In part I of this series, we discussed how SEO is the most cost-effective and quantifyable use of your company's advertising and marketing budget. Now it's time to move on to just how and why search engine optimization works.
What makes a site visible to search engines?
SEO specialists review a site's construction to make sure it uses search engine friendly coding and construction techniques. Flash-driven sites, for instance, can be very eye-catching but are unreadable to search engines. Search engine optimization professionals will also develop road maps of sorts for viewers and search engines alike.
A site map for users is often a basic page of links showing site organization. Versions of this map written in a format Google and Yahoo spiders read should also be made and submitted to the engines. Search engine versions of a site map include additional information, such as instructions on how often spiders should index the site and how often content is updated.
Why care about link volume?
Search engines see the amount of quality, relevant links pointing to a site as a 'vote of confidence'. To be of any use, links should come from sites with a related topic that have strong visibility and solid Google page rank. The more quality inbound links, the more the engines sit up and take notice.
How to build link volume
There are free and low-cost options that can be of use in building up link volume. These include directories, blogs, and bulletin boards. An SEO professional can make sure your company is listed on quality sites targeting to your industry while steering clear of junk links from poor quality sites and other black-hat SEO staples.
Another easy "sweat of your brow" method to get attention is to be mentioned in an article distributed across the web and written by an industry expert. The best part is that you already have the information at your fingertips to write the article yourself. Who's a better expert than you? My Dad used to say that if you want to make money, get paid for what you know, not what you do. So, tell the world what you know Mr. and Ms. Expert.
If writing is not your strong suit, search engine optimization professionals can develop targeted, optimized content for you. They also know exactly what sites supply the widest exposure for your information and links pointing back to your site. The best part is that most article directories distribute content, along with links embedded in them, free of charge.
Who will see these articles? Everyone from potential customers to industry peers and the search engine spiders themselves. Optimized content is written to appeal to both.
Rounding out the digital guerilla marketing arsenal, SEO specialists also recommend taking advantage of social bookmarking and networking sites. SEO providers can place effective posts linking to your site that are eaten up by indexing spiders.
We've really just scratched the surface here. With a small investment for a good SEO company and an investment of your time, your company is going to be introduced to the world my friend!
About the Author : R. Harvey Bravman is president of Advanced Digital Websites, Inc.; a Boston search engine optimization and web design firm specializing in custom SEO solutions for business.