Promoting your site takes time, experience, effort, and repetition
Probably our most consistent call-ins over the years have been from businesses who want us to Search Engine Optimize (SEO) their site so they can be found on Google, Bing and Yahoo!.
However, these businesses are shocked to discover how much time, and thus cost, is involved in Search Engine Optimization.
Furthermore, SEO is ongoing; even after a site has reached the first page, those results may only last a few months.
The most important thing to know about any of the search engines is that they do not openly publish what a site needs to do in order to rank highly. If they did, the chance of getting a site to the first page would become a feeding frenzy.
As such, SEO is based more on intuition and experience than exact science.
However, the main reason for SEO cost is that it involves not just your site, but those of your competitors.
SEO requires that you appear in one of only 10 places on the first page of results. To do this requires fighting other similar businesses, each paying their own SEO companies to stay above you.
If you count how many competitors you have with websites in Hampton Roads, the task of getting you onto the first page means fighting the SEO of at least the first 10 of those competitors.
SEO is literally an arms race; a good SEO company has to examine your site and spend days comparing it to what your well-ranking competitors are doing.
Once these comparisons have been made, they need to draw up an action plan of changes your site needs for each search engine. These changes involve all of the elements on the page, including meta tags, page titles, pictures, links and text content.
SEO is based more on intuition and
experience than exact science.
Once this is done, the site is submittted to the various search engines, and then comes the hardest part for any SEO company - waiting up to 30 days to see the effects of their work.
Google only applies changes every 30 days. Once started, this process, called the Google shuffle, takes about 24 hours, and it is one of the most nail-biting times for a SEO company.
During the shuffle, search results for the same search terms can go up and down like a yoyo, before finally stopping at the position they will occupy for the next 30 days.
Once the shuffle is completed, the SEO company examines where the client site now ranks compared to before, praying that they have gone up, not down... and then the process begins again.
Even if the client's site goes up, there is no guarantee that during the next month a competitor might not have a new site launched, or hire their own SEO company to adjust their site, and either of these can force you back down the list again.
Other things affecting SEO are actions of the search engines themselves. Several times a year, the searches have to change their own rules, not because they're just being mean, but usually because they find out that some people have been using black hat (unethical) SEO techniques to trick their way to the top.
Such techniques include fake pages, hidden text and links, and other things which are classed as disreputable. When such scam results happen, the search engines adjust their rules, outlawing that kind of bad behavior in the future.
Google updates its parameters three to four times a year on average, and each time it does, the SEO company needs to quickly determine if those changes may affect your site, and make adjustments accordingly. However, despite all of the ongoing effort, the bottom line is that you need to be in the lead when it comes to being seen by potential clients and customers.
If you have concerns with your web presence, now is the perfect time to look into our WebUpdate system sites, which take advantage of advanced marketing, SEO and promotion features to give your business the best competitive edge online.
What our clients are saying ...
Rick Spink, Owner - Built to Last Furniture
I used to have a website that I made myself, but as technology advanced, it became apparent it was time for professional help.
Internet Marketing and Design had just what we needed. The Web-Update system provides all the tools we need, including search engine optimization and compatibility on other platforms like smartphones.
Our web site is easily found by customers, and orders come in from all over the United States. There is no doubt that our site has been instrumental in Built to Last's growth despite these challenging economic times.
- Rick Spink, Owner
Terry Young is the founder and CEO of Internet Marketing and Design. Since 1997,
his computer programming and graphic design knowledge have kept his company
at the forefront of the latest technology in web development.
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