SEO, short for search engine optimisation, is the art of improving your website’s chances of being found in the search engines, and elsewhere on the net. And the phrase top SEO strategies covers the various activities done to make sure your site is found both in organic and paid searches, and in other places where web surfers may look for more information about your company or products. SEO is therefore an ever-increasing field, as companies realise just how important a well-optimized site can be to their success. However, what is SEO and how does it work?
SEO works by using targeted keywords on your web pages and in your marketing material. Keywords are the words users use to find your products or services, and these should be used in a way that optimises them for the search engines. The first step is to decide which keywords you want to use, and to set up a routine to monitor these keywords to see which are gaining momentum, and how to best implement them to your SEO strategy.
One area of controversy in the SEO world now concerns the algorithms used by Google, the leading search engine company. Many internet marketers believe this major company has strayed from its commitment to providing quality search results and are now penalising websites and leaving them out of their popular rankings. Google states that it has simply been unable to achieve this without banning some strategies, such as keyword stuffing. In fact, Google states it is working on a far-reaching algorithm update to combat these practices, but so far it is unclear which strategies will be affected.
It has long been suspected that some search results are being affected by unethical practices, such as keyword stuffing. The result is that some websites appear lower in the search results than they would have if only they had chosen a different keyword or set up their site differently. Keyword stuffing is a very old unethical SEO practice and was stopped almost ten years ago when Google introduced ‘penalty’ and ‘quarantines’ against certain techniques. However, some webmasters find ways around this, using tactics such as building up a large number of back links to their site using link farms or other dishonest methods. Google has issued warnings and penalties to many of these webmasters and in doing so, opened up the entire SEO industry to the common person, giving everyone the chance to produce effective SEO strategies.
Another SEO problem that has affected many businesses is the poor page speed. Page speed is a huge part of SEO, because it determines how often a visitor stays on a site and therefore how many times that person is likely to click on an ad or buy something. Google has recently taken steps to address this issue, with many new technical SEO tools being released in order to improve page speed. This is one of the reasons that SEO is so important. If a website is not quick to load, users are less likely to stay for very long, and if they do stay longer, they are more likely to look around for the next site. This means that search engines like Google keep a close eye on page speeds and have made technical SEO tools and techniques so that websites can meet their quality criteria.
The last major SEO problem is to do with ranking. SEO experts from all over have been battling it out for years now, with some of them claiming that they have the best techniques and systems, whereas others try to outperform each other to achieve first page ranking. There are many ongoing battles of this kind, and it is not clear which strategies will prove to be more successful as time goes by.
One way that SEO experts are fighting for top ranking is by using a multitude of technical SEO tools. These range from different ways of building link building, to optimizing content and more advanced keyword targeting. As far as link building is concerned, SEO experts will often target keywords that have just started to appear on Google’s organic list of keywords. By doing this, they hope to get a page one ranking for that particular keyword, or to at least achieve a high page rank for related keywords. Some of these strategies have proven quite successful in the past. Others, such as keyword tracking and link exchanges have not had much luck.
A technical SEO expert might also opt for trying to outsource some of their SEO work to an SEO company or might create content in a specific niche to ensure that it is as effective as possible. This is especially popular in the field of online shopping, where buyers are likely to enter a number of different product categories, and are therefore more prone to encountering competitors who have already established themselves in that market. In some cases, the SEO expert might choose to outsource some of their work to a freelance SEO writer who has exceptional writing skills, in order to make the most of that particular feature. However, there is no clear consensus on how much SEO work should be outsourcing.