SEO 101 – What You Need to Know Now

Published April 18th, 2012 by Farin Innovations

In today’s web-savvy world, the term “search engine optimization” is often uttered, and in most cases, people simply don’t have the knowledge to use it correctly.

At the heart of this process is the continual process of optimizing a site to make it rank higher with the major search engines, and that optimization process doesn’t just happen on the site, but off of it as well. Both practices work as a way for search engines like Google to get a balanced view of your site.

Naturally, they want to see particular features on your site, but they also want to  see some things happening with your site as well.

Optimizing the Site Itself

The first step to good optimization is actually working with your site. The goal here is to get better rankings, because if your site isn’t useable for both your visitors and the search engines, you can count on watching your business go down the drain in a hurry. After all, if Google ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy. That is to say if Google isn’t pleased with your site, you’re not going to get the rankings you want.

The Google rankings method relies on how relevant your site is to users and how much success a user has had on the site, so they look at both whether your site is the best one they can show visitors for your search terms as well as whether or not users landing on the site are actually getting the information they need.

We’ve actually gotten really good at working with on-page content over the past few years to make sure it’s ready for the Google white-glove test. We review everything including whether your site has a sitemap, whether your code is validated, how frequently the content is updated, if there is a clear way to get to every section of the site, and how the META tags describe the pages.

Optimizing the Off-Page Experience

The second step in the process is whether your site is getting the exposure and credibility it deserves online. Google actually looks at a number of factors to decide on the credibility of any given site, and you don’t always have control over all of them. For example, how long you’ve had a domain and the frequency with which users visit your site are factors that you just can’t change. There are, though, several factors you can change. It does, however, take some time to work on those factors.

Because it takes time, most search engine optimization companies just don’t take on a commitment that is less than twelve months in length, because to do it the right way, you can expect to put some serious hours in. Those ads that say they’re going to give you a listing on page 1 within 30 days just aren’t true. Sure, you might get it using a few black-hat techniques, but you’ll get buried almost as soon as you achieve those results, and you may end up blacklisted in the long run.

Good SEO companies use techniques like increasing back links, article submission services, social bookmarking, directory submission services, and social media optimization to get solid higher rankings, and while none of these processes are difficult, they do require some pretty careful strategy. Take, for example, companies that work to increase the number of back links they have on their own. Unless they’re back linking to the right site, you may as well write the whole process off as a useless exercise.

Search engine optimization, both on and off the page, requires some serious thought as well as an expert partner. You can waste copious amounts of time and money with optimization unless you hire the right partner. Make certain you choose someone who is helping you achieve long term results. SEO can’t be done with a get-rich-quick hand. It’s also fairly useless if you’re looking at it from a paid standpoint using techniques like yellow page listings and PPC campaigns. Finding the right partner makes all the difference.

Farin Innovations. a Miami FL web design and development firm, has been helping companies just like yours hit page one with the right Miami SEO techniques for more than a decade. Take time to set up your free consultation now.