Search Engine Optimisation or SEO for short are techniques used to increase search engine traffic to a website or blog. Through several researches it has been shown that websites that get large search engine traffic on the internet have certain characteristics.
The job of SEO is to refine a given website or blog’s makeup to conform to those SEO best practices without undermining user experience, so as to attract visitors from search engines.
By following these SEO best practices a website or blog can improve their search engine performance and increase traffic. It’s like in school some students do well while others get poor results.
However, if a student with poor result indulges in habits of successful students, he will begin to see improvements in his own results. SEO works on the same principle.
Search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing remain the biggest source of traffic for most websites. However, to get traffic from these search engines, your website needs to rank high on the Search Engine Result Pages SERPs.
Research has shown that websites that make it to page one of the Search Engine Result Page get most of the traffic for any given keyword.
Following SEO best practices on your website or blog could help it rank higher on search engine SERPs and increase traffic. SEO will also help get targeted traffic to your website.
There is no use getting visitors looking for rings on your website if what you sell are shoes. So, through SEO, you can optimise your website to target keywords that are relevant to your business, leading to higher conversion rate (more sales).
A Website is not enough, SEO is critical
Normally when web designers market their web design services, they tell you that building a website gives you access to billions of people using the internet, this is not entirely accurate. A website does not give you access to internet surfers, SEO does.
Building a website without implementing SEO is like building a shopping mall inside a bush near a highway. Here the highway is the internet.
Thousands of people may drive through the highway daily but none will be sympathetic enough to swim through bush to patronize you because there is no access road. Implementing SEO is like building an access road connecting your shopping mall to the highway, making it accessible.
It does not matter how beautiful a website is, without SEO very few people will visit your site. In fact going overboard with site esthetics can even make your website rank low (like excessive and irresponsible use of Flash).
Hence, SEO is a very important part in building a website. It is a good idea to consult an SEO expert when building a new website or changing, moving, or upgrading an existing website. They will offer SEO guidelines that will guide the web developer to ensure good search engine results for your website.
SEO is very important because most internet users use search engines as their doorway to the internet. So, except you are a very popular brand, a very large proportion of your visitors will be coming from search engines. So, make sure you implement SEO on that your website or blog today.
Content is basic but very important for SEO
There are a lot of processes that constitute SEO, but content is the most important. This is why you hear the expression content is king. Content is important because the purpose of a website is to offer content.
So, writing clear, useful, unique, and keyword targeted text content (not Flash) on a website or blog is the most important part of a good SEO strategy.
Good content will be linked to by other websites, helping the link building aspect of your SEO strategy, improving your search engine results, and increasing traffic to your website or blog.
Good content will give visitors a reason to return, and turn visitors into customers. So, continuously adding interesting content on your website is good SEO and will boost your traffic.
Why pay an SEO specialist?
Yes, you can implement SEO on your website by yourself. However, employing an SEO specialist is not an entirely useless investment. An SEO consultant is always a good idea when starting a new website.
An SEO specialist can help you develop SEO guidelines for your website, which you can circulate with everyone responsible for maintaining your website, ensuring that your website is optimised for search engine on an ongoing process.
It is also a good idea to consult an SEO expert when changing domain name, changing site design, changing site structure, changing your Content Management System (CMS), etc.
The SEO expert working with your web developer will ensure that the changes will cause a minimum harm to your website’s search engine performance. This will ensure that you do not start from square one each time you make a big change on your website.
Outsourcing SEO services to an SEO will enable you focus on your core business. An SEO focuses on SEO, so he/she subscribes to magazines/blogs about SEO, attend SEO seminars, read SEO books, has been exposed to lots of SEO scenarios, and keeps tab on latest SEO best practices. Hence, he/she is in a better position to offer cutting-edge SEO services.
Blackhat vs Whitehat SEO strategies
Blackhat SEO strategy does everything possible (legal, but mostly illegal), to rank high on search engines. They sculpt websites in such a way as to deceive search engine robots into thinking that they are quality websites, leading to higher ranking.
Search engines frown on blackhat SEO because they result in low quality pages ranking high on search engine results reducing the quality of the SERPs.
Blackhat SEO can lead to spikes in traffic from search engines in a very short time, but if caught (which will eventually happen) can lead to a ban or penalty from search engines.
So, blackhat SEO is not a long-term strategy. In fact, you should avoid blackhat SEO as much as possible as the consequences of getting caught can completely destroy your business.
Whitehat SEO follows guidelines recommended by search engines. They do not attempt to deceive search engine robots. Whitehat SEO leads to gradual, but steady increase in search engine traffic.
It is the recommended long term SEO strategy. Implementing whitehat SEO will lead to free steady search engine traffic for many years to come.