SEO is something that we frequently discuss at Jake. At the beginning of every website development and online marketing project, we carefully plan out how SEO fits in with our larger strategy. To that end, we compiled a “beginner’s guide to SEO” to educate our team members that don’t work in the field and our clients. This guide is meant to be a quick run-down of the goals and benefits of basic search engine optimization efforts.
What is SEO?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of improving the volume and quality of traffic to a website from search engines and directories.
Why do I need to optimize my site?
Positioning a website at the top of Google, Yahoo! and other major search engines will transform your online presence into a powerful source of business development. Through SEO, you can create a website that is findable, usable, and accessible. SEO benefits include increased brand exposure, higher search engine rankings, increased traffic, and higher conversion rates.
What do I need to do to optimize my site?
At Jake, we begin the SEO process by completing a site review and custom proposal. We gather baseline statistics to learn how the site is currently being used and where it ranks on major search engines. We then work with the client to do a full keyword analysis based on marketing goals. We follow a custom implementation process based on the SEO plan chosen by the client. After allowing time for the site to be re-indexed by major search engines, we compile follow-up website usage and search engine result statistics.
Black hat SEO
Black hat SEO uses techniques that are in violation of search engine standards to optimize web pages. Search engines can penalize or ban a site for using this type of technique, including redirects, cloaking and invisible text.
White hat SEO
White hat SEO uses techniques that are search engine compliant and ethical to optimize web pages. White hat techniques eliminate the risk of being penalized or banned and provide long-lasting, stable results.
On-page optimization is the area of search engine optimization that applies to the edits done to the actual content and structure of the website itself.
Off-page optimization is the area off search engine optimization that applies to the edits done off the pages of a website to maximize its performance in the search engines for target keywords. Off-page optimization is closely related to online marketing and content marketing.
Findability refers to the quality of being locatable or navigable. For search engine optimization, this refers to how quickly and easily visitors and search engines can find a website, as well as the appropriate content within the website.
Usability is a term used to denote the ease with which people can employ a particular object in order to achieve a particular goal. For search engine optimization, this refers to the elegance and clarity of the interaction with the website.
Accessibility is a general term used to describe the degree to which a product is accessible by as many people as possible. For search engine optimization, this refers to accessibility for both visitors and search engine spiders.