Search Engine Optimization
SEO: Search Engine Optimization
Although the topic of Search Engine Optimization has been mentioned elsewhere on the CharlesWorks websites, we firmly believe it is by far the least truly understood component of your web presence. Many individuals think they know about it, but in fact they simply don’t. As a result, there are numerous scams and wasted millions of dollars spent in the name of Search Engine Optimization or SEO.
Search Engine Optimization is frequently
referred to simply as “SEO”
Search Engine Optimization, or quite simply “SEO”, considers the balance between how search engines work and what people search for, using search technology readily available through search engines like Bing, Yahoo, and Google, to name but a few. Optimizing a website involves editing its content and HTML and associated coding to both increase its relevance to specific keywords as well as to remove barriers to the indexing activities of the search engines. CharlesWorks is very good at all aspects of this process.
In addition to how SEO considers how search engines work and what people search for, making pages readable to search engines and emphasizing key topics related to your content is of the utmost importance. SEO involves finding relevant keywords, determining their popularity, assessing the amount of competition with similar websites, and deciding which keywords can be best supported with quality content.
Cost for SEO services can vary. We at CharlesWorks do not charge higher hourly rates for our clients just because we are working on Search Engine Optimization. We do want you to know, however, that no search engine optimization company can guarantee where your site will appear in the natural search engine results.
Search Engine Optimization is a process. We have heard many buzz words surrounding the SEO topic. At the top of the list is the “Guaranteed Placement”. No one can guarantee placement except the search engine companies themselves. Think about this for a moment: can every construction company be number one in the listings under construction?
We take a really down-to-Earth approach to the Search Engine Optimization process. We have been doing this work since 1998 and have more experience than most in this field. The Internet has grown substantially since we first started, and therefore the quest for higher search engine placement has risen dramatically. Competition has become fierce.
There are many, many scams out there involving search engine optimization. The most blatant we see are those promising huge, immediate increases in website traffic. As an example, if you are a furniture retailer in the Keene, NH area (in the Northeastern United States), quite frankly, you need not concern yourself about huge increases in website traffic from India. The same is true in reverse.
Another situation we see is where the search engine optimization (SEO) company charges in excess of $1,000 up front to get started. Think hard about that. We can usually accomplish the process correctly for a few hundred dollars.
If the SEO company claims ongoing monthly fees to get you found, again, please be leery of the company. When we do the necessary work for you, we charge you for the work as we go along. No ongoing, forever fees.
At CharlesWorks, we simply don’t take advantage of our clients – most of whom do not understand the intricacies and technology behind what we do. We try to take the mystery out of all this and use our experience coupled with mostly common sense to yield productive results.
A little Search Engine Optimization “SEO”
story about what we regularly deal with here
This is actually one of my favorites. Several clients a month write us about these. They get an email in which the sender indicates he or she found their website and it’s not getting enough traffic. The sender may go on to tell them that their site cannot be found for this reason or that reason. They may even tell them that they see that the website has little or no traffic to it. And, of course, that the sender is the solution to this PROBLEM they have. It will only cost some (usually fixed) amount on a monthly basis.
Many of our web clients have fallen victim to this – and have paid up to thousands of dollars for this “help” that never really happened.
Now I’ll ask you to use a little common sense
after giving you some facts to mull over
Web visitors cannot see your overall web traffic. Unless you let them do so, this information is only available through the website’s web server. Our servers (in fact pretty much ALL website servers) keep web stats – data that shows visitors to your site – meaning ALL visitors and traffic – on our servers – and these individuals telling you that there is little or no traffic have absolutely no idea whatsoever what your web traffic really is.
Search engines can’t give total website traffic. Connected, in a sense, with fact #1, a search engine can ONLY tell you (if you have gone through the process of setting up an account with them to do so) what traffic it believes transpired as a result of being found in ITS searches. It CANNOT tell you the total traffic to your site (unless there is code in your web site that contacts the search engine directly). For example, Google has no data on how much traffic went to your site as a result of Internet surfers directly typing in your domain name in the address bar. Continuing the example, Google does not know how many Internet surfers were directed to your site by Bing, or by Yahoo, or by Ask, or by any of the other 200+ search engines people use to find things on the web (again, unless there is code in the web site to tell Google, in this example).
All potential business counts. If we look at the three major search engines – Google, Bing (powered by Microsoft), and Yahoo (also powered by Microsoft) – it breaks down that Google is used by roughly two thirds of the Internet users. I have actually had a couple people tell me over the years that they only care about their Google results. Put another way, that’s like someone saying only two out of three potential sales is worth pursuing. The fickle state of Internet searches makes it even more important to work on being found well in ALL the major search engines. At any moment the rules can be changed and a website’s placement can go away or change dramatically – in either direction. In fact, this has happened many times – where one of the search engines changes how it “sees” sites and sites are no longer found until changes are made to them. All your eggs, so to speak, in one search engine’s basket can result in a loss of traffic.
Junk backlinks hurts SEO. Tons of back links from junk sites – and especially infected sites – appears to knock down a website’s standing over time. This seems to have been a common methodology applied by many “SEO Experts” that has caused site banning and overall lower search engine results. It is often referred to using terms like “black hat SEO” and so on. This is really the only thing these “experts” can do to try and get traffic without making any changes to the website.
Search engines are like artificial intelligence. Think about it. I truly believe if you go to Bing many times every day and do a search for an item, and never click on a choice, you’ve told Bing that the web pages presented were NOT good choices for those words. So you better take the moment to click on your site if you see it come up. On the other side of that is the fact that if you do that continuously the search engine “knows” that as well. Do it right and develop great content so the search engine “sees” a great website!
Sentences of the same repeated words hurts SEO. Repetition of lists of words arranged in meaningless fashion and invisible text will definitively hurt your standing. We had a client who came to us because of not being found whatsoever and discovered he had a single important word repeated in excess of 500 times at the bottom of his home page. Taking those out and developing pertinent content resolved the issue over time.