Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the volume and quality of traffic to a website from search engines via "natural" search results. Usually, the earlier a site is presented in the search results, or the higher it "ranks," the more searchers will visit that site.
As an Internet marketing strategy, SEO considers how search engines work and what people search for. Optimizing a website primarily involves editing its content and HTML coding to both increase its relevance to specific keywords and to remove barriers to the indexing activities of search engines.
The acronym "SEO" can also refer to "search engine optimizers," a term adopted by an industry of consultants who carry out optimization projects on behalf of clients, and by employees who perform SEO services in-house. Search engine optimizers may offer SEO as a stand-alone service or as a part of a broader marketing campaign. Because effective SEO may require changes to the HTML source code of a site, SEO tactics may be incorporated into website development and design. The term "search engine friendly" may be used to describe website designs, menus, etc. that are easy to optimize.
The leading search engines, Google, Yahoo and Microsoft, use crawlers to find pages for their algorithmic search results. Pages that are linked from other search engine indexed pages do not need to be submitted because they are found automatically. Some search engines, notably Yahoo, operate a paid submission service that guarantee crawling for either a set fee or cost per click. Such programs usually guarantee inclusion in the database, but do not guarantee specific ranking within the search results.
Search engine crawlers may look at a number of different factors when crawling a site. Not every page is indexed by the search engines.
SEO may generate a return on investment. However, search engines are not paid for organic search traffic. Their algorithms change, and there are no guarantees of continued referrals. Due to this lack of guarantees and certainty, a business that relies heavily on search engine traffic can suffer major losses if the search engines stop sending visitors. It is considered wise business practice for website operators to liberate themselves from dependence on search engine traffic. A top-ranked SEO blog has reported, "Search marketers, in a twist of irony, receive a very small share of their traffic from search engines." Instead, their main sources of traffic are links from other websites.
When we are quoting development work for prospective clients we are often asked to develop a website that is search engine optimized. This usually brings me into a long-winded explanation on how developing a website to be search engine friendly is not the same thing as optimizing that website for search performance. Kind of like how building a car is not the same as making it ready to compete in the Indy 500. Those are two different tasks altogether.
The SEO provider or consultant should be involved in the website development process, though those two roles are completely different. The developer designs and creates the front and back end of the website. A good developer can do that job well, but mostly they do it to function for the user, not perform for the search engines.
Let me be clear: Designing or programming a search engine optimized website simply cannot be done. Designing or programming a search engine friendly site can.
Design/development and SEO are two completely different things, though closely tied together. Each, however, requires a completely different skill set. Most SEOs don't claim to be web developers (though some are), but oddly, many web designers claim to be able to SEO (though most can't.)
The process of SEO requires hours of additional research and a skill set that usually is not included as a part of the site development contract.
It's very smart to find a web developer that can create a search engine friendly website, but be aware of claims of SEO services being included. It's even smart to find an SEO that will work with your web developer to create a search engine friendly website completely compatible with their optimization processes. This prevents the SEO from having to ask for numerous, and expensive, site development changes in order to embark on a successful SEO campaign.
We make sure your site is SEO friendly. The foundation of your website design is clean, concise and friendly for the search engines that crawl your site.
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