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Sunday, April 23, 2017

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Technology & Manufacturing: Marketing, Web Development, E-Business


There's More to Search Engine Optimization Than Meta Tags

By Frank Saucier
e-Business Solutions Manager

Search engine optimization (SEO) services tend to comprise a wide range of capabilities:

  • There are low end services that promise to submit you to 500 search engines for $50. The problem is that they usually get you classified as spam and then don't address the root issue - what are the top 20-30 search phrases used by your prospects and what needs to be done to your site to generate better rankings.

  • There are SEO services that employ "doorways" and "cloaking," but end up getting you blacklisted from the search engines because these techniques aim to trick the search engine into thinking you have a valuable, content-rich site.

  • On the high end, there are services priced at $100,000+. They provide the custom site analysis and coding that's needed, but for a hefty price.

Search engines are too important to ignore. So to be able to sort good SEO vendors from bad, you need to know something about the SEO process.

Meta Tags

Many people think "SEO = meta tags," those little bits of HTML code that describe the content of a web site. In the world of SEO, the two most popular meta tags are the meta description tag (a phrase or sentence) and the meta keyword tag (a string of keywords related to the site's content). In the early days of the web, search engines relied heavily on meta tags to determine the importance and relevance of a site. But as web site owners tried to fool the search engines into thinking they had better content than they did, search engine algorithms became more sophisticated and turned to other site information.

Content

The single most important factor in determining your page rank is your visible content. Start by creating the best possible content for your customer, then tweak it a little to make sure the important search phrases appear on each page. But don't overdo it or you'll be penalized. For instance, don't try something like this:

Telesian is the best technology marketing firm in the technology markets. Telesian knows technology marketing. Telesian's technology marketing work with its clients…

I'm going to stop here before this page gets penalized!

To create the best possible content for both your prospects and the search engines, make sure your SEO provider knows your customers and your markets. That's the only way they will be able to make the right recommendations for improving site rank based on content.

Invisible Text & Doorways

I am always amazed at how often we have to warn companies about things that seem too good to be true. Invisible text at the bottom of web pages and doorway pages are two that quickly come to mind. And both are a big no-no in the SEO business. If an SEO vendor suggests them to you, quickly walk away and by no means provide them with access to your web site.

These two techniques are ways to fool the search engines. Invisible text is often found in low-end web sites created by web designers who are pretending to be in the SEO business. To include more key phrases on the site, they insert a repetitious list of the phrases in the same color as the background of the page. This makes the nonsense text invisible to anyone but the search engines.

Doorway pages and cloaking are used when a visible site is so poorly designed and written that it won't rank well on its own. Instead, a special set of web pages is created specifically for the search engines. These pages will never be seen by humans, only by the bots sent out by the search engines to spider a site. More and more, we've see this approach used by large companies with weak web sites who insist it's impossible to change the corporate content. By the way, I've yet to meet a web site that can't be optimized the right way.

Btw, if you don't believe me about the do's and don'ts of the SEO process, read what Google has to say.

External Links

All SEO programs should include a way to increase the number of external web sites that link back to yours. For several search engines, this is one of the most important factors. But avoid affiliate programs or broad-based link exchanges as they can harm you more than help you. Focus your efforts on relevant web sites within your industry. And make sure you use optimized text for the links.

Wait, There's More!

If you're aiming for the top, there are many more components that must be included in an SEO program: optimizing tags and tag attributes; registering a unique IP address; properly applying cascading style sheets; implemeting fail-safe navigation; restructuring a frames-based design; fighting code bloat; producing regular rankings reports and competitor analyses; and more. Make sure your SEO vendor addresses all of these issues before you sign on the dotted line. Because there's more to SEO than meta tags.

For more information on an effective yet reasonably priced optimization service, check out Telesian's SEO offerings. Number 1 rankings have been obtained for all clients.