There was a time when entrepreneurs weren’t too keen on putting up websites for their business. That time has long since passed, judging by the way millions upon millions of websites are flooding the Internet. Finally, most entrepreneurs now know how instrumental a website can be when it comes to achieving their business goals.
However, many entrepreneurs with websites for their business still haven’t explored the idea of optimizing their websites. For some of them, search engine optimization or SEO is just a waste of time, effort, and resources.
Nothing could be further from the truth.
In a jampacked Internet, a website that wants to succeed must stand out from the crowd. Google and the other search engines must notice them well enough to rank them higher on their SERPs or search engine results pages. Of course, the only way to get up a leg up in this regard is to optimize your website.
Interested in doing SEO for your business website? Here are some things you should know about SEO.
SEO is for the long-term
If you have consulted a company providing SEO services and you were told that it could get you positive results within a month, then you have to steer clear of that firm because there is no such thing as quick SEO success.
SEO is a long-term strategy, and it would take a well-run SEO campaign about four to six months to yield positive results. Even then, the results won’t likely be as jaw-dropping as you’d expect. SEO campaigns have to be sustained before significant results come in.
And when you’re already at the top of search results, you still have to work hard to stay there. After all, you have competitors in the same niche that are working just as hard as you on their SEO, and they will always have an eye on snatching that prime spot from you. Search optimization is not a one-time thing, and an SEO’s work is never done.
Mobile users now outnumber desktop users, and the gap is only going to get wider with each passing year. Add to that the fact that Google currently ranks websites based on their mobile versions through the Mobile First index, and anyone with a website now has every reason to become mobile responsive.
When a website is responsive, mobile users will be able to see clearly all your content and everything your site has to offer on their smartphones and tablets. They won’t have to constantly zoom and pinch to check out your site. This results in a much-improved user experience, which will encourage them to explore your website more and eventually fill out forms, subscribe to your site or purchase a product or service that you’re offering.
If you’re thinking about doing SEO for your website, making your site responsive is a step in the right direction. Countless users who regularly do their Internet activities from their mobile devices will appreciate that, and that can lead to better results for you.
On-Site and Off-Site SEO
On-site SEO is all about tweaking the website itself to make it more attractive to Google et al., while off-site SEO refers to activities you undertake outside your site and elsewhere online to help you rank better in the search engines.
The addition of meta tags, using the right keywords and phrases, posting unique, informative, and relevant content, and creating meta descriptions are just some of the on-page activities you can do for your site. Off-Site SEO, on the other hand, involves link-building efforts anywhere else in the Internet like guest blogging, article directory submissions, and building a social media presence, among other things.
White hat SEO
To avoid getting penalized by the search engines, a website must follow the rules and guidelines they have set, and employing only white hat SEO tactics is the way to do it. In other words, doing white hat SEO is playing by Google’s rules, and doing so will get your website the best results.
White-hat SEO refers to the legal and ethical techniques and actions that a webmaster can do to rank better in the SERPs. White-hat SEO techniques that should get you on Google’s good side include:
- Quality link building
- Keyword research
- Creating original, amazing content
- Guest posting
It’s true that white-hat SEO techniques take some time before they yield results. However, when those results come in, you will see that they are longer-lasting, unlike the ones you get from black hat SEO.
Black hat SEO
Black hat SEO refers to a set of aggressive practices that aim to boost your position in the SERPs, and they’re all in violation of the rules and guidelines set by search engines.
Spam comments, duplicate content, keyword stuffing, invisible text, paying for backlinks are just some of the black hat techniques that could get you in trouble with Google and other search engines.
Before the slew of updates by Google to its algorithm over the last few years, countless webmasters have already been benefiting from black hat SEO techniques. Black hat SEO has catapulted their websites to the top of search results despite their low-quality backlinks and spammy, duplicate, or useless content.
However, while the constant Google algorithm updates have virtually prevented undeserving websites from getting high rankings, many webmasters and SEOs around the world still flirt with black hat SEO techniques because, whether we admit it or not, they still get results, and faster ones at that.
What most webmasters who avail of such services don’t realize, however, is that such results are only temporary. The likelihood that Google will find them out—and penalize them—is high.
Google can hit you with two types of penalties: algorithmic and manual.
Essentially, algorithmic penalties aren’t really penalties; Penguin and Panda are mere algorithms that deliver the desired outcome automatically by implementing a set of rules and calculations on all pages indexed by Google.
If a website meets Google’s standards of quality as defined by webmaster guidelines, then it gets rewarded by the search engine giant. If it doesn’t, then it will automatically be penalized, which often leads to a severe loss of traffic and a major dive in rankings.
Google’s algorithms may be powerful, but many websites that don’t meet Google ’s quality standards somehow manage to slip through. That’s where Google’s legion of human reviewers come in. A manual penalty is the handiwork of this army, as they’re the ones who manually review and rate these websites.
Black hat SEO may get you faster results, but they won’t last long, and you will suffer for it. Steer clear of SEO services that employ black hat SEO techniques.
The information above is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to SEO. Search optimization has been around for years, and many people are now considered experts at it, but there is still so much to learn about SEO. It is, after all, an ever-evolving field. As has been proven in many cases, what may be true about it today may no longer be the case in the future. So if you’re interested in search engine optimization for your business, learn whatever you can about SEO, and continue learning about it as the years go by.
About The Author
Shawn Byrne is the founder and CEO of SEOPhoenix.net. Shawn started his career in I.T. troubleshooting workstations, servers and networks, then went on to doing SEO as a side project and quickly found success in ranking websites. It was easy for him to grasp not only the algorithms but also the technical side which most SEO strategists miss and neglect because of its complexities. SEO Phoenix then grew based on its own rankings and referrals.