Search Engine Optimization
Your website will be search engine bot friendly with our ethical search engine optimization services that are both affordable and effective. We are an internet marketing company with more than 12 years of experience in search engine optimization and PPC management.
What Is Search Engine Optimization?
Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is the process by which search engines match the most relevant content to search queries. However, as a website owner, your job is not to please just the search engine robots, it’s
to persuade your potential customers into becoming customers. Therefore, SEO is a delicate, tedious dance of making your web pages’ content easily readable for both other humans AND search engines.
A Search Engine Optimization company can increase the volume and quality of traffic to your website. The SEO process involves a combination of “on page” and “off page” strategies designed to support your business goals. Visibility in the search engines will improve your company’s online brand exposure while increasing site traffic, time on site, and conversions.
The evolution of SEO
Search Engine Optimization services have evolved. A few years ago, SEOs talked more about meta keywords and descriptions, but now you are likely to hear more about social media signals and personalized search. Google has been making a lot of updates to its search engine algorithm lately, and many SEO strategies that worked months ago are now ineffective. If you’re relying on outdated SEO tactics, you’re probably putting your rankings at risk.
The good news is that following best SEO practices is a process that can actually improve your business. If you publish good, timely content regularly, make your website’s load quickly, create a good experience for your visitors, and engage with your customers on social media channels, you are likely to succeed and please the search engine bots. However, this process can be hard work and time-consuming. But consider this: If your competitors are not doing it, you have an advantage. If they are and you are not, come talk to me.
SEO keyword selection: The right words for the right searchers
As the owner of a business, you’ve no doubt already come to the conclusion that search engine optimization (SEO) is essential to getting your business found online. However, which keywords are right for your business?
70% of users click on organic results, 53% of the organic search clicks go to the first link, and most importantly, 75% of users never click past the first page.
Source: Search Engine Watch
There are many ranking factors to consider in keyword research such as global popularity, competitiveness for those keywords in your industry, and how well those keywords match up to content on your website. The natural inclination might be to want your business to rank for the highest-volume searches, usually one or two-word terms, the so-called “head terms.” The process of getting to page one of the search results pages can often be a long and expensive undertaking. Furthermore, the high-volume search terms that are not well-targeted and represent an Internet searcher’s early phases of research, hence, the “research phase.” These searches generally have higher bounce rates and lower engagement on your website.
You are far better off to begin your SEO strategy focusing on so-called “long-tail” searches (3, 4, or 5-word) search queries that have less competition and represent users who are in the late-cycle research or buying phase. In other words, they have done the research and know what they want, and thus, you need to be positioned to capture them.
What keywords are you trying to target? Is it the name of your business or is it the name of an item on your menu if you’re a restaurant? What is it you are trying to search for, and more importantly are people actually searching for it? You can be the highest targeted, the most well optimized result for a phrase, but if no one is searching for it, you’re not going to get any traffic.
For example, a short-tail search for “birmingham lawyer” is a lot less targeted than “birmingham corporate tax attorney.If you are a Birmingham attorney specializing in corporate tax law, it would be a waste of time and money to go after the short-tail searches – you’d likely pull in too many irrelevant queries; people looking for personal injury, criminal defense, bankruptcy, etc. Far better to focus your efforts on users who are likeliest to convert or inquire within.
As part of our SEO consulting process, we help determine which keywords are likeliest to strike the right balance between driving traffic to your business’s website and converting that traffic to qualified leads. Any hack online marketing company can send you traffic to inflate its own results, but is it good traffic for you?
And at the end of the day, it’s quality traffic — not rankings — that matter most. In fact, there is such a thing as a rankings hoax (read more here). Even though search engine algorithm updates have vastly changed SEO techniques in the last three years, it doesn’t change the fact that the most effective way to drive visitors to your website at the lowest cost is to build your website’s organic search referrals.
Dedicated to SEO
I must be honest and say that it bothers me so many people nowadays claim to have experience with SEO, with only a surface-level understanding and vague notions of how to implement, pass themselves off as experts. The sad part is, they often do irreparable, severe damage to the website owners who fall for their pitch. Flagstone has been dedicated to SEO for more than 8 years, and has an extensive portfolio of work in terms of increasing organic search referrals and website conversions.
Every internet marketing service we offer has SEO top of mind — from custom web content to responsive web design and social media marketing. Heck, even our PPC management services function as a means of informing the SEO discovery phase. The Flagstone SEO consulting process involves engineering your website so it ranks well for targeted keywords within the organic or “natural” search results of the “Big Three” search engines: Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
What is ethical SEO and why should I care?
Ethical SEO or, white hat SEO uses techniques that focus on attracting a human audience rather than one that is designed to attract search engines. The latter version is sometimes called Black Hat SEO, used by some web designers to create a maximum return in a short period of time, with techniques using keyword stuffing, invisible text, and doorway pages. These techniques do not follow a search engine rules and are liable to get an offending website banned.
Thus, if you are interested in making a long term investment, not to mention not having a bad business reputation, using techniques of ethical SEO is the way to go.
The first rule of following ethical SEO is to write content that a human reader will actually enjoy. This will build up its popularity in the long run, encouraging readers to like it on Facebook or tweet it on Twitter. A judicious use of popular keywords, without going into keyword stuffing, is also important. A keyword analysis tool is important to determine how prominent your website will appear on various search engines. The keywords have to be relevant to the content being presented, however.
Using back links and link building techniques are also imperative. Most websites and blog posts contain buttons that allow readers to post the content on social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google+. Recent research suggests that references on social media can build up a site’s prominence on search engines over time.
The take away is that ethical SEO is to be preferred, not only because it is ethical but because it gives better benefit over time.
Why you need an ethical SEO company
In a day and age where search engines are often the most effective way for people to stumble across your site, people have tried to find different ways of manipulating those results to get their page as high in the search rankings as possible. While SEO is a wildly complicated and ever-changing field, most of the time the methods used in pursuit of it fall under two categories: Black Hat SEO and White Hat SEO.
In short, the difference between the two is that black hat methods are ways people try to exploit Google, Bing or Yahoo by taking advantage of their search algorithms. Examples of this include using softwares that automate the link building process and submit articles to unsuspecting websites, blogs and forums only for the purpose of establishing backlinks; most of the time, the articles are not even readable and are just a jumbled mess of relevant keywords.
White hat methods are ways of getting a higher page rank by doing everything legitimately. An example of this is instead of having a piece of software submit articles to random websites to establish back links, backlinks are established organically, by people actually sharing them across the internet.
It has been known for a while that search engines place a particular importance in the prevalence of back links pointing back to any given website. There are tons of agencies that offer their services of helping websites in their SEO efforts, only to use spam software to do all the work for them. When the search engines find out about this – because they will – they end up penalizing the site by actually lowering their stance in the search rankings for a given keyword. This is particularly disturbing for the unsuspecting owner of the website as they are ultimately the one that suffers for the black hat methods used by the agency they hired.
At this point, the website owner is then stuck with the laborious and tedious task of trying to have each of the hundreds or thousands of poor-quality back links removed to no longer be penalized for the aforementioned agency’s bad practices.
Trying to handle SEO for your own site is technically possible, but due to the learning curve associated with implementing best practices and the time it would take to become familiar with them, it is often a much better idea to outsource it to ethical professionals that can do it for you. If you would like to know how we can do this for you, then let us know and we would be more than happy to explain it.
Thanks and we look forward to hearing from you!