A Guide to SEO and why you need it

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August 21, 2012

For anyone who has ever tried to set up or manage a website, whether through work or for personal reasons, you will have experienced the joy of Google rankings.  The worldwide web is continually evolving, and as such websites move up and down the Google listings according to the search terms that are entered.  This is a problem if your website continually falls to the second or third page of results for your preferred search terms.

Whilst you might be fooled into thinking this movement along the rankings is merely accidental, it is in fact all down to the very clever Google algorithm, which closely monitors website performance in a number of areas and ranks them accordingly.

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is the method by which websites can ensure they receive the best possible rank.  It refers to the structure of a web page or site and the ease by which it can be found, read and indexed by the search engine according to a long list of requirements.  These requirements are, on the whole, a big secret, and making sure clients websites meet these criteria are what makes the job of an SEO professional challenging and rewarding.

Many website owners are now turning to professional SEO agencies rather than trying to carry out this complex work alone.  If your site has been properly optimized it can make the difference between huge success and epic failure, particularly if you have something to sell in a competitive market.

Think of it as opening a land based store, and designing and spending a lot of money on magazine advertising to announce your grand opening, only to realise you failed to include your address and contact number so nobody can find you anyway.

SEO professionals will carry out substantial research to decide which techniques to employ to help a site move up the Google rankings.  These techniques range from updating the content on the site itself, to amending Meta data for your site, tweaking it to make it as appealing as possible according to your genre.

Search Engine Optimisation is a tricky game, and whilst the rewards for doing the job well are huge, the repercussions for making a mistake can be even greater.

Problems generally arise when strategies are implemented which go against the preferences of the search engines.  These can include filling a page with keywords and hidden links with the express aim of reaching the top of the rankings.  These underhand techniques are known as ‘black hat’ and can result in hefty penalties and being moved even further down the rankings.

Good optimisation is the key to the success of your online campaign.  Whether your aim is increased sales, converting leads or just increased traffic, there will be an SEO professional to help you achieve your aims.

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