You need to put forth your best efforts to make your website a success on the internet. Having a website but performing no marketing for it keeps it hidden from the sight of the world. However, marketing on the internet is done in many different ways. While banner ads and promotional campaigns are pretty much similar to traditional ways of marketing, search engine optimization and content marketing are completely different concepts. The internet is a world where your content plays the most important role for your business. The core concept of the internet is an advanced distribution of information, which is why it’s important that your website disseminates useful information for your users.
Having great content is important but having no method of marketing the content is almost like having no content at all. That is why search engine optimization is commonly used to boost your website’s presence.
Understanding the Basics of Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization is the name given to techniques, tactics, skills and processes used for optimizing your website for the search engines. People perform searches and they get to see results for their entered queries. These results are not randomly produced, but selected carefully after applying complex algorithms that take into account the website’s reputation in all the different aspects; i.e. how quickly it loads, how informative it is, how well-reputed it is, etc.. These factors are examined carefully by search engines to produce helpful, informative results.
Your website’s overall status determined by search engines is best summarized in one word : “reputation”. Search engines weigh the reputation of your website to give it a particular rank in the search results. This reputation is measured in many different forms. Search engines have certain tools that they use to measure the popularity and reputation of a website. Two major components of search engine optimization are backlinks and content.
The Importance of Content for Search Engine Optimization
It must be noted here that the search engines select these tools to analyze the reputation of your website in order to both gauge and protect their reputations. People would like to use a particular search engine only when it gives them the most relevant and helpful results for their search queries. Websites with poorly written content that’s not informative are useless for online visitors and therefore can be listed lower in search results in favor of websites that are more informative, or even be penalized for not following the proper standards. This is the reason why SEO services are so focused on producing only quality content, and why Google is frequently revising its policies for SEO standards.
The content you write for your website or blog should, first of all, be informative. People search for the web for information. Whether you are selling a product or service, people would like to get some information about both first. They will not like content that’s overstuffed with keywords and provides little to no information. The keyword density only matters to you and your website, not the visitors. However, for search engines everything and everyone matters. The content you write for your blog and website should have keywords in it but it must also be informative.
The content should be updated and modified on a regular basis. The more frequently your content changes, the more the search engines will have to index and supply to customers. Your blog posts should be targeting particular keywords too. Professional SEO services will also work to spread your content by submitting articles about you, your products and services to online article directories. All the content that you produce should contain keywords in the most natural way.
It is also important to make sure that you are targeting the right customers. Even if your content is well written and is attracting visitors, if your articles are not focused on the right kind of content your goal of conversion rates will not be achieved.
The Importance of Backlinks for Search Engine Optimization
Backlinks are links on other websites that take an online visitor to your website. It depends on where the link directs the visitors. Your link can take the visitor to the home page of your website or to a particular service/product page. You can even have the visitors land on your blog and from your blog to your official website. The movement from one link to another and one page to another page should be smooth and unimpeded. This kind of architecture is approved by search engines and will achieve a higher ranking for your website. It’s important to remember that your backlinks should have URL diversity. For example, if your website has around 200 backlinks which all point to your home page, that may look unnatural to search engines, and does not distribute the acquired page rank evenly across your website.
A proper network of backlinks on the internet should manage to create a good image of your website in the sight of search engines. Websites that have a poor reputation (often from “black hat” techniques such as spamming links on directory listings or mass link-purchasing schemes) and link back to your website will likely damage your website’s reputation. This is why it is important for your website’s backlinks should only come from reputable sources. Broken links are going to also play a negative role in the ranking of your website. The more broken links there are the more points the search engine will deduct from your ranking. Make sure to update the links if you change page content or URL by using a 301 redirect (for a permanent change).
Guest posting and article writing are also methods for creating backlinks, although if used improperly they can actually damage your website’s reputation. When your post is hosted on another blog the link to your blog or website is provided with your post. In the same way, the articles that you submit to online directories also contain the link to your website. Google’s Panda Updates have recently been targeting these kind of backlinks, so it’s imperative that the blogs or articles linking back to your website are from relevant content (for example, a blog about healthcare wouldn't make sense linking back to a website about Web Design). Another important strategy is to share the interesting posts on your blog through social networking websites, which help generate more traffic and interest in your content. Interesting content spread through social media often will be shared with others, leading to an exponential outreach to potential visitors. One good indicator of how useful your content is by looking at the comments section of your blog or article. Typically, the most useful content will attract more comments and questions from visitors.
Beware of “Black Hat” SEO Techniques
One dark side of the SEO world is the use of “black hat” techniques to temporarily achieve better rankings for the websites. SEO services provided by companies can use these techniques to get more clients and quick popularity. However, these techniques will always be poisonous for the website’s page ranking in the long run. As soon as search engines detect these techniques, they are de-indexed, and the ranking that you have earned in a short while is lost just as quickly. This happens because these techniques against the policies of the search engines.
For example, your SEO company might try to hide text by matching it with background colors of the website, purchase bulk backlinks through link-building schemes, or utilize scripts that spam backlinks onto website comment sections. Even the use of popular and trending that are not relevant to the content of your website and the services you provide has the possibility of hurting your reputation.
These things strategies can also be utilized on ecommerce websites where duplicate content can be produced only to increase the keyword density on a page. Another popular strategy with e-commerce websites is to crowd product pages with fake customer reviews, which usually look unauthentic – not only to potential customers, but to search engines as well.
Make sure that your SEO services are helping your website’s reputation, not hurting it. Always ask what strategies they are utilizing, and get monthly reports on their progress.
Hopefully you’ve found this introduction to search engine optimization and the concepts of content and backlinks. As discussed in this article, SEO is a powerful marketing asset if used properly, but it can also hurt your website’s reputation if managed poorly. If you’d like to learn more about our services, please visit our Chicago SEO Services page. I’ve also written some tips for e-commerce websites, which include information about content, page, and product optimization.