The internet is still very young and new technologies and
developments in existing technologies are appearing at an
extraordinarily quick rate. As these technologies change,
so do the terminologies that are used to describe them.
If you asked a dozen people to define the term "webmaster", you would get
a lot of different answers. A webmaster
may be the leader of a large team, including developers, writers,
marketers, designers, usability experts, technical support
people, and of course, search engine optimizers. A
webmaster may perform some of these duties or
even all of these duties alone.
The same is true for Search Engine Optimization. For many people, the
term is a new one, and they may have no idea what SEO means. To
others, SEO is synonymous with SEM -- Search Engine Marketing.
To us, however, there is a huge difference
between the two. The business of optimizing websites
for the search engines is an immensely difficult task.
It requires a massive amount of knowledge, time and effort to
keep up with the fastest moving industry on the planet.
It also requires incredible amounts of testing and
analytics. Here are just a few reasons that this job
should be left to the professionals:
- Search Engine Guidelines
are constantly refining their parameters for inclusion,
acceptable practices and even display properties. In the
past couple of years, we have seen major events like nofollow, the
introduction of Webmaster Central, new guidelines on paid
links, policies related to supplemental results at Google,
the launch of Yahoo! Site Explorer, the Sitemaps program and
- Crawling & Accessibility
Dynamic parameters, frames, non-HTML content ( PDFs are indexable, so
are Word documents, however, Flash does not always
allow access and a lot of Java and AJAX do not allow crawler
access at all ). Factors determining crawl depth ( inlinks,
backlinks, subfolders, fresh content, duplicate meta data ) - these all
change regularly and require constant attention.
- Duplicate Content
Penalties, page exclusion, supplemental results -
all of these await the site that does not
carefully monitor its content. Not only do you have to
pay attention to copies of the content on your site, you must
also be wary of others who might re-publish your work, licensing
systems, content sharing, as well as your
- Changing Algorithms
There are shifts
and advancements in the algorithmic rankings
constantly. Five years ago, it was all about keeping one
step ahead of those changes. Now, it is more about
predicting how advanced the engines might be 3-5 years from
now and perfecting your site to fit those sweet spots.
- Controlling Spiders &
301 and 302 re-direct rules and
interpretation, meta robots, tags, robots.txt and directives
that perform "legal" forms of cloaking ( showing different
content to engines -vs- users ) all demand careful attention
and proper discretion.
- Web Design
of professional design is critical. Search marketers
must put a critical eye to the layout of a site, the
organization of the elements on the page and the sites visual
appeal or you risk losing visitors, links and
- Content Creation
Creativity is required,
as are writing skills and experience in building compelling
web content. You have to know your users, your niche
and target your sites content appropriately. It starts with
great brainstorming and ends with great execution of
language, images, video, audio and interactive content.
- Link Building
Link requests, natural
link acquisition, Organic SEO, partnership networks and paid links, the adept
search marketer requires them all to make the link building campaign
- Keyword Research
more than a dozen different tools providing search keyword data, which
do you trust? How accurate are the estimates?
How do you run successful test campaigns? What keywords
show the right intent, focus, relevance?
- Keyword Usage
engines have made density formulas and keyword stuffing
obsolete, but usage remains an issue for sites large and
small. Using keywords in the proper places - titles,
headlines, URLs and anchor text has a big impact, but care
must be taken to avoid repetition and prevent the
search engines from interpreting your optimization as spam.
- International & Multiple Language
The search engines currently do an horrible
job with many International issues, particularly when
targeting multiple languages on a site or when offering
multiple sites in different countries with content in the
same language ( see duplicate content above ). Navigating this
minefield is daunting, to say the least, and worst of all is
that moving from country to country can often mean targeting
different engines or traffic sources based on what's popular
in that region.
- Localization &
Even if you are just optimizing
in one country, local search results, local engines,
yellow page style directories and geotargeting for ads or
content can make for trying work. The experts in these areas
apply their own specialized knowledge of how to get the most
for businesses seeking regional clientel.
- Appealing to Linkers
that requires SEO must appeal to two groups of users, those
who will buy/read/interact, and those who have the power or ability
- Web Analytics
What actions do
you track? How do you measure
success? Is A/B or multivariate testing required to get the
most out of your campaign? What can the hundreds of
trends and data points tell you about how your site
could be improved and what changes you should make?
- PPC Ads
Buying ads on Google, Yahoo!
or MSN...Pay per Click is not as easy as it looks!
- Banner Advertising
Are banner ads
right for your site? Are they a good way to monetize
short-term traffic? Can they help to bring you qualified
leads or find the right demographic to buy from you later?
- Contextual Ads
Will AdSense earn you
revenue? Is YPN a better deal? Will choosing contextual ads
lower your relevance or hurt your chances to gain inbound
- Search Results Pages
These change all the time - If you are
aware of all the possibilities early, you can often take
advantage of the modifications for ranking benefits, if not,
it can be a struggle to gain traffic even if you were a
Advertising? Paid content? E-commerce?
Consulting? Paid reviews? Not only do search marketers need
experience with how to monetize a site, they also need to be
able to identify the best choices and weigh the value of
certain tactics with long and short-term goals.
How do you leverage the power of
blog traffic, links and reputation to build your
- Viral Marketing
is a hot topic, and requires serious effort. It takes
a lot of trial and error, proper targeting, recognition
of the various social audiences and a strong dose
of content creativity and the ability to execute.
- Emerging Traffic Sources
Digg, Reddit and StumbleUpon, video sites and new forms of
ads (like paid reviews)now drive huge quantities of traffic.
You can not afford to ignore these sources in the
- Social Media
Social media can not be ignored.
Sites like MySpace, FaceBook, Flickr and Twitter all
have traffic, leads, networking opportunities and links
that can benefit your business.
No one person is
expert in all of this...The amount of expertise
required to provide great results is immense. That is why we are
here... we have a well trained and experienced staff that is ready to help you attain what you need to make
your web site all you want it to
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