Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of taking steps to help your business website appear at or near the top of the search engine results when users type keywords that are related to your product or service.
For example, if you are an Oakville criminal lawyer, there is no reason that your business website should not appear at or near the top of the search engine results when users conduct a search for a [Oakville criminal lawyer].
Introduction to Search Engines
Our client, www.dietrichlaw.ca is ranked #1 for keywords "kitchener personal injury lawyer" in Google
Search Engines Google, Yahoo, Bing, and others have developed algorithms that strive to display the most meaningful list of results each time a user conducts a search. These algorithms consider hundreds of parameters including the age of the website, the location of the user, the frequency of the search phrase within the web pages, and the credibility of other sites that contain links to the website..
There are two main aspects to SEO:
- Optimizing the Website Content for the desired search phrases
- Obtaining incoming links from appropriate third-party websites
Website Content Optimization
Optimizing the content of your website simply involves ensuring that the keywords and keyphrases that are important to your business are appropriately positioned within the content of your site.
For example if you are a Oakville criminal lawyer, it is important that the keyphrase “Oakville criminal lawyer” strategically appears in your website. This may seem obvious, but many websites suffer because no attention has been paid to optimizing the content.
Website Content Optimization consists of:
- Determining the search phrases that users most frequently use to find your services
- Appropriately placing these phrases throughout the content of your website
We have tools that allow us to determine which phrases are most commonly searched by users who are looking for your product or service. We are also keenly aware of the content factors that are considered important by the search engines. By combining this information we are able to ensure that your website content is optimized to generate as much user traffic as possible.
If yours is the only website in the world that mentions “purple jelly beans”, then your site will likely appear in first place when users search for “purple jelly beans”. However, most websites exist in a very competitive environment, with hundreds or even thousands of competitors fighting over the same keywords. As a result, the search engine ranking algorithms need to rely on more than just the website content. They do this by examining the number and credibility of incoming links to your website.
Google was the first search engine to do this, using their patented PageRank concept. Basically, PageRank considers every incoming link to a website to be a “vote” for that website. Incoming links from known credible sources (e.g. The New York Times) are given a greater weight than an incoming link from less credible sources (e.g. the website of a small-town business). If you are interested in learning more about this topic, please see the Wikipedia article about PageRank.
We have tools to help us identify third-party websites that will potentially link to your website and boost your PageRank.
If you are interested in knowing the PageRank of any website, you should install the Google Toolbar and be sure to select the option to install the PageRank indicator.
Black-Hat SEO vs. White-Hat SEO
Many SEO firms engage in Black-hat tactics that are completely in violation of Google’s policies. Some of the key infractions are:
- Keyword stuffing - overloading a web page with keywords, often using invisible text
- Link Farms - groups of websites that hyperlink to each other for no other reason than an attempt to build PageRank
- Cloaking - displaying a different web page to users than to the search engine robots
Black-hat techniques can sometimes have a short-term positive effect, but in the long-run, it pays to be honest since Google is always on the lookout for Black-Hat tactics. We only use White-hat SEO strategies to improve your positioning in the Search Engine Rankings.
Organic Results vs. PPC Advertisements
Most Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) consist of a blend of organic results and advertisements. The advertisements are purchased by advertisers on a PPC (Pay-Per-Click) basis and are generally shown on the right-hand side of the SERPs, while the organic results are completely determined by the search engines’ algorithms and shown on the left-hand side of the SERPs.
Occasionally, search engines will display 2 or 3 PPC advertisements directly above the organic search results on the left-hand side. These advertisements are generally identified with a colored background and the title “Sponsored Links”.
For generic keywords such as “lawyer”, it is impossible for a law firm to attain 1st place rankings in the organic search results. For such keywords it is often effective to utilize PPC (Pay-Per-Click) advertising in a narrow geographic region. We offer PPC campaign management services on either a fee-for-service basis or as part of a Performance-Based SEO package.
Our Website Building System
In order to implement an SEO strategy for your website, it is necessary for us to re-build your website using our system, which consists of a set of components in an open-source language known as PHP. PHP is commonly used to build websites due to its high performance and flexibility (there are over 20 million PHP sites around the world). For clients who wish to maintain portions of their own site, we have a framework that allows commonly updated sections of the site, such as news or blogs, to be edited by the client without any knowledge of programming or HTML.
More importantly, we have developed a methodology and set of tools and standards for implementing websites that have proven to be effective at ensuring that our sites gravitate toward the top of the results shown by most major search engines. Our methodology includes over 50 techniques designed to enhance the quality and placement of the sites we develop.
In most cases, there will be no cost involved with moving your site into our system. While re-building your website, we will make the required content changes to improve the on-site SEO. If you would like to re-create your website with a new design, or implement additional content changes, we will need to charge a modest amount to cover the additional work required.
We also charge an annual maintenance fee for the sites that we host and maintain which is explained in detail in our Affordable Websites.
We Think Solutions is so confident in our ability to increase traffic to our clients` sites we offer this service on a contingency basis. Learn about our Performance Based Search Engine Optimization option.