The confusing world of search engine optimization and the underworld of seedy "optimization experts" has been flipped upside down. What was once a difficult and sometimes, seemingly magical way to market your business, has since been simplified down to only a couple of main points.
In addition, it's become much easier to ignore all those spammy emails from unscrupulous characters that want to optimize and build massive back links to your website for hundreds of dollars per month.
Here are the two most important points to understand about Search Engine Optimization (SEO):
Get your website code in order. This is a practical concept, but not always properly implemented. The code of your website is what search engines see when they visit. If they are unable to decode your website in the way they expect, it's possible that they might not index your website appropriately. This also includes ensuring the content on your website is relevant to fit in line with what people are likely to search, not just in order to find you, but actually get them to buy from you.
There's a simple way to check whether your website is coded properly. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), provides an easy to use validation tool to check your website to ensure it's coded properly. W3C is an international community where Member organizations, a full-time staff, and the public work together to develop Web standards and is led by Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee and CEO Jeffrey Jaffe.
All things considered equal, websites that are coded properly are more likely to perform better on the search engines, look more consistent on different web browsers and provide the maximum compatibility by your visitors across different platforms. Translation = a properly coded website is good, a poorly coded website is bad.
Check the BannerView.com website to see how it validates.
Does your website come back with lots of errors and warnings? If so, your website may need a code audit to help fix these errors. BannerView.com, via our BannerWSO service, can ensure that your website is coded properly to have the best chance at SEO success. Not only do we validate your code and make corrections where needed, but we do a complete analysis of your website to make sure your content is properly positioned to get the maximum results.
Build quality back links. This is where spammy SEO people have been making their living for the last decade, but no more. A back link is a link back to your website. When someone links to your website they are creating a back link to you. Back links have been gamed for a very long time because it used to be that websites with more back links would perform better on the search engines.
What spammy SEO experts would do is find a bunch of places on the Web where they could either post a free back link to your website or pay someone a small sum to link back to your website. Google has completely cracked down on this tactic by devaluing these links or in some cases, penalizing websites that have these type of back links.
What the search engines are looking for now are quality and natural back links. A high quality, natural back link would be something like a respectable news organization that wrote a story about your company and put a link to your website in the story. It could be a local news organization or a national organization.
There are many ways to build quality back links, but they all take time and require a lot of hard work, something that was previously bypassed by hiring spammy SEO consultants. Implementing a traditional public relations campaign or guest blogging are two great ways to build high quality and natural back links. However, those are both easier said that done. For a successful PR campaign, your organization needs to be newsworthy and to make guest appearances on respected blogs takes good writing skills, many connections and time.
There you have it. In a nutshell, it takes a properly coded website with relevant content and high quality natural back links to drive traffic and sales. Or put another way, hard work, money and time. Wow, imagine that!
I do have one little tip that could accelerate this process. Results will vary and sometimes you need a little luck so don't say I didn't warn you first. Here are two articles that may help:
SEO in the Fast Lane: Your Legit Shortcut to Readers, Sales, and Search Rank
|About the author
Mark Cenicola is the president and CEO of BannerView.com, developers of BannerOS, the software that helps companies turn their websites into powerful business tools. Mark is also the author of the book "The Banner Brand – Small Business Success Comes from a Banner Brand – Build it on a Budget." Read Mark's full biography. You can find him tweeting on Twitter and starring in videos for the company's YouTube channel.
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