SEO could benefit many businesses who are seeking to increase their online presence and drive more targeted prospects to their websites. Unfortunately the SEO industry isn’t known for its transparency which is confusing for businesses that are wondering just what exactly they’ll be getting in return for their investment.

The SEO industry in addition has attracted lots of cowboys who employ “black-hat” techniques that go against the policies of Google and the other search engines. Factors to consider that your SEO will be done using ethical “White Hat” techniques.

Businesses that unwittingly employ an SEO that uses these techniques may see short term results until Google discovers the footprints left behind by these techniques, at which point they will visit a negative effect on their search engine ranking positions. seo The black hat SEO offers quick fixes and is normally long gone by this point!

What’s With all the current Hats?

The term “Black Hat” originates from the old western movies, the criminals always wore black hats! The nice guys wore white hats, you will hear ethical SEO referred to as “White Hat” SEO. Remember the criminals always got their just deserts!

What Should your SEO be Doing for the Business?

It is very important know just what your SEO will undoubtedly be doing for you personally and how they will give you measurable results. Be skeptical of any SEO who offers a guaranteed ranking, it really is impossible to ensure a ranking with Google or any search engine!

Any SEO who is able to guarantee results without even knowing which keywords you need to target is using this as a marketing ploy, how could they guarantee results if you wished to compete for keywords like “Apple”, “Google” or “Facebook”?!

Without conducting keyword research it really is impossible to inform how likely the success of an SEO campaign will undoubtedly be and how long chances are to take. SEO can be an ongoing procedure for research, testing and analysis. It requires careful planning to identify the very best keywords and to then put a solid strategy in place to rank in serach engines for those keywords.

On-site and Off Site SEO

SEO considers factors that are both on-site and off-site. On-site SEO entails an analysis of your website. It involves considering many factors like the site structure, usage of keywords, the websites content, page loading times and the HTML and CSS that the website is made with. Good on-site SEO benefits the finish user and also really helps to avoid any technical “Gotchas” that se’s don’t like, such as duplicate content.

A good SEO will start by analysing your website and making recommendations to improve an optimise the site for both users and se’s. Off site SEO involves creating relevant backlinks from other sites to yours.

Each backlink is counted by the search engines as a vote for your site. Websites are given an authority score called Page Rank. Each time a site links for you it shares a little bit of its page rank with you, links from high authority sites share more of the pr than lower authority sites. Incoming links to a niche site are known as backlinks.

To Follow or even to Nofollow…

Some links carry no authority at all, many links carry a nofollow attribute that tell the search engines not to count that link as a vote. Webmasters and bloggers might add this attribute themselves if they don’t their link to be counted as a vote for the external site or it could be automatically added by the platform they are using to publish their content, this is the case whenever a site offers its user to include comments or content and the webmaster has little control over what links get developed by the sites contributors.

Links minus the nofollow attribute are termed “dofollow” and pass page rank from your page to the linked page. In HTML there is no actual dofollow attribute, dofollow happens by default in the lack of a nofollow attribute. You must never nofollow internal links as this will cause any page rank that could have been passed compared to that link to just evaporate!

Where Did YOU OBTAIN Those Links?

You need to ask your SEO how they will create backlinks, a good SEO will try to create a varied backlink portfolio for you personally. This portfolio should include quality value links that are found in bodies of text such as blogs. These usually carry probably the most page rank but also require the most are the SEO will need to build connections with blog owners and frequently provide the content themselves.

Any good SEO will look for quality over quantity, anyone promising a high number of links is most likely best avoided. The search engines prefer to see “Natural Links of Love”, several top quality links will go a whole lot further than many poor links.

Other linking strategies include using quality business directories or commenting on blogs and forums along with using social media and social bookmarking sites.

Link exchanges are best avoided as both of these way links don’t appear to be natural links. Search engines can see the Internet as a series of connected nodes and easily detect unnatural patterns like this.

Your Business, Your Needs

Your SEO should talk to you about your business needs and goals and also try to understand as much as they can about your target audience. If they don’t do that then they are unlikely to pick keywords which will attract and convert the proper audience for you business. They ought to conduct extensive keyword research and be able to identify the keywords which will bring in more of the right traffic. Traffic is useless if it doesn’t convert!

Added Value

Your SEO should also manage to research your competition and tell you what keywords they are targeting and also how much time it is likely to take to compete for the same keywords. They should also have the ability to come up with alternative strategies if those keywords are far too competitive for your budget or to bring in traffic when you work towards competing for the main keywords.

SEO takes time, it doesn’t happen overnight. Your SEO should be able to provide you with a monthly report that shows the way you are progressing through the search engine for your keywords. They should also be able to run PPC campaigns in your stead and also create content and copy for your site.

Many SEO’s will also be in a position to promote you via social media and advise you on other Internet marketing techniques such as building mailing lists for email campaigns.

The Bottom Line

The rate for an SEO varies an awful lot. Some agencies will charge up to 1000 a month! Your small business should be able to find a decent SEO for around 300 a month, this depends upon the amount of service required but 300 can purchase you an excellent campaign targeting 5 keywords.

The first month is usually a bit more expensive as this is actually the month that the on-site SEO takes place as well as the keyword and competitor research.

Some SEO’s offer a very cheap service, you get what you pay for and take into account that SEO takes a lot of time as it involves plenty of research, analysis and article marketing.

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