Search engines drive 85 percent of Internet traffic, so the right search engine optimization campaign is a must for helping small businesses get noticed and grow their customer base.
Search engine optimization makes it easier to find websites through search engines. SEO services help companies get noticed on the Web by making changes to their sites’ internal code, text, links, and navigation structure. Search engines use “spiders” to crawl the Web to collect information about the sites they visit. Search engine optimization involves coding Web pages to make it easier for spiders to collect information. SEO services for a small business may include the following:
- Reviewing the website’s content or structure
- Giving technical advice, fixing errors, or redirecting pages
- Researching keywords
- Managing online campaigns
- Submitting pages to search engines manually
A successful SEO campaign allows a company to achieve a high rank on search engines. There are more than 170 million websites on the Internet. Companies that have a low ranking or no ranking can get swallowed up on the Web. Keywords and phrases can allow a company to boost its rankings. SEO companies specialize in tweaking or redesigning websites to make use of keywords in title tags and content by using analytical tools. The location and frequency of keywords on a Web page can make or break a site’s ranking.
SEO companies can provide reports on rankings, directory submissions, and return-on-investment tracking. SEO services work to place companies high in search engine rankings organically.
An SEO service can be useful to help launch a website or during a redesign, as well as for existing sites. However, it’s important to check out an SEO company to learn about its track record. Among other things, business owners should ask the following:
- To see examples of previous work and results
- If it offers online marketing services
- If it has experience in the industry
- How long it should take to see results
- What types of SEO techniques are used
No matter how much is spent on an SEO campaign, no company can guarantee a top ranking in any search engine. Business owners should be skeptical of SEO companies that send spam email to solicit business, require them to link to their site, or are secretive about their techniques. They also should avoid companies that create shadow domains that use deceptive redirects to get people to websites or place “doorway” pages that are loaded with keywords on client sites. Doorway pages may contain hidden links to other clients’ websites, which could contain inappropriate content.
SEO companies should also be avoided if they offer to sell keywords in the address bar, don’t distinguish between organic search results and ads, have multiple aliases, get traffic from fake search engines or spyware, or ask for a client’s FTP account information.