I’m Lost in the SEO Jungle: A Beginner’s Guide to Getting Found Online

by Helsinki

If you’re looking for information on how to gain online visibility and be found by potential customers on the internet, you’ve come to the right place. Maybe some of you are new to this internet business thing. You’ve just created a new website and you’re looking to get the word out about your product or service. You might have spent hours searching “submit URL” on the search engines hoping that your site will show up in the index. You might actually have submitted your URL to hundreds of search engines already and realizing that this is actually very hard and tedious work. You’re right, and if you’re looking to drive targeted traffic to your website, submitting your URL to a search engine is not the way. We can help you or if you are new in internet and want to get traffic to your web you can learn your mission right now. There are some of you that may have never heard the term SEO before. Maybe you have heard of it, but you are not quite sure what it does and how it is used to gain more traffic to your website. This guide will give you a better understanding of what SEO is, and why it is important in promoting your site in today’s ever-changing online marketing industry. So… let’s get started!

What is SEO?

It is important to recognize that SEO services can incorporate a variety of features to generate numerous benefits. SEO services are designed to enhance a website’s overall visibility in search engines. This can be achieved through direct and organic methods, such as directories and listings, with organic methods focusing on keyword relevancy and ongoing campaigns. By tracking and quantifying results, the return on investment (ROI) can be improved, resulting in increased revenue. Cost effectiveness is crucial for a successful and sustainable campaign, and this can be achieved by identifying the most cost-effective keywords to increase targeted traffic. Increased accessibility is facilitated by creating search engine friendly websites that are easy to navigate. Good web practices and accessibility also benefit individuals with disabilities. Lastly, many commercial sites aim to increase specific product sales by achieving higher search engine rankings.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is a unique process that enables a website to be prominently visible in search engine results pages by effectively retargeting to ensure maximum visibility. Search engine optimization includes both technical and innovative elements that are necessary to improve rankings, drive traffic, and increase awareness in search engines. There are numerous aspects to search engine marketing. SEO services encompass on-page methods to make a website more search engine friendly, as well as off-page promotional activities carried out outside of the site to increase relevance.

Importance of SEO for Online Visibility

Search engine optimization (SEO) has an opportunity to skyrocket your sales and your business. It is essential for businesses to learn SEO strategies that can guarantee high ranking in the major search engines. This is because effective SEO can result in a high return on investment (ROI). Basically, an increase in sales, a cost-effective method to increasing clientele, and efficient administration of consumer inquiries tell us that SEO has an astounding ROI. This means that the money you have invested into your SEO campaign is returned and sometimes doubled or tripled. This is due to the method of cost effectiveness, permanent positioning, increased sales, and increased consumer usage of your website. These are organic links that push your website higher in rankings and give you more click-through rates. By using the correct keywords, you are able to defeat your competition in sales. SEO has the power of isolating consumers that are actively seeking to find your product or service. This is an effective rate of increasing consumer ratio with business prospect. SEO can work within any size company, whether it is a Fortune 500 corporation or a small mom and pop shop. Having a high search engine ranking is crucial to the success of any company online in today’s consumer-oriented market.

Understanding SEO Services

The better services will also offer ‘keyword analysis’ as part of the SEO service. This is the blog cheesy marketing promotion based on a study to see which keywords are worthwhile for your site to chase a rank upon. An improvement in search engine ranking always produces a heavily increased probability of click-through of heavily targeted visitors. Keyword analysis will also prove to be one of the most cost-effective time resource investments.

On the big ones, search is always changing as are the search engine algorithms, techniques, and technology used by professional services. Although there is a myriad of ethical SEO services available to you, some containing more than one person over a laptop with an internet connection, there are a wide selection of tasks which can be used to improve your search engine ranking – perhaps we should now be discussing our rankings for specific keywords, but that’s another article for another day. Professional SEO services can include everything from link building and copywriting to site optimization and website search engine visibility enhancements.

Search engine optimization can be a complex and sometimes daunting prospect. We often find ourselves asking, “What exactly are SEO services, and what specific tasks can I perform myself and what specific tasks require a professional service?” Essentially, we need to know how best to spend our money on SEO.

Navigating the SEO Jungle

Off-page factors are external factors that affect your website’s visibility in search engine results. These are factors that are not controlled by coding on your page. Examples of off-page optimization include things such as link popularity and page rank. These factors are quite difficult to control. Link popularity is a measure of the quality and quantity of other websites that link to your site. This can be related to how popular your website is perceived to be. A website that has a lot of other websites linking to it will likely be taken as more relevant than others and thus have a higher page rank. Page rank is a link analysis algorithm used by the Google search engine. It assigns a numerical weighting to each element of a hyperlinked set of documents, such as the World Wide Web, with the purpose of measuring its relative importance within the set. This can be a quite difficult concept to grasp, let’s just say that the higher your page rank, the better.

In SEO, on-page techniques are factors that have an effect on your website or web page listing in natural search results. These factors are controlled by you or by coding on your page. Examples of on-page optimization include actual HTML code, meta tags, keyword placement, and keyword density. It is important to optimize the important parts of your site to make it easier for the search engines to index your page. At the same time, it’s essential to avoid over-optimization, which may appear unnatural and produce a negative result. Writing quality content and maintaining a good user experience is essential to the success of your SEO campaign. At the end of the day, it’s important to remember that search engines rank web pages, not websites. This makes the optimization of each page on your site extremely important.

When optimizing a website, you first need to understand what a keyword is and how a website is found in the search engines when a user types in a specific keyword. The importance of choosing the right keywords cannot be stressed enough. Keywords are the foundation of SEO, and it is important to take the time to find the ones that will generate the most qualified traffic to your website. Once you decide on the keyword selection, it is important to incorporate these keywords throughout your website. This creates a common theme for the search engines when they index your site. If done correctly, the result will be a higher page rank for those specific keywords. Higher rankings result in more traffic to your site. Effective use of keywords will also help identify your site as a good match to the search engines for what the user is looking for.

Keyword Research and Optimization

Keywords are why your website rings a bell in the World Wide Web. They are the essence of all the content you have poured your time and thoughts into. The way search engines work is that they crawl your pages and take note of the keywords and key phrases, then index your site under those terms. Say, you have a website about tropical fish. You will want your site to be linked to when someone types in “tropical fish” or “aquariums” and sealing 1 spot in a search engine for these terms. The higher the keyword relevance, the higher the position your site shall be. Be sure not to pick keywords that are too popular or competitive, this will also hinder your correction position of your site. If “tropical fish” was typed into a search engine, there are millions of pages and the chances of your site appearing in the top 10 pages is very unlikely. This is where we bring long tail vs short tail keywords into consideration. Long tail being the more descriptive but less competitive phrases and vice versa for short tail, “tropical fish” being an example of short tail and “tropical freshwater fish tanks” being an example of long tail. Step 1 to creating a list of effective keywords is to brainstorm. What is the overall topic of your site and what is the focus of each specific page. Jot these down and compile a list.

On-Page SEO Techniques

– Headings Having keyword-rich headings on the page is a great way to improve on-page SEO. The <h1> tag is the most important, and the <h1> should contain the main keyword for the page. Following the <h1> tag, the other heading tags (<h2> to <h6>) can be used in order of importance to create a hierarchy for the page. It’s important to use an <h1> tag only once on a page.

– Title Tags Title tags are the most important on-page SEO factor after content. Having your main keywords in the title tag is the most effective way to rank for that keyword.

– URL Structure Including keywords in your URLs can help search engines determine whether or not your page is relevant to a search query. It’s important to use hyphens to separate words in URLs as this represents a space. Dynamic parameters, such as %=?, etc., should be kept to a minimum and be used only when necessary. This is because search engines often ignore URLs that contain these.

On-page SEO techniques relate to the factors on your website that affect your page ranking. These factors are controlled by you or by coding on your page. Examples of on-page SEO include actual HTML code, meta tags, keyword placement, and keyword density. While you can’t always control the off-site factors that determine your PageRank, you can often improve the on-site factors. Knowing this, optimizing the on-page factors is important when trying to improve your PageRank.

Off-Page SEO Strategies

Off-page search engine optimization is not just about links. It goes deeper than that. For a search engine to trust your site, the popularity and relevance of your site must be proven. This can be done by connecting with authoritative sites, social networking, social bookmarking, and utilizing a variation of media. The theory of “If you build it, they will come” does not apply to the web. It is important to promote your site and content to get others to link to it. This can help search engine spiders find your site and index it more effectively. The easier your site is found on search engines, the more traffic that will be directed to your site. This ties in with creating a great user experience on your site, for the better the user experience, the more likely they are to share your site with others. This can be done by site usability and user interface. As mentioned before, a great deal of SEO deals with establishing trust among search engines and users. So it is important to represent your site in the right way to your targeted audience. This means being a part of the right community. People are more likely to link to your site if its content is fitting to their site. So it is important to reach your intended audience. Email marketing and press releases are great tools to use to reach out to potential customers. Any representation of your company should uphold public relations. Always conduct yourself and business in the right manner, for the goal of gaining a positive image and building credibility is very important when trying to rank in a search engine. This PR should shine through in your site design and content. A well-branded image will result in a strong brand name. And a strong brand name can result in branded searches in search engines. Starting with your company name, branded searches are very likely to bring in exact match results. This is an opportunity to dominate the search results page. With the right implementation, you can have up to site links to direct visitors to other pages of your site. This increases the chance of conversion and can take away traffic from your competitors. Last but not least, utilize analytics. It is a crime to not know the effects of your work. This is the best way to see if your implemented off-page strategies are working. It also evaluates the effectiveness of traffic directed to your site from links and the overall user experience. Always take into consideration user feedback to make changes for the better. Remember all these steps are ongoing and it is important to adapt to the web and its changes. Always better your site and move it forward.

Technical SEO Considerations

What can be done to overcome this issue? As a starting point, one should consult Google Webmaster Guidelines and Google’s published information for webmasters. These provide the most comprehensive source of information. As long as it doesn’t violate the guidelines, restricting the use of technology that is difficult for a search engine to crawl is a wise move.

Thin content generated by CMS systems, duplicate content, and URL parameters also pose issues for search engines. Though it has slightly improved over the years, it still remains an issue.

Search engine crawlers have problems reading Flash or framed websites. Even despite Flash’s recent decline, search engines still experience many problems today. AJAX, Java, JavaScript, or any other programming that has to do with asynchronous requests prove to be a dilemma for search engines. It not only has to do with the requests and responses between the server and the browser, but AJAX has become a blanket term people use to explain almost any type of call-and-response client/server-side scripting without refreshing the page. Google has implemented AJAX crawl, but still acknowledges that it is not an ideal solution.

With the advent of subsequent internet technologies, website link is something novel, and because of that technical SEO will continue to grow in importance over time. Impression technology is increasingly becoming greater than before, but it still leaves a lot to be desired with regard to how search engines crawl, render, and incorporate websites into their indexes. This being said, let’s look back a few years to a time in which Flash websites were near the peak of their popularity.

Choosing the Right SEO Service Provider

First, you must decide whether you need an SEO agency. Some companies can perform SEO in-house, but this may not be the best solution. An SEO agency that has a proven track record and experience for getting results for businesses is likely to save you time and money in the long run. When deciding between in-house and outsourced SEO, you should consider the resources that would be needed to effectively carry out an SEO strategy. Do you have someone who is capable of dedicating their time to SEO? SEO is a lifestyle; it is not a singular task, and in order to see results, it must be a continuous effort. An SEO agency should have staff that are specialists within SEO, which will allow you to take advantage of experienced staff and more likely to get the results you are seeking. Considering costs, it is likely that hiring an SEO company will be less expensive and more beneficial to your company than trying to allocate resources for an effective in-house strategy. This holds especially true for small businesses. Finally, an important consideration is the risk. SEO agencies are in a competitive market, which means they need to produce and maintain a high level of work to get and keep your business. This level of competition creates a reduced risk when compared to creating an in-house strategy. If you are not satisfied with the work of an agency, you can easily look for another one. However, since having an in-house strategy may involve individuals trying to learn and grow within the task, regardless of results, it may be hard for a company to abandon the strategy.

Factors to Consider in Selecting an SEO Agency

  1. Customer Service and Responsiveness: Even the best of the best need to have a line of communication that’s open twenty-four seven. The demand for SEO is an international thing now given its global reach. It sometimes feels like a campaign can run into a sudden state of emergency due to a Google penalty or a sudden change in the algorithm. Urgent damage control is needed in such a scenario. It’s doubly worse when you’ve got to sit tight on your hands for a day or two just to get the boat in motion. Speaking from personal experience, the customer support structure of an SEO agency is a great measure for telling whether or not you can expect a comfortable experience. A lot of the SEO agencies, us included, provide several different means of communication such as email, Skype, on-site contact forms, or even telephones. This may seem excessive, but it’s because a client’s preferred method of communication is an internet marketer’s bread and butter. Can he deliver the results he seeks if he’s deprived of his favorite means of conveying a message? Time says no.
  2. Reputation and Track Record: With so many SEO service providers to choose from, it’s all too easy to get lured in by empty promises. The best way to weed out the charlatans from the champs is simply by looking at the kind of reputation they have. A good SEO agency should have a good standing within the SEO community. Not just their registered company name or store front, but the name of the actual owner or chief of the company is used to conduct business. Kind of like how Rand Fishkin is known to be the face of SEOMoz. A good lot of the established SEO agencies aren’t just recognized domestically, but they’re known internationally to boot. This is all because of a solid track record and the outstanding results they deliver their clients.

Benefits of Outsourcing SEO Services

By hiring an SEO company or SEO service provider, they will often provide on-page optimization services or web copywriting. With a qualified writing background, this is very convenient. You will have what is necessary and only add what you feel is needed for the extra SEO boost.

As search engine optimization continues to rise in popularity, marketing companies and consultancies are turning to it as a profitable add-on to their marketing suite. This trend has led to an increase in the demand for SEO services from consulting other entities. It happens to be very cost-efficient. However, doing it in-house for the company doing the search requires a high investment in labor and resources. If you are not trying to learn and become an expert on SEO, there is also a potential to overspend and not achieve the desired results.

We want to help you get found on the web. Through this process of optimized outsourcing SEO services, you will soon begin to see an increase in traffic to your site. This traffic, in time, will turn into leads; leads will turn into a sale, and in time, a new customer or client. This will result in increased revenue and sales for your company, therefore justifying the initial investment.

Sotavento Medios: A Leading Digital Marketing Agency in Singapore

Sotavento Medios has achieved top rankings for a variety of highly competitive keywords for numerous international corporations across a wide range of industries. This stands as testament to Sotavento Medios being able to deliver results in an industry notorious for being vague and elusive when it comes to results.

Apart from the fact that the company offers SEO services, Sotavento Medios also provides website design and internet marketing services. Also, being a company that specializes in search engine marketing, there is a natural synergy between SEO service and the company’s core competencies.

The Future of SEO

Evolution is the future of all things, and search engine optimization is no different. The best SEO experts stay up to date with the latest and greatest information and techniques to keep their sites ranking high and yielding the largest amount of traffic. Modern advancements in technology are the reasons behind the evolving nature of SEO. Web 2.0 gave birth to a new age of internet usage – dynamic content. No longer was the internet a static billboard – it became an interactive medium to transmit information. Although the principles of ranking high in SERPs has not changed, the methods in which SEO is done has. Traditional SEO focused mainly on on-page optimization (content and code). Today, SEO involves a much more complex methodology requiring an integrated approach incorporating aspects of design, development, content, and off-page optimization. An effective modern SEO campaign touches all of these points, and to be truly effective, it must also include a strategy to fit in with future advancements. Web 2.0 also led to the birth of universal search – results blending video, images, news, maps and other verticals alongside web pages. This blending presents new challenges and opportunities for increased visibility in the SERPs. Step one to ranking high in universal search is understanding the format and how to optimize different types of content. Video indexing and XML video sitemaps are a must for any multimedia to be properly indexed and thus appear in blended search results. Flash, frames and AJAX can hinder a site’s universal search rankings as search engines can have difficulty indexing this content. The future of universal search leads to localization. Location-based search presents new possibilities for local businesses to market themselves online. A study done by TMP/comScore indicated that roughly 60% of US internet users would perform ‘local’ searches. Of this 60%, half were looking for a local business. The same study found that local search was growing at a faster rate than general search. Yahoo! reported similar findings with 25% of its search queries being local. These numbers clearly indicate a growing trend in location-based searching and thus a need for local businesses to start implementing SEO strategies if they want to remain competitive. Social media and networking websites have also created a new platform for visibility on search engines. A study by GroupM UK and Nielsen reported that 55% of consumers’ online time is spent with content discovery, search, and social media. Of this time, 83% is spent on search and social media. Furthermore, 92% of marketers indicated that their social media efforts have generated more exposure for their businesses. It is evident that social media is becoming an increasingly important part of people’s daily internet usage and a powerful tool for businesses to market themselves. An effective social media strategy can greatly increase a company’s online visibility and concurrently benefit their SEO campaign. In the future, we can only expect social media to become more intertwined with search and thus a greater need for businesses to have a presence in the social media world.

Evolving Trends in SEO

As the internet continues to change and become more influenced by the wants and needs of consumers, the strategy of SEO will also be subject to change. Search is still a fairly new concept and currently still has many years before it reaches its final destination. With the growing popularity of social search, we are constantly reminded that the way people want to find information and how they expect to find it will change the landscape of search forever. Social search is a direct result of societal trends which indicate that people are more trusting of information they receive from individuals they know and trust, rather than a static index of pages with a search box. The opinions and comments of others will factor more heavily into the way people search and this will have an effect on the way results are served. On top of this, there is already a heavy trend in the preference of video content from users across the globe. As high-speed internet and smartphones become more accessible to the global population, video will be the next frontier in the realm of search. Up until this point, search engines still have a difficult time indexing video content and properly associating queries with the most relevant/highest quality content. But as video technology continues to advance, it will become easier for search engines to reach their consistent goal of delivering the best results to users. This will result in a greater focus on video optimization in order to achieve enhanced visibility in video search results.

Mobile Optimization and SEO

A mobile device is the primary tool to access our online world for an increasing majority. In 2018, Google rolled out a substantial change in its algorithm that favored websites with mobile optimization. This should, of course, be followed through, as Google has also announced that it is officially making the switch to mobile-first indexing this year. Mobile-first indexing will use the mobile version of the page for indexing and ranking, to help the growing mobile user base find what they are looking for. It is important to note that this will only affect the mobile search results. Websites that aren’t mobile-friendly will still be indexed; however, the lack of mobile optimization may negatively affect these websites’ rankings. If a website is not fully prepared to make the switch to mobile-first indexing, it is advised by Google to simply continue using responsive design and making the same content available on desktop and mobile. Because of the significant impact and positive reception of Google’s mobile optimization changes, it is expected that other search engines will follow this trend. It is a wise investment to shift to mobile optimization if it is not done so already. This is especially the case for small businesses. Mobile optimization has the potential to increase the traffic of mobile users and, in turn, conversion rates. Mobile users are likely to search for local content, as it is at their fingertips while they are on the move. This means that local businesses, in particular, can benefit greatly by making their content more accessible to mobile users. Mobile optimization will continue to be a relevant topic for a long time as mobile devices further integrate into our everyday lives. Following the trend, it is most certainly a game worth playing for the professional SEO.

Voice Search and SEO

Advertising is always going to follow successes in media. Once it’s discovered how to make an effective sales pitch, that pitch is always spread as widely and as often as possible. This has been a key component of Google’s growth as a company. The company realized that the most common and habitual internet task is to research something, with the goal of reaching a better understanding of that thing. This is usually a prelude to a purchase or another form of acquisition. Step by step, Google has augmented its advertising platforms on the premise that a more targeted and more useful ad is closer to fulfilling that same goal. Today, it’s working on that same premise with voice.

The main way that voice search will increase the usage of search is by encouraging more habitual use of search. It’s not simply that a spoken input is easier than a typed one (though it often is), it’s that the more you use a system, the more it becomes your default choice for utility functions. Mobile phones were the first step in this direction, creating an access point for a search box and Google Now or Siri. Devices like the Amazon Echo and Google Home are the next step by creating a permanent location.

The Role of AI in SEO

When we discuss the role of AI and machine learning in SEO, maybe it would be interesting to have a little deep learning on how exactly those technologies work. AI refers to the ability of a computer or machine to simulate human thinking or logic. Meanwhile, machine learning itself is a subset of AI that allows a machine to learn and improve itself without being explicitly programmed. Now that we understand the basic concepts of AI and machine learning, Google has been using these technologies extensively, especially RankBrain. RankBrain is a machine learning-based search engine algorithm that helps Google process search results and deliver more relevant results to users. Google has never been explicit on what SEOs can do to optimize for RankBrain, but at the same time offering high quality and relevant content has never been a bad idea. Another way Google uses AI is more for technical SEO. In 2018, Google released a paper entitled “Automating Experiments Using Machine Learning”. This paper explains how Google used machine learning to understand which algorithm updates were more beneficial for webmasters. According to the paper, they then train an algorithm to predict the impact of those updates and what exactly to change on the pages that were affected by said update. This process ensures that Google makes informed algorithm updates and decreases the chances of an update having a negative impact.