Search engine optimization, commonly referred to as SEO, refers to the various technical processes involved in improving your website’s visibility in the search engines. Depending on who you ask, SEO could be further defined in either of the following ways:
Methods that intend to artificially manipulate the search results through the strategic use of keywords in written content and HTML elements (such as meta tags) and aggressive link-building routines.
Methods designed to help the search engine robots make sense of your website, such as relevant and authoritative content, responsively designed webpages and careful keyword optimization.
The former methods are often referred to as black-hat SEO, since they effectively exist to fool the search engines into ranking your website above others. However, any reputable provider of expert SEO services will approach optimization using the latter methods. These SEO tactics are tried and tested, sustainable and ethical.
Do You Need SEO Expert Services?
The search engines are getting cleverer with every major algorithm update, but they’re still a long way off working like a team of real people. Due to the fact there are almost a billion websites in the world, it is completely impractical for humans to index and catalogue the constantly growing amount of content on the Internet. As such, Google and other search engines use complex algorithms to deliver search results. Their robots, also known as crawlers, work tirelessly to scan the Web for new content and try to make sense of factors such as subject matter and quality before indexing it in the search engine databases.
Numerous complex actions take place when a search engine crawler visits your website and tries to determine the quality, relevancy, authority and subject matter of its content. The crawlers scan websites for things like relevant keywords, broken links, metadata, mobile-friendly user experiences and much more. However, SEO doesn’t just take place on your website itself. The crawlers also use links to your own website elsewhere on the Internet to help determine the quality and relevancy of the content, hence the importance of link building as an SEO tactic.
Visual content must also be optimized for the search engines. After all, search engine crawlers will have difficulty determining the subject matter of an image if there is no accompanying caption, title or alt text to describe the image. In other words, your website needs to pay attention to SEO so the search engines can understand your content and display it in relevant search results.
Essential SEO Methods to Master
The search engines are constantly cracking down on websites that use manipulative SEO tactics. However, sustainable and ethical SEO methods exist to provide an excellent user experience, value-adding content and easy access for the search engine crawlers. As such, SEO becomes a more sophisticated discipline every year, while dated or black-hat techniques put your website at an increased risk of getting penalized by Google or even removed from its indexes altogether. Following are some of the most important tactics that hiring professional SEO expert services can take care of for you:
Keyword optimization that takes search intent into consideration rather than simply matching different keywords to different pages. Ever since the launch of Google’s Hummingbird algorithm in 2013, the search engine tries to determine the intent of its users rather than solely matching the search terms entered to the keywords in pages.
Improving a website’s URL structure so that both the search engines and your visitors can make sense of the Web addresses. Today, most websites are dynamic, often resulting in addresses that consist of meaningless strings of numbers and other characters rather than permanent links containing keywords that actually make sense.
A website needs to offer an optimal user experience across all Internet-enabled devices in order to succeed in the search results. Most notably, Google rolled out its mobile-friendly algorithm update in April, 2015, with the intention of prioritizing mobile-friendly websites in search results delivered on mobile devices.
Optimizing your websites link profile is another critical step to take. Many businesses used aggressive link-building strategies in the past, the result being that they have backlinks to their websites located on irrelevant and low-quality websites. By contrast, links which have been earned and placed on quality, relevant websites act as an endorsement for your own website.
The proper completion of meta elements in the code of your website, such as the titles and descriptions that accompany your listing in the search results. Alt text for images is also important, as are filenames and captions, since they help the search engine crawlers make sense out of visual content. This metadata needs to be optimized for the search engines.
Localized Search engine optimization for local businesses. Local SEO relies on delivering relevant search results to people in a specific geographic area. Fortunately, it’s a simpler discipline than general SEO, since there’s far less competition involved. Local SEO involves publishing consistent contact information and targeting local keywords, such as place names. Using a plugin like Yoast local SEO is great for this.
If you’re looking to hire SEO expert, you’ll want to make absolutely sure they use sustainable methods, such as those above. These methods will help ensure your website climbs up the ranks in the increasingly competitive marketplace without falling foul of future Google algorithm updates.
The Cleveland SEO Guy, Danny Todd says 'It’s not what you sell; it’s how you sell it. He understands that sometimes the best brands get left behind because their web design and SEO has become outdated. The Internet is always changing! Google and the other search engines are always adapting! Keep your brand current and reach Google’s #1 spot.