With search engine optimization on the rise, there are many theories that are circulating about what will get you high up in the search engines. From having your keywords in bold font, to having your text as close to the top of a page, along with the current 1% to 3% keyword density rule, which seems to change from year to year.
You can scrap them all since it comes down to some basic key points. Most people possess one or maybe two of these skills, very rarely do people posses all of them.
Time and Effort
In truth, to get to all of them, people who are good at two of these need to actively develop the other skills. This takes time and effort and, if you are running your own business, do you really have the time to do this?
Many website designers produce more and more eye-catching designs with animations and clever features hoping to entice the people onto their sites. This is the first big mistake; using designs like these may actually decrease your chances of a high Google rating. Yes, that’s right; all that money you have paid for the website design could be wasted because no-one will ever find your site.
Are You Afraid Of Spiders?
The reason for this is that before you get people to your site you need to get the spider bots to like your site. Spiderbots also known as (webcrawlers) are pieces of software used by the search engine companies to crawl the Internet looking at all the websites, and then having reviewed the sites, they use complex algorithms to rank the sites.
Some of the complex techniques used by web designers cannot be trawled by spiderbots. They come to your site, look at the HTML code and exit stage right, without even bothering to rank your site. So, you will not be found on any meaningful search.
So, optimizing a website to be Google friendly is often a compromise between a visually attractive site and an easy to find site. This skill takes lots of time and experience to develop, and just when you think you have cracked it, the search engine companies change the algorithms used to calculate how high your site will appear in the search results.
Results need to be constantly monitored, pieces of code added or removed, and a check kept on what the competition are doing. Many people who design their own website feel they will get searched because it looks good, and totally miss out this step.
Without a strong technical understanding of how spiderbots work, you will always struggle to get your company on the first results page in Google. Remember that different search engines use different criteria and algorithms to rank your site – one size does not fit all.
I suggest that copy writing is a skill in its own right. This is the writing of the actual text that people coming to your site will read. The Googlebot and other spiderbots, love text but only when written well in properly constructed English. Some people try to stuff their site with keywords, while others put white writing on white space (so spiderbots can see it but humans cannot).
Spiderbots are very sophisticated and not only will not fall for these tricks, they may actively penalize your site in Google terms, this is sand boxing. Google takes new sites and naughty sites and effectively sin-bins them for 3-6 months.
As well as good English, the spider bots are also reading the HTML code, so the copy writer also needs an appreciation of the interplay between the two. My recommendation for anyone copy writing their own site is to write normal, well-constructed English sentences that can be read by machine and human alike.
The next skill is marketing, after all this is what we are doing marketing your site and hence company and products/services on the Web. The key here is to set the site up to be accessible to the searches that will provide most business to you. I have seen many sites that can be found as you key in the company name.
So the marketing skill requires knowledge of a companies business, what they are really trying to sell and an understanding of what actual searches may provide dividends.
Eye For Detail
The next skill is an eye for detail. Even a simple change to a web page can create an error that means the spider bots will not crawl your site. These errors do not stop the pages displaying correctly to the human eye, but cause massive problems with spider bots. Almost all the code that I look at on the web using this validator flags major errors, even from SEO companies.
Another skill is keyword selection. If you end up selecting keywords that do not have any/few searches, then you are simply wasting time by optimizing for them. There is no point in being ranked number one for a keyword when there are no searchers for that term. A good place to start is by using keyword research tools such as JAAXY, to find out what people are typing into search engines.
Once you have found those terms, the next step is to work out the level of competition and effort it will take to get a reasonable rank for each term. The best way is to look at the number of competing pages in search engines for each keyword. If you have the knowledge and time, you may want to go for the slightly more competitive keywords.
On And Off Page Factors
For on-the-page factors, making sure that there is a sufficient amount of text based content, title tags and a strong internal linking between all web pages, is a good start. Title tags and content should contain keywords provided that they are not stuffed into the text. For example, if your keyword is dog supplies, this sort of writing should be avoided:
We base our business on dog supplies and have a great range of dog supplies. Check out our latest dog supplies today!
A visitor will be immediately turned off from this sort of writing and will question the credibility of your site. Keywords should be written around the content, not the other way around.
Attaining incoming links to your website has become a more heavily relied upon factor in last couple of years. Each incoming link is seen by search engines as a green light from another site. The more incoming relevant links you have, the more trusted your website becomes by search engines.
This does not mean you can simply acquire a bunch of links from any site. Links need to relevant in the sense that the website linking to you has some sort of affiliation with your theme otherwise the links will not benefit you.
Patience Is A Virtue
The next skill is patience, or is it a virtue! Some people seem to want to make daily changes and then think they can track the web page ranking results the next day. Unfortunately, it can take a week for absolutely correct changes to take effect, in which time you have made six other changes. Add to this Google’s
reticence to allow new sites straight on to its listings by adding a waiting factor of, maybe, three to six months for new sites, and you have a totally uncontrollable situation.
The Final Skill
Provided you stick to the basic key points of search engine optimization, in time you will notice a stronger website presence in the search engines.
Whist it can be done on your own if you have the knowledge and time, hiring an SEO agency is one avenue to success if you have the budget. Having said that, time should not be spared in taking advantage of the vast opportunities the internet can bring you and your business.
So, in summary, I would say “If it was easy everyone would be doing it!”. I hope you will see that professional Search Engine Optimization companies need more than a bit of web design to improve your business. Make sure anyone you choose for SEO work can cover all the bases.
Would love to hear your thoughts about this post or this site in general, and I will answer all the comments on my website personally so drop me a line below if you have any affiliate marketing questions or comments. I’m happy to help any way that I can.
Kind Regards Shane.
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