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  • Search Engine Optimization

  • Understanding Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

    The increased prominence of the internet boils down to one simple reason – increased accuracy of search engines. Internet users use search engines to find out the best websites that provide the information that they seek. In this regard, users will most likely opt for the very first few websites that they come across. This trend amongst internet users forms the foundation of the search engine optimization.

    SEO is the practice of taking concerted steps to ensure that a web page, and by extension, a website appear among the top listed websites on the search engine results page based on the niche of interest. The premise behind this practice is to take advantage of the very nature of internet users, where they only click on the top listed websites, to increase Internet traffic to the websites in question.

    Achieving Optimization

    The means to the SEO end vary a great deal. There are many ways for websites to rank high in their niche. However, there are ways which are frowned upon by search engines, thereby are categorized by search engine companies as black hat SEO strategies. On the other end of the spectrum, we have the white hat SEO strategies, which are the strategies that are considered as accepted and in-line with the user’s terms and conditions. In between the spectrum, we have the gray hat strategies.

    Using black and gray hat SEO strategies tends to be a risky strategy. Websites optimized using such strategies run the risk of being penalized for breaking the user’s guidelines. The penalties come in two form – the manual penalty and the automated penalty. However, the extent of the penalty may vary from losing your rank to outright de-indexing in the case where a great deal of the guidelines have been overstepped and or discarded during ranking.

    It is, therefore, best for website owners to use the white hat strategies to rank their websites. Moreover, many of the white hat SEO strategies inherently improve the user experience. This further improves the value of the website as a whole as the traffic will be more inclined to spend their hard-earned money or precious time on your website.

    Amongst the most notable white hat SEO strategies is using premium content. Premium content can be in the form of images, informative articles, and entertaining and educational videos. This gives your traffic value for the time they spend on your website.

    Other strategies that are considered white hat are:
    - Improving the website speed across different devices (smartphones, tablets, and computers)
    - Using high-quality backlinks,
    - Efficient website architecture through proper internal linkage, and
    - Using proper met data.

    At face value, SEO may seem like an easy task. However, upon further scrutinizing, you will appreciate that the SEO path is murky. In this regard, it is best to have experienced SEOs to optimize your website for you.

    Case in point, a couple of years ago, use of private blog networks was considered white hat. However, a Google update rendered this strategy black hat almost overnight. Unless you are an experienced optimizer, you would be stuck with no other means of compensating for the dwindling ranking after the fact.

    It, therefore, goes without saying that having experienced personnel, agency, or company deal with your optimization effort increases the chances of accruing the many benefits that SEO comes with.