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What Is SEO Anyway & Why Do I Need It-Advice Tips Help

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What is SEO Anyway?

What does it mean?
SEO stands for "Search Engine Optimization".

What does it do?
It can be defined as the practice of making adjustments to your web-page or web-site, that will result in each of the pages optimized, as coming out in a given search request or search query at the very best position they are capable of.

Why do we need it?

Because the world in has always been an ever-changing place.
And t
he world-wide-web is among the fastest leaders of changes taking place.
With todays technology, and easy access by anyone at any-time from any-place...
Anyone & everyone's path in life
can be changed in just the time-span of another mouse-click.
Think about that for a moment...
Whether a person is aware, open to
this, or simply chooses not to believe it, is of no concern to anyone but themselves.
It will happen thousands of times daily, with or without their input.

Why should I change my style?

As a site owner, it's important to understand that these changes are not done randomly.
Most are done with the searchers benefit in mind, in order to bring them the most relevant content available to their search query.
The changes are made with much thought, tried for a time, examined later for results, and if found to be a positive outcome, remain as a permanent algorithim in the search engine.
Many changes stay active for only a year or so before the search engines delete them from the algorithms as not useful, but still, we must stay on the top of the searches through them all for our web-based business incomes regardless of whther they become obsolete or not-Nothing says good SEO practices can't delete obsolete methods.
Those seemingly small day-to-day changes that occur noticably or un-noticeably,
work steadily against the unchanged, stagnant website.
Leaving them falling further & further toward the end of the search result pages-Unseen by human eyes.

Why should I waste my time on another change?

Search Engine Optimization must be thought of as an ongoing and routine part of a business venture, much like a maintenance closet or entire department is a necessity to any well running business small & large.

People search for various items and information on a daily basis, and the methods in which they use to look changes very slightly, and in very subtle ways, but on a very continual basis.
We as users on the internet only see the output of their work-The search page.
But what most people never realize, is that those search engines employ tens of thousands of people-yes, tens of thousands!
Do you really think that could exist on simply a "status quo" unchanging, non-advancing
basis?

Search
Engines also have competitors just like anyone else, so they must BE the cutting edge-Not follow it!
It stands to reason that every day there will be some work being done on "advacements"....however small they may be
on a daily basis, they add up on a more long-term basis.
Look at the changes in websearching and expierience level needed to have a website over just the past year...
20% of users just changed search engines literally overnight o
n December 1, 2014 because of a business deal...Most didn't even know it happened.
How does that affect your site?
You better find out fast, because it's about to happen again in a few more months with another business deal slated to happen for approx 10% of all searches.
All engines do not return the same results, or the same result order for the same keywords
searched.
Conduct the experiment yourself...open two browsers, search for the same 2 key
words in both browsers using a different search engine in both, then look at the results (Called SERP).

After a period of time, a noticeable change in web search methods becomes evident and is obvious even to a casual observer, and an entirely new set of "top 10" results may be had
.
The job as a webmaster or consultant, is to keep up with these changes as closely as possible, and to implement them quickly, in order that the company does not expierience a significant loss of revenue (if any).

How is it done?

Optimization is the process of taking a given page, and fine tuning both the page itself, and the technical aspects of it's web ranking factors that affect the search results and that specific pages ranking within those results.

Is it difficult?

Not especially. Though it is very time consuming.
True SEO practices are never finished. Daily input is ideal.
Though somewhat unrealistic, a best practice approach would be an un-ending budget for a dedicated website department.

Do I need a professional consultant?
If it makes you feel better then yes.
Inevitably, a person with better ability may have a list of credentials and whatnot to show you.
(A sidenote, beware of things you see on the web-Much is fake, and a fraudulent certificate is easily made)
Also, they're going to want to be paid handsomely for those credentials...
Whereas a semi-skilled tech may be the one actually doing the job anyway, (If you understand how a company actually works)
So, bear that in mind.

So shopping for an SEO consultant is much like the difference in pricing at the deli between shaved steak and turkey roll.
Obviously there's a difference, but which is the better choice?
Outside factors may include budget, website size, is the site informational only or does it generate sales, skill levels of the service providers, and many variables pertaining only to your own personal needs.
An eager young techno-geek may often be up on current penalty problems from search engines where another simply remembers "the old days" practices very well.

Instead of comparing credentials, take a look at their own website(s), and be sure they actually own it by checking ownership at www.whois.com
It will tell you the name of the owner so they're not showing you someone else's site and claiming it as their own to sweep you off your feet.
Their own website (Such as this one) will give you a rough idea of the ability that you're paying for.
If you like the way their site flows, then proceed, if not, look at others until you find a site that feels right.
Bottom line/Best advice: Look at their site for page flow, then see how it ranks with search engines before hiring them.

Do we have to do it?
No.
While it's true that nothing about a website is required after you own the domain, it's also true that the more you do to enhance it, the more that people will like it, use it, and spread the word to other users-Making your site more profitable or recognized as a leader, which is why you have the site in the first place!.
As far as any business or information based website is concerned, the only real questions are whether or not to keep abreast of the changes and how they will affect their site, and then whether to
spend some of it's resources on web improvement-or not.
Because undoubtedly, some of their competitors will elect to do the work either in-house or hire out.

What can I expect from doing it?:
This is the question many SEO's will use to send you into a dreamland with high hopes of tranquil days, easy work, and prosperty you didn't even imagine.
This is the reality...
With proper SEO, you can expect to stay in the running with your online competitors that have also implemented their own Search Engine Optimization, thus earning you the right to continue competing with them in the future on many other levels, and to surpass any website business that have not done the proper optimizations.
Not much of a value right?...Read on...

What does that mean?
It means that your website traffic or your business in general is not so much decided on by you doing the work that makes the search engines happy, as it's decided on by your competitors not doing the very same work that you already have.
By doing the work, you win the right to stay in the running and to compete for business with others that also do the work...
Those that do not, will slowly and eventually drop away, and no longer be a factor against you, and may quite possibly wind up working for you one day.

Consider it like this...
Most company's might have a particular advertising campaign similar to your own present one.
What if you neglected that area, while they kept up on it?...Obviously they would then have the edge...
So, basically, keeping up with the Jones is a matter of necessity in business.
SEO does not put you ahead of all your competitors..It just puts you ahead of the ones who don't bother to do it.
All things being equal as far as one site's SEO to another, your future prosperity will be dependant on many of your other business factors.
The SEO will simply help you rank higher or get more visitors than you did prior to implementing it.
After that, your business skills & reputation will be among the deciding factors for any advancements or declines.

What if I choose not to do SEO?

Any site may have a large enough following that a significant number of visitors will satisfy their present needs.
However, with even modest SEO practices of checking past-to-present visitors amounts will almost always show a decline when no updates to their site pages have been performed in some time.

Even a high ranking site that ignors doing future SEO practices will be overtaken after just a few short months by smaller websites that have performed the work and implemented any needed changes.
Notice the words "will be"...Not "can be".

Go with your instincts:

When was the last time your web-search resulted in your going to page 2 or beyond before clicking on a site?
It does happen, but not that often, and when it does, those sites on page 1 probably didn't have enough SEO in them to capture your interest.
Why would you expect someone else bother with the secondary pages you're listed on now?
If you're not on page 1, something needs to change.

How often should it be done?

Ideally...Every Day. It's a never-ending job.
Realistically...
A first instance when time or money make it possible-Though something of a Catch-22, the money won't come until the website succeeds.
Each time a new page is inserted...I'ts soooo much easier one page at a time, and will net your site faster results anyway.

How long will it take?

This can be taken a couple of different ways...
First, communicating from client to tech in regards to what is expected, material, payment clearing, etc....Varies
Second, the actual work of it, "generally" 1 day per page should suffice, unless there is a specific issue that the tech is looking to clear with the site owner, then allow for "talk-time".
Third, Results--how long does that take? The question everyone wants to know the answer to, the one most consultants will lie about, the one no one knows the answer to because there is no absolute answer....
The short answer..."Some" measurable improvement should be seen within 30 days, probably not enough by a buyers standards, but still measurable.

Be aware-Optimizing is on a page-by-page basis, and though a single page may be on top, the rest of the site may not be.
Conversely, most of a website may also be on top, and a particular page may do poorly.
Bottom line is...If it ain't broke-Don't fix it!
Fix only those pages ranking poorly!

But here are some variables to help you assess why long-term & hard-standing results are so elusive....
Your SEO is done...
But so is your competitors...Who then is to rank higher?
Your competitors is not done...You gain ranking
Improvements not where expected...Improved in wrong/different areas
No improvements in expected area....Area is not important to searchers
Major improvement in under 30 days.....Bingo! Right area, search target hit


Free Advice:
For a small or independant company with just one or a few employees and using owner based websites, revamp the site as soon as possible, then just simply do the SEO during each new page after that, and plan to hire a professional as your business grows. Possibly adhering closely to the business model below.

For the large and especially for growing e-commerce websites, a best practices plan in decending order of preference may be more along the lines of something like this...
1-All uploads are to be individually & thoroughly checked by at least one of the site and/or business owners-Or give full trust in whoever has access.
(Do not take this step lightly, it is second in importance only to the accountant that you appoint for your business-Think about that for a moment before continuing any further)
2-Get your own
web-server to self-host your site.
3-Have a dedicated IT/Website department-Staffed 50/50 with old & young geeks, all with equal authority (Old=cautious changes, young=new methods).
4-A dedicated IT/Website single staff member-Younger geek, with their own unrelated websitealready online since before they came to you for employment.
5-A multi-hat staff member in sales or editing, possibly catalog or closely related function-Do not overload this person, and this job is primary above their other responsibilities.

Outside method for both small & large company sizes:
Hire a third party. Farm-out the job, but insist on being part of the process and deciding the format for the look, feel, and flow of the website.
This method can be for any valid reason or standpoint, whether a company just wants short-term results, is a temporary endeavor, filling in until a department is necessary, prefers hiring outside....there are many reasons, so whatever suits you is fine.

Do not feel overwhelmed or dismayed.
Even on a modest budget, most SEO services can be done by this designer services or by others by doing an internet search.
What matters is that the work gets done properly within the best possible timeframe & cost.
Repeat as often as necessary.

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