9 Things You Need TO Know About SEO

1. What Is SEO?

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of improving and promoting a website to increase the number of visitors coming from search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo!
SEO is quite a complicated procedure, with many aspects. It deals with the words displayed on the page, and with the way, other sites link to the website.
SEO helps search engines understand what each page on your website is about and how it will be useful to their users.

2. Why Is SEO So Important?

  1. There are 1,600,000,000,000 searches every year and 3.5 million every day - and that is just on Google.
  2. 67% of internet users use search engines.
  3. 62% of users click on the first 3 results that come up on those search engines.
  4. 42% of users click on the first result.
  5. SEO is open 24/7.
  6. SEO helps all other communication and advertising channel such as Social Media and Content Marketing.
  7. Search engines never charge you - they offer a free service. Therefore, SEO is an investment rather than a cost.
  8. SEO is good for business visibility, credibility and branding.
  9. SEO gives you a better return on investment than other channels (TV ads, Banners, etc).
  10. SEO gives real evaluation of your business. People change their business plans, tactics and even their products after gaining experience with SE users.
  11. SEO means you will attract relevant traffic with a higher conversion rate to sales because SEO gives you information about your customers' interests and behavior.


3. How Search Engines Work

Google automatically updates its listings with crawler technology which ‘crawl’s or ‘spiders’ through the information before it is presented to the public.
Crawler based search engines will notice any changes you make  to page titles, body copy and anything else in your website and use this new information to change your listing.
Once a site has been "spidered" or "crawled", which is normally every month or so, whatever the spider has discovered is inserted into the index. The index is a comprehensive listing of everything that the spider has ever found and every time you make changes to your website the spider will record those changes in the index.
Any alterations you make to your website will not be visible to the public via the search engine until after it has been “spidered” – and then indexed.

4. How Do Search Engines Rank My Website

We have three main components.
On-site (website structure)
On-page (page content) 
Off-page (link building and social signals)

  1. SEO is a logical and mathematical process.
  2. SEO is not “click and install” - you cannot leave it “as is.” It is a continuous process.
  3. SEO strategies are in constant flux. Last year’s methods may not work today. Your techniques might need fine-tuning, or even a total makeover.
  4. When it comes to analytics data, what you see is not always, what you get.
  5. SEO is tactical, it makes a plan.
  6. Your ranking is not a property, it is a status. In other word, you do not “own” your ranking on search engines. Everything is fluid and dynamically changing. Other businesses (i.e., your competition) are constantly trying to steal your traffic, sales, and market share.
  7. Without an ongoing strategy to defend your past results, and a plan to fight night and day against fresh competition, you cannot expect to see upward trends in your Google Analytics - or profit curves that move in a positive direction.
  8. Quick fixes can get you in trouble. SEO is highly complex; there is no magic formula, and no shortcuts: improving rankings requires a number of onsite and offsite activities that revolve around content optimization, link acquisition, and site structure. If any one of these areas are neglected, rankings will suffer. For most small businesses, obtaining relevant and high authority back links to the site is the most challenging aspect of its SEO program.
  9. It all begins with keywords - the words typed into a search box.
  10. Also important are relevant page titles and accurate page descriptions - they are what will draw your target audience in.
  11. SEO requires content - lots of content!
  12. SEO may require a complete site overhaul.
  13. SEO practice is continually changing and getting more complex. 


5. What is the difference between an SEO consultant and a Digital Marketing Manager?

There is not necessarily a difference between the two.
SEO is a digital marketing channel.
SEO affects all other channels and is affected.
SEO Consultants have the ability to increase a website's organic traffic and its authority - to do that they use search engine optimization techniques.
SEO Consultants develop the SEO strategy.
Digital Marketing managers are be responsible in all channels such as -

  1. Content marketing.
  2. Social media marketing.
  3. Email marketing.
  4. Mobile marketing.
  5. Banner advertising.

Digital Marketing managers develop the entire e-marketing strategy.

 6. Do I Need To Hire An SEO Expert?

  1. Web developers and designers alone do not have the required skills to make your website SEO friendly.
  2. Do it yourself and a 30 second mistake could  affect your website's performance for the next 10 years.
  3. Search engines' rules are now changing on a monthly basis  - you need to be up to date.
  4. Google recommend hiring an SEO professional to help you improve your website. In the meantime, Google hire SEO experts to improve their OWN websites.
  5. SEO is a continuous job -  if you stop you could be in a position to lose all your rankings.

How To Choose The Right SEO Agency For you?

  1. Check their SEO and Digital Marketing experience.  Ask them to provide currently running examples, case studies and read any testimonials they have. As well as asking how long they’ve been online, look into their academic history and any other relevant experience.
  2. Ask them how they will promote your web page and with what technology.
  3. What digital means will they use such as social media and email and how your company will see results?
  4. How much will it cost?  Will it be a monthly fee or will it be by the hour?  Will you receive a monthly update showing how your investment is working?
  5. Can they guarantee you the top spot on Google?  If so, you don’t want them! It is impossible to guarantee the top position and any SEO worth their salt would never make such a claim. Rather, all they can do increase your overall traffic. That’s not to say that we might actually achieve the number one position for you – it could happen.
  6. Try a sample first.  By starting with our SEO Auditing Service, clients get an evaluation of any problems within their website, including corrections that need to be made, for a small, one-off fee. This is the beginning of outlining a digital marketing strategy, custom designed, specially for them.
  7. Do they have endorsements from industry leaders? Ask to see results from successful companies in your own sector and how they have improved traffic for them.


7.    How do SEOs work?

  1. No SEO firm can “guarantee” first page placement because search engines use sophisticated and well guarded mathematical formulas (algorithms) to rate the sites’ ranking. These algorithms are constantly changed, so all an SEO firm can do is test - and guess - what will work and take out what won’t.
  2. SEO firms are not in bed with Google. They can be “Google Certified” that is they can use Google AdWords, but this is not the same thing as search engine optimization.
  3. EO is not an instant fix – time and trial gets results.


8. What Do I Need To Know Before Starting My Website?

  1. Do not focus on colors or the look and feel; start with function, traffic, leads and conversions.
  2. The Google speed tool will give you insights about your website speed; it is also a ranking factor.
  3. Use blogs or other gateways such as press release to feed your website with content.
  4. Basic SEO needs Meta descriptions, title tags and alternative texts for images.
  5. Google webmaster tools and Google Analytics setup from day one.
  6. You should have one page for every need, product or target audience.
  7. Avoid copying content from other websites.
  8. If you are going to use your old content, instruct search engines about it with 301 redirects.
  9. Define your goals.
  10. Define your target audience.
  11. Be creative, think like a customer or buyer..
  12. Track and record every action, change happens to your website.
  13. If you hired an SEO expert or developer - always ask for a detailed report about the actions taken.
  14. Make a strategy for your content. (This is necessary).


9. Penalties.

All these can incur penalties -

  1. Poor quality. HTML, CSS and JS should be optimized; look and feel should be in a highest level.
  2. Lack of content, empty website does not attract visitor neither Search Engines.
  3. Too many links from irrelevant websites.
  4. Too many links from low quality websites
  5. Over optimization (links, keywords, etc.).
  6. Paid links.
  7. Hidden text, automatic redirects.
  8. Outbound spam links.
  9. Malware.

How to know if you have a penalty?

  • Organic traffic suddenly drops.
  • Your website disappears entirely from search engines.

What to do?

  • Review your webmaster tools.
  • Review Google penalty time line and compare dates.
  • Check the flowchart and time line on your website.


Ahmed Ibrahim, August 7, 2015


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