the wrong SEO firm. You should trust your instincts and walk away if the SEO:
- Guarantee a #1 ranking on Google
- puts links to their other clients on doorway pages
- offers to sell keywords in the address bar
- doesn't distinguish between actual search results and ads that appear on search results pages
- guarantees ranking, but only on obscure, long keyword phrases you would get anyway
- operates with multiple aliases or falsified WHOIS info
- gets traffic from "fake" search engines, spyware, or scumware