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Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the art and science of getting your website into the top of the search results for major search engines. SEO is one of the most cost effective advertising mediums. Furthermore, SEO is completely accountable. You can monitor the exact traffic you are receiving, what keywords you are receiving the traffic for, whet geographic zone your are receiving the traffic from. Most importantly you can track your exact conversion rate of your site and your ROI.
SEO is one of the fastest growing marketing mediums. In an economic downturn, the marketing department is usually the first department to see cut backs in budgets, not to mention the size of the staff base. Companies are seeing tremendous value in SEO. Despite the downturn the SEO industry is rapidly moving forward.
How to choose an SEO company
Choosing the right SEO Company can save you a lot of time and money. The easiest way to choose your SEO company is to look at the results that they have been achieving for clients. Many SEO companies will show you the rankings that they have received for their clients. It is important to look at how hard these keywords are to achieve top rankings for. For instance, if a SEO company is showing you first place rankings for a tradesperson at suburb level, it is fair to say that this is an easy word to compete for. However, if they are showing you top rankings for the most competitive keywords such as weight loss, web design, web development or banking then they are genuinely hard rankings to receive. In addition, I would recommend speaking to clients that have used the SEO company that you are looking to engage. Find at how they performed, what there delivery of service was like, if they were transparent in there communication, if they received regular communication and reporting. SEO is still a black art and many SEO experts will like to keep their trade knowledge to themselves. Choose someone that is open and transparent about their work.
How long till I see my rankings improve?
SEO takes 6-12 months for a very thorough campaign. If your site has been live for a few years and you have some good quality links pointing to your site it can take less, depending on how competitive the keywords that you are optimising for. In SEO there are two types of keywords that you can optimise for. The first is short tail i.e. weight loss and then there is long tail keywords i.e. weight loss recipes. If you are wanting to quickly increase your organic traffic, I would recommend to begin optimising for the long tail keywords. The short tail keywords can take much longer to optimise for as there is generally much more competition for that keyword.
If you are a new site, Google will take some time to trust your site. Many SEO experts talk about Google Trust Rank. This means that Google not only takes time to trust your site, it wants to see consistent increments in link popularity to your website. If Google sees a Sharpe increase in the number of inbound links to your website when you are new, you run the risk of hitting there link spike filters. Should this be the case and you grow your incoming links to quickly, you will be sandboxed or unindexed.
You should build links to your site in a consistent manner. Not only in a consistent manner, but also you should use a variety of link building techniques to build links to your site.
Some link building strategies are:
- Directory submissions
Directory submissions are where you submit your site to general directories or niche directories. When you are submitting your site to directories it is important that you concentrate on good quality directories. Quality is far better than quantity. You can determine the quality by looking at the page rank of the home page, page rank of the sub-categories, if the sub categories have been cached by Google and if the listings in the categories are well maintained. Avoid like the plague directories that are randomly linking sites in categories. These could be link farms.
- Article Submissions
This is where you write unique content on your industry and then submit it to article directories. This is a great way to build quality back links to your site. The key is to code the link correctly.
- Blog posts
There are a few ways that you can use blog posts to help your rankings. The first way is to leave comments to posts on posts. If you are being active on blogs, for industry relevant blogs you will be considered to be active in your industry.
The second way is to get in contact with the blog owner and offer your unique content to them. In return you should get an about author link to your site. Many blogs are screaming out for content. You will get traffic, link juice and be considered an authority on your subject.
Forums are indexed very quickly by search engines because the content is frequently updated. Further, forums get a lot of traffic and if you are a trusted forum member you can generate plenty of traffic and get contextual links to your site. I would advise getting in contact with the forum owner before placing any links on forums. Let the forum owner know of you credentials and let them know that you can add to the community by giving expert advice. In return you ask the forum owner if you can put your link in your email signature.
- Bookmarking sites
Google likes to see that your links are created naturally. This means that the content that you offer on your site is good enough quality that people want to link to it and they want to share it on social networking sites, or reference your content as an authority on the subject. This is the best form of linking. The key is to create fresh and unique content.
How much does SEO cost?
The cost of the campaign hinges on many thing.
– How competitive your industry is
– How many keywords you are optimising for
– What link techniques you incorporate
– How large your site is
After your initial campaign has been completed you should look into a maintenance campaign. This will give you long term stability in your rankings.
Hopefully this article has set you on the right track and answered your SEO questions. Now is a better time than ever to SEO your site. Over time SEO will become more competitive and in turn expensive.