Translating the Language of SEO
With the expansion of online traffic and the irreplaceable nature of having an online presence for any business, the ubiquitous nature of companies offering Search Engine Optimization (SEO) services and tips can be overwhelming at the most and confusing at the least. To those who are not technologically gifted, it can be difficult to traverse the complex language often used to sell the benefits of SEO. What follows aims to give those users who are struggling to ascertain how they might go about maximizing productive online traffic as well as choosing the right company to assist them with the task.
Search Engine Optimization, contrary to certain definitions, is not simply increasing online traffic to one’s website through popular keyword usage and links to other websites. In order for SEO to have a positive effect for any given individual or business, the increased online traffic must be targeted, strategic, and encourage repeat visits. There is little to no point of casting too wide of a net simply to increase overall number of hits for a site, as this will not benefit business in the long term. Rather, a business needs to understand the needs, wants, and behaviors of their target consumers in order to maximize content and keyword usage to appeal to this population. The ultimate goal is to target repeat visitors and increase overall conversion rates, in order for there to be any long lasting positive effects.
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The amount of knowledge required to effectively optimize a website is far more than the average user will be equipped with; which is why a myriad of companies offering their SEO services has emerged. The language of optimization experts is foreign to those not well versed in any and all aspects of the programming world; one should think of an SEO expert as a translator in this regard. The issue arises then, as to how one who does not speak this technical language will know which companies will do a decent job, and which ones are not worth the money. There are a few basic tips that any individual, regardless of technical skill, can use to choose the right company.
The first step is fairly commonsensical; asking for recommendations from friends, family, business partners, community members etc. As in any business, word of mouth is one of the best ways to ascertain quality of work, customer service, and long terms satisfaction. Another excellent source of information can be found on online forums, where assuredly there will be others asking the same questions (though be tentative as to wholeheartedly trusting all sources on these forums). When potential companies have been identified, use search engines to seek out reviews of their work; if negative reviews come up on more than a few occasions then move on to other companies. Another helpful tip when traversing the various websites of possible SEO companies is to be wary of overly boastful and hyperbolic language (such as claims of being able to guarantee a number one ranking in all search engines or to guarantee 99% more traffic).
Hiring an SEO company is the best path for most individuals, but one must be careful in selecting a service that follows search engine guidelines, understands their clientele, is realistic about results, and has optimized their own website in an effective fashion. Finding a service that meets all these requirements simply takes a little time and effort; use family, friends, forums and common sense to find the right company.