What exactly is search engine optimization? Search engine optimization is designing, writing, and coding (in HTML) your entire web site so that there is a good chance that your web pages will appear at the top of search engine queries for your selected keywords and key phrases. The majority of the search engine optimization specialist’s time should be spent targeting the search engines that will give you the most traffic. The following search engines and directories are:
The best time to request search engine optimization is before you design your web site. As your web site designer creates page templates for you to approve, you can have a search engine optimization specialist take a look at them and tell you which layout is best for optimum indexing. Once you have selected the best layout for your web site, then the search engine optimization specialist can tell your designer when and where to place your keywords and key phrases within your HTML tags.
How can you tell a quality search engine optimization specialist from a scam artist? A search engine optimization specialist should be able to get your site indexed well for Google, Inktomi, and Yahoo. The 2 search engines and 1 directory differ in the way they index sites. Google does not use meta-tag content for relevancy. Inktomi currently uses meta-tags. And Yahoo is a directory. Ask how your site will be designed and tagged for each of these. If you don’t get 3 different answers, then you should move on to a more experienced search engine optimization professional.
If your web site has already been designed, a professional search engine optimization specialist will often recommend layout and design changes. He/She is not telling you that you have a bad-looking web site. He/She is telling you that the site’s layout will not get indexed well for your targeted keywords and key phrases. For example, a site that has a triple frameset (on the top and on the side) is extremely difficult to get indexed well on search engines, even with a gateway page. However, a simple frameset can get indexed well in search engines, with or without a gateway page. A search engine optimization specialist can design or tell your web site designer how to lay out a simple frameset to get the best results.
Search engine optimization and other marketing strategies (banner advertising, web copywriting, being listed in Yahoo, posting to discussion groups, etc.) are not substitutes for a web site with solid content and great layout. Search engine optimization is not a substitute for customer service, a good sales pitch, or a great product/service. It is not a substitute for a well-planned online and offline marketing plan. Search engine optimization is a means of helping your potential customers find your web site. It is a highly specialized marketing tool.