Understanding How the SEO Process Works

June 29, 2013

Having a website these days means that you have to be familiar with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to a certain degree. SEO is more than just a buzzword used in marketing circles. It’s a way in which webmasters can actually help search engines find their site relevant in a certain niche and rank it accordingly. Incorporating SEO strategies into your web-based marketing is crucial to getting noticed on the web, but understanding how SEO works can be a little confusing. Here’s a brief overview of how the SEO process works.

1. Consistency is Key

Search engine optimization is an ongoing process and it pays off in the long run to be consistent and persistent. The old saying, "slow and steady wins the race" is applicable here. For an SEO campaign to be truly effective expect to spend a lot of time conducting keyword research and creating high-value content that is relevant to your business or industry around those words. Keyword research is vital to the success of your SEO campaign, without it you stand very little chance of getting noticed online.

Consistent monitoring and testing by your SEO specialist will help keep you on track, but don’t expect results overnight. That’s not how SEO works. Effective SEO includes developing a well-structured site that would be accessible to both search engines and users, incorporating the keyword work mentioned above and adding strong inbound links. You’ll also have to work hard to establish authority and trust to help build your brand and boost your online presence. This is often accompanied by social media marketing, strategic website coding and site analysis and analytics. The results of these activities are sometimes visible after a long time, but the consistent increase of your customer base is well worth it.

2. Keeping Current With Google Algorithm Changes is a Must

Long gone are the days where keyword stuffed pages ranked first no matter the quality of the content. You can thank Google and their algorithm changes for removing most of the spam the users had to struggle with until they found what they were looking for. This isexactly why your SEO consultant will refer to the Google algorithm changes so frequently. The different algorithmic changes have a direct impact on the search engine rankings. In order to continue rising or at least retain your position in a storm of constant algorithmic changes you need to be familiar with how they work and tailor your content to them, and to the users demands for conversion purposes (which is also an important part of SEO).

Though rumors spread every day about possible Google algorithm changes, you have to separate fact from fiction by following the news from the latest search engine conferences, Google’s Head Spam Fighter Matt Cutts, Google’s blog or interviews with Google execs given usually on various reputable SEO blogs.

On average, Google releases 500+ search engine changes every year. Nearly two different changes per day! Luckily, Google makes it easy to track these changes by their formal announcements, usually given after the latest change has been deployed. SEOmoz, for example, compile the changes on a regular basis and organize them by date for easy reading and follow up.

You can also check daily changes happening in Google search with this fun Mozcast tool. The higher the temperature, the more ranking changes have been happening in search engine results. It’s a fun, easy and graphic way to see how busy Google has been.

3. Understand the Impact Algorithm Changes Have on Your SEO Campaign

Keeping current with algorithm changes is essential to understanding the impact they have on your SEO campaign. Fortunately, we know which updates are likely to generate the biggest changes in search results and can focus our attention on those. Google Penguin, Google Panda and Exact Match Domain (EMD) updates always have a big impact on search results. In the official Google statement after each of these is deployed, we are told the exact percentages of results affected by these, to get a notion of the size of the specific update.

Panda updates target bad content, low-quality content and duplicate content. Penguin updates roll out every few months since April 2012, and Penguin 2.0, the next generation has just been rolled out on May 2013. Penguin targets bad or clearly links pointing to websites, comment spam, links in posts on questionable sites. EMD updates prevent poor quality sites from ranking well, just because they have the keyword combination searched in their url, and give high-quality sites a chance to move up in rankings.

The point to remember about all of these updates is that any changes you make to your content or site, such as removing bad links for example, in between updates will have an effect on your site’s rankings, but you may not necessarily see the results of those changes until the next update is deployed. So even if you deleted a bunch of bad links pointing to your site as soon as you received an unnatural link warning from Google, there’s a very strong possibility that you won’t see much change in your search engine ranking until the next Penguin update rolls out. If you don’t want to wait that long you can always try Google’s Disavow Tool. The Tool allows webmasters to notify Google of the low quality links that they cannot get rid of on their own and that they do not want them affecting their site rankings. However it is important to stress that Google highly recommend not taking this tool lightly, and use only if no other way to manually remove the links has succeeded. Having said that, Google do not commit to take into account your link submission (and they will obviously disregard your request if you ask to disavow all your incoming links.

4. Expect Constant Changes and Tweaks to the Campaign

Overall, an important part of the process means is to understand that constant changes and tweaks to your SEO campaign and website are inevitable, as we learn from every algorithm change as we go. In fact, you should be pleased if your SEO consultant recommends changes. It means they’re on top of things, watching out for your rankings and trying to do something about it.

Successful SEO campaigns respond to algorithmic changes and website traffic patterns. You may need to find new keywords, add content or reorganize your site according to customer expectations and the way they use your site constantly changes, meaning that you have to change your site and perspective accordingly. It’s really no different than adjusting your business in other ways to meet customers’ needs and expectations. And, just like other business processes change, it can take some time to see the results of your efforts.

5. Constantly Monitor the Competition

Knowing and researching your competitors is a crucial part of the SEO campaign. Both you, as a business owner and your SEO consultant must know the top 10 results by heart and constantly following up on the search ranking fluctuations. In order to be the best, it is crucial that you learn from the best so make sure to do a comparative research of your site vs that of your competitors in terms of backlinks, title, description, site content, user interface, design and much more to learn how you can get better or where you can appear on the web to push your rankings or improve your conversion.

6. Bounce Rate and Conversion Research and Monitoring

Google have always said that the most important thing for them and the reason behind every algorithmic update is the user or end consumer, and that should be your concern as well. Google loves sites that the users love, so there’s no doubt that the time a user spends on the site before bouncing back to the search results, a quick flow towards the goal of the site or ranking high on a theoretical “trust scale” are very important issues that you should not neglect. Keep the flow of your site clean, the design of your site simple yet visually appealing and the information on your site really useful for the user, not for the search engine.

Despite the time and effort that a proper SEO campaign requires, have no doubt that this is the most profitable marketing channel you can have with the highest ROI. Make sure to give it the proper attention or hire a professional and reliable SEO consultant, with the finger on the pulse, that will involve and consult you every step of the way to yield the best results for your business.

The author's views are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of Revolution Flyers, Inc.

This entry was posted on Saturday, June 29th, 2013 at 6:49 am and is filed under SEO/Web Development . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


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