Saturday, 6 October 2012

How Does SEO Help Businesses?

We’ve all heard how SEO can help businesses boost their online profiles by improving their search engine rankings. There’s no doubt it works, if done right, but there are many different strategies and technologies involved these days so getting it right as a novice can be complicated. Hiring a specialist SEO company to do the job for you can considerably increase your sales and your standing amongst clients or key stakeholders.

The first point to remember is that SEO does not work over-night, so persevere with it. Whether you are hiring an expert is this area or attempting to do it yourself, there are a lot of different facets involved. Firstly, keywords: Ideally, when somebody types your keywords into a search engine you want your website to appear on the first page of results. To do this, you have to carry out some keyword research. Identify your target audience and find out what kinds of terms they are most likely to use. It is easier to improve your search engine rankings with keywords if you work in a niche market where there is slightly less competition.

Once you’ve found your keywords, you need to get the density right. Keyword density is the percentage of times your keyword appears on the web page compared to the total number of words on the page. If you get this right you will achieve higher search engine positions, but if your density is too high you may be flagged for what is called ‘keyword spamming’.

Links are also used  as part of an SEO strategy. These can be internal links between pages of your own website to increase the visibility of important sections. Another method is to create reciprocal links with another website to ensure mutual traffic, but this is less widely used today. Website owners also often submit their sites to website directories which will then include a back-link. Basically, the more genuine back-links to your site, the better your rankings will be.

Social media links are gaining popularity as more and more businesses turn to sites such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to build business contacts and improve their visibility. Use Twitter as an example: of course you shouldn’t include a link to your website every time you tweet, but if you are posting a particularly useful bit of information or promoting an event, it is perfectly ok to give a link back to the info on your website.

Keywords and link building are just two examples of the wealth of SEO tactics at your disposal. Other areas, such as metadata, can be more complicated. We would recommend hiring an SEO Agency, at least initially, to help you understand how strategies can be successfully implemented. In time, if you are patient, you should begin to see the results as your search engine rankings climb and your website traffic increases.

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