Friday, April 10, 2009

Maryland SEO Hired Gun


and which SEO firm provides the best results for Maryland Small Businesses?

These aren't the only things you want to know about SEO, but are the areas you should learn first. Some topics will only take you a minute, some will take a little longer, and others will become an ongoing process. But after reading through this list you should have a good handle on where to start and where to proceed next.

SEO Basic 1: Let's start off with a definition. SEO stands for "Search Engine Optimization" and is the process by which you Optimize your web site so that it is positioned well in the search engines. This is not the same thing as designing a site so that it attracts customers and entices them to buy.

SEO is what you do specifically on your site to improve your Search Engine Position. If you do a search on Google for any search term you will be presented with a list of links. At the top of the page and along the right side will be PPC links where someone pays an amount per click to get positioned. With PPC the more you pay the better your position. Most people only glance at these listings. You don't need SEO to get one of these positions, just lots of money.

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The body of the page contains "organic" listings. These links are listed in the order that Google determined best fit your search, with the best match first. There are only 10 listings per page, most people will only look at the 1st page, maybe the 2nd. So your site needs to be listed within the top 10 and at the worst within the top 20 for any useful exposure. With SEO you will be adjusting your site code so that your site will rank highly. This can be a daunting process as there may be thousands of sites competing for the same top listing. A trick is to aim your pages at less popular search terms to get higher placement. It is better to be on page one for a term that gets 1,000 searches per month than to be on page three for a search term that gets millions of visits.

SEO Basic 2: Your web site must be search engine friendly. The search engines send out "spiders" or "bots" cataloging web pages they come across. If the search engine has trouble getting through to your pages it will either rank your page poorly, or skip your site all together. Making your site Search Engine Friendly means having the code easily accessible, no errors in the code, and guiding the search engine through your site.

Try to steer away from complicated coding when possible. Check your site for coding errors. This is fairly easy to do with web programs like Dreamweaver which do this for you automatically. Plan on having text based navigation on every page. This is usually placed at the bottom of the pages. You may also want to have a "Site Map" page with easy to follow text based links to all of your important pages. Search Engines will look for a Site Map and will use that to navigate a site if available.

SEO Basic 3: The Most Important SEO Aspect is Keywords. Keywords are the terms you type into a search engine to find interesting web sites. You need to know what search terms people are likely to use to find your site, then use those terms as your Keywords. Make a list of the keyword combinations you can think of that you would use to find your site. Try them all on a search engine and see the results.

You need to see how these search terms perform on the web and what other search terms could be used. A great free tool to help with this research is available at Google:

You type in a search term, then you are given a list of similar search terms, how often they were searched and some advertiser comparison figures. You can quickly find additional keywords and to see how well they perform. A good idea is to optimize your site for a less frequently used keyword combinations so that you can achieve a higher placement. The Google Keyword Tool will help you figure this out.

Insert tip from a seasoned vetran of Maryland Internet Marketing=> Once you get ranked for a less frequently used search term... that's the time to capitalize on your success! Use that as a stepping stone, part of a broader ad campaign! The more local the market, the less competition you have, the easier it is to take it to the next level. You can do a lot of search engine optimization yourself... you wont be able to beat a pro but if your competition doens't have a pro, you'll walk right over them.

Be patient. Even with a perfectly optimized web site it can take several months for it to rise in the search engine standings. I usually recommend waiting at least 90 days and up to 6 months to see how well a web page is doing in the search engines.

Insert tip from Frederick Web Promotions=>The author's statement above is accurate for a conventional website. It can take Google as long as 6 weeks to even acknowledge that you made a change to your company website. It will most definitely take MSN Live and Yahoo much longer...
None of the above is true for a blog, which is exactly why each and every Maryland Search Engine Optimization client of Frederick Web Promotions has 2 blogs per client. I don't care if you already have an existing company website, I don't care if that website is doing fine by itself... YOU NEED A BLOG, you're reading this and not my main site, correct?

Also, even though you have gone to great lengths to target a specific keyword or keyword combination keep in mind that the search engines aren't required to agree with you. So when checking your standings look at several different search terms that you discovered in your research and see how well your page is placing. Hopefully you will find that your chosen keywords are getting your page listed the way you want, showing that your SEO has worked properly.

If you find that your page is ranking better for a different keyword, you should examine your page code to see why and make adjustments as needed. Maybe your page is placing higher for a keyword combination you weren't focusing on, but it is still a good combination for your goals. This gives you an ideal opportunity to go with that new combination to achieve even higher placing.

So, get started right now on your SEO. The longer you wait, the longer it will be before your web site is showing well up in the search engines.

In Closing

There is a lot more to SEO than just these 7 quick points, but this will get you started on the right path. Go through these steps and your web pages will be well positioned for any other SEO you may want to perform on your site in the future.

About The Author
George Peirson is a successful Entrepreneur and Internet Trainer. He is the author of over 40 multimedia based tutorial training titles and several design articles. To get his Free e-Book "Web Design Tips"

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Call David Bruce Jr at 301 363-8206

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