Search Engine Optimisation- What It Is And How It Can Help.

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Search engine optimisation is the organic process of improving the visibility/ranking of a web site or web page in search engines.

Companies want to be listed as high up in search engines as possible because, generally speaking, the earlier and more frequently a site appears in search results, the more visitors it will receive.

SEO is an integral part of an internet marketing strategy because it considers how search engines work and what people search for.

After signing a client, an SEO company will consider what stage of the buying cycle they would like to come into. They will often use paid search tools to test their keywords. They then decide which keywords are going to convert. The smaller the clients budget, the more specific the keywords should be. For instance, a small company that sells Callaway golf club hybrids might want to optimise "golf club hybrids" or "Callaway hybrids", whereas Callaway themselves might optimise a much more general term such as "golf clubs". By optimising a general word, companies have the advantage of more visitors, which means an increase in the number of people familiarizing themselves with their website. The company can use their visitors data to email them promotions and do more effective targeted marketing.

Other forms of SEO include, promoting a site to increase the number of backlinks or inbound links, and incorporating SEO into web site development and design. There are a number of ways to achieve this, such as including SEO heavy hidden text, creating SEO heavy landing pages, and changing the HTML source code of a site.

Companies should beware however, as search engines look for sites that employ black hat SEO techniques and will remove them from their indices. Link farms, keyword stuffing and article spinning are examples of black hat SEO techniques. SEO companies that are overly aggressive in their approach can get their clients web sites banned from search engines altogether.

In the mid-1990s the first search engines started cataloguing the Web. As a result webmasters and content providers began optimising sites for search engines. Initially, all it took was the submission of a URL and then "spiders" would "crawl" the page, find links to outside pages and then index the information.

By the late 1990s the search engines were starting to recognize that webmasters were stuffing pages with excessive or irrelevant keywords, so they adjusted their algorithms. There are however, many search engines that have reached out to the SEO community in an effort to help them. Google for instance, have created their Sitemaps programme as well as a set of guidelines to lead internet marketing agencies down a more straight forward path.

There are a number of tools employed by SEO companies to do keyword research, such as Wordtracker and Keywordspy.
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