Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO is an acronym for “[search engine optimization|Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the volume or quality of traffic to a web site from search engines]” or “search engine optimizer.” Deciding to hire an SEO is a big decision that can potentially improve your site and save time, but you can also risk damage to your site and reputation. Make sure to research the potential advantages as well as the damage that an irresponsible SEO can do to your site. Many SEOs and other agencies and consultants provide useful services for website owners, including:

  • Review of your site content or structure
  • Technical advice on [website development|Web development is a broad term for any activity to developing a web site for the World Wide Web or an internet. This can include e-commerce business development, web design, web content development, client-side/server-side scripting, and web server configuration. However, among web professionals, web development usually refers only to the non-design aspects of building web sites, e.g. writing markup and coding. Web development can range from developing the simplest static single page of plain text to the most complex web-based internet applications, electronic businesses, or social network services.]: for example, [hosting|A web hosting service is a type of Internet hosting service that allows individuals and organizations to make their own website accessible via the World Wide Web. Web hosts are companies that provide space on a server they own or lease for use by their clients as well as providing Internet connectivity, typically in a data center. Web hosts can also provide data center space and connectivity to the Internet for servers they do not own to be located in their data center, called colocation.], [redirects|URL redirection, also called URL forwarding and the very similar technique domain redirection also called domain forwarding, are techniques on the World Wide Web for making a web page available under many URLs.], [error pages|The 404 or Not Found error message is a HTTP standard response code indicating that the client was able to communicate with the server but the server could not find what was requested. 404 errors should not be confused with server not found or similar errors, in which a connection to the destination server could not be made at all. Another similar error is 410: Gone, which indicates that the requested resource has been intentionally removed and will not be available again. A 404 error indicates that the requested resource may be available in the future.], use of [JavaScript|JavaScript is a scripting language used to enable programmatic access to objects within both the client application and other applications. It is primarily used in the form of client-side JavaScript, implemented as an integrated component of the web browser, allowing the development of enhanced user interfaces and dynamic websites. JavaScript is a dialect of the ECMAScript standard and is characterized as a dynamic, weakly typed, prototype-based language with first-class functions. JavaScript was influenced by many languages and was designed to look like Java, but to be easier for non-programmers to work with.]
  • [Content development|Web content development is the process of researching, writing, gathering, organizing, and editing information for publication on web sites. Web site content may consist of prose, graphics, pictures, recordings, movies or other digital assets that could be distributed by a hypertext transfer protocol server, and viewed by a web browser.]
  • Management of online business development campaigns
  • [Keyword research|Keyword research is a practice used by search engine optimization professionals to find and research actual search terms people enter into the search engines when conducting a search.]
  • SEO training
  • Expertise in specific markets and geographies.

Keep in mind that the Google search results page includes [organic search results|Organic search results are listings on search engine results pages that appear because of their relevance to the search terms, as opposed to their being adverts. In contrast, non-organic search results may include pay per click advertising.] and often [paid advertisement|Paid inclusion is a search engine marketing product where the search engine company charges fees related to inclusion of websites in their search index. Paid inclusion products are provided by most search engine companies, the most notable exception being Google.] (denoted by the heading “[Sponsored Links|Pay per click (PPC) is an Internet advertising model used on websites, in which advertisers pay their host only when their ad is clicked. With search engines, advertisers typically bid on keyword phrases relevant to their target market. Content sites commonly charge a fixed price per click rather than use a bidding system. Cost per click (CPC) is the amount of money an advertiser pays search engines and other Internet publishers for a single click on its advertisement that brings one visitor to its website.]”) as well. Advertising with Google won’t have any effect on your site’s presence in the search results. Google never accepts money to include or rank sites in the search results, and it costs nothing to appear in the [organic search results|Organic search results are listings on search engine results pages that appear because of their relevance to the search terms, as opposed to their being adverts. In contrast, non-organic search results may include pay per click advertising.]. Free resources such as [Webmaster Tools|Google Webmaster Tools is a no-charge web service by Google for webmasters. It allows webmasters to check indexing status and optimize visibility of their websites.], the official Webmaster Central blog, and the discussion forum can provide you with a great deal of information about how to optimize your site for organic search. Many of these free sources, as well as information on [paid search|Paid inclusion is a search engine marketing product where the search engine company charges fees related to inclusion of websites in their search index. Paid inclusion products are provided by most search engine companies, the most notable exception being Google.], can be found on Google Webmaster Central.

Additional Resources for Webmasters, Developers and Search Engine Optimizers:

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