Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is all about getting your site recognized and where visitors can find you easily. There are two major types of SEO, white-hat and black-hat. White-hat is really beneficial for you website, and is totally safe, whereas black-hat is the frowned upon type of SEO that. Employing black-hat techniques will get you listed as a spam site and your SEO ratings will drop accordingly, even if initially they seem to work.
Black-hat SEO techniques are to include links called link farms, which will increase traffic, (i.e. visitors) to your site. Link farms are a group of websites which link back to all the other sites. Search engines view it as spam.
Keyword stuffing (putting more keywords than what is necessary), adding irrelevant but popular keywords and hiding text by putting it in the same color as the background are all definite no-no’s. Your site will be blacklisted. It will not appear on the search engines at all.
White-hat SEO, is all about complying to the rules and regulations, working with the search engines, to produce quality pages which internet users want to use and can be trusted. Keywords are an important part of SEO, but they should be used in a density ratio of no more than 3 – 7%. If you use it more often, the sites will think that your contents are spam and if they are truly not, your content pages are probably of low quality. Using keywords in file names, folders, and links do help boost your ratings. It is in the first 50 words that keywords are the most valuable, but they need to be entirely relevant.
Make sure that your pages do not have duplicate content, which might be innocent, but it is regarded dimly by the search engines.
Links to other sites are acceptable, even desirable, just not when their sole purpose is to get your site ranked higher. Backlinks – links which are on other sites and link to your site – are considered white-hat, if they are not part of a wheel of companies that eventually link to each other (Link farms). For some search engines, backlinks are essential.
Social Media is a type of SEO and a very important one, being bookmarked is a help. Sites that bookmark such as Xmarks, or delicious, are a way of getting your site recognized, it brings in visitors and generates more traffic. By sharing the link, more people will find your site, and it will accordingly be placed higher. Using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google + and the like are all excellent white-hat SEO methods. Having a social networking account in your site’s name will generate more interest and more traffic to your website.
Optimizing your website so that it becomes search engine friendly is a white-hat technique and one that will bring in some immediate results for short term gain. If you create articles that others can share, it will create a backlink.
If you also send out press releases, and have an e-newsletter it will bring more visitors back and help boost your popularity. It is important to have a sitemap and put a different topic on a different page. These help the search engines and make it easier to read your site.
Advertising on the internet is another SEO method, you can pay per click, and your business or the site will be featured on a search page if the person types in a keyword that relates to your business. If you get listed in local and national directories, it will help rank you higher, and of course, it will help your business to reach the right audience as well.
Advertising by linking in to blogs and news sites is also good if you have a niche market that you want to exploit.
Signing up to a blogging site and creating blogs for your website, or adding blogs on to your site will also help create more content and encourage your visitors to stay, which will drive up your rankings. Blogs should be informative and creative, relate to your business and if you allow comments, you will also give your visitor an interactive experience.
Allowing your visitors to interact with your site is a very good idea; if they easily find necessary information or find contact details, they are likely to use them. If they use them, then your site will be ranked higher.
If your site has a large list of things for sale, adding it to the shopping engines will optimize your exposure and help you increase traffic of individuals who are likely to buy from you.
Submit your site to the search engines for optimization, that way you can guarantee that they will index your site, it is a white-hat technique and one that you are strongly recommended to use.
Whatever methods you choose to use, be sure to incorporate SEO as a way of improving your site, but do not let it over ride the experience of using your site. If your site is solely search engine friendly, but the human element of it, is dire, you will not get any customers who come back. If you plan everything just for the SEO content, you will not get the payback you are expecting. SEO compliments your business, not take it over.