SEO Consulting: What is It? Do you Need It?
SEO Consulting (SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization) is the current buzz occupation in the Internet Business today. The demand for SEO consulting firms or individuals (who are called SEO Consultants) is driven by the reality of the Internet that there are literally billions of websites that have sprouted in cyberspace since the world wide web inception, with millions more entering everyday.
While a large chunk of these websites are personal sites that the owner puts up for his own satisfaction, a rapidly increasing number of them have been put up for a commercial purpose.
The biggest challenge you will face as a business website owner (which any SEO Consulting firm will tell you) is finding ways and means for many visitors to come and visit your site, thus increasing your chances of generating business. One way you can achieve this objective is to spend on traditional and/or on-line advertising and promotions to build brand awareness. While this is unarguably an effective strategy, not only is it quite expensive, it is also not targeted, i.e., it does not select the market that you are really interested in communicating to.
Fortunately, SEO consulting firms (or individuals) will tell you, there is a more practical and effective way to attract the right market to your Internet business website, which takes advantage of three Internet facts: (1) Most, if not all, Internet users go to cyberspace for INFORMATION; (2) In seeking information, the common first step for an Internet user to take is to go to a search engine website, enter the keywords for his search, and click on one of the recommended sites spewed out; and, (3) there are only a few popular search engines on the Internet that searchers go to (SEO consulting firms know the ones that really count and keep up with their algorithm).
To get targeted visitors, therefore, you need to find a way (either by yourself or through the expertise of an SEO consulting company) to get the popular search engines to list your website as close to the top of their list based on the most common search keywords entered by the searchers that refer to information that your website provides. Performing this “trick” successfully is what Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is all about.
In a nutshell, SEO is a set of strategies implemented on a website that, when “crawled through” by the search engine “spiderbot”, gets evaluated with a high relevance score so that it gets listed high in the results based on the keywords entered. Different SEO consulting groups apply different strategies to achieve this objective but will invariably use some of the strategies listed below:
a. Keyword Selection – In registering your site with the search engines, SEO consulting firms will choose the keywords that: (1) your website’s information is responsive to; and, (2) the user will most likely enter when he is searching for the information you have.
b. Meta tag Optimization – This is another common strategy used by SEO consulting firms. Meta tags are normally found in the remarks page of your HTML code. SEO consulting firms will embed as many of the responsive keywords here because the search engine “spiderbot” always “crawls” through them.
c. Content Optimization – SEO consulting firms will make sure that your website has a lot of information (either on the website itself or in the files that it hosts) that contains the relevant keywords.
d. Link Building – A SEO consulting team will use their resources and databases to build an arsenal of one way inbound links from relevant and content rich sites.
When do you know that you need the help of an SEO consulting firm or individual? Here are a few tips to help you decide:
A final word of advice: If you decide to hire an SEO consulting firm or individual, choose carefully. While rates should be one of the criteria for SEO consulting firm selection, equally important should be experience and reputation. Do not be blinded by bargain and low priced offers that are too good to be true. If an SEO consulting firm practically gives away its service, you should be really wary. You could end up spending more than you bargained for in terms of damage control efforts, money, time, and lost opportunities if the SEO Consulting firm you select is the wrong one.
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