Any Good SEO Company Out There?

Any Good SEO Company Out There?

The Truth About Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the most important, yet misunderstood aspects of website marketing. In essence, the concept of SEO is simple. By providing the most relevant website or web page to a given search string, Google, Yahoo! and other search engines will place a given website at the top of the returned web results.

So far, no great secret, but the issue of how search engines make that determination that is the root of great controversy and debate. And, scores of “search engine optimizers” stand at the ready, eager to sort it all out for any website owner with a credit card. The question remains: Is there any good SEO company out there?

Obviously, the answer is yes, but what business owner has the desire, let alone resources to hire 50 SEOs before finding one that achieves a profitable outcome? Yet, there are SEOs on every street corner, so how does a business owner get his or her website to the top of the search engine rankings without being taken to the cleaners?

The Problem with SEO Firms

To begin with, any chump with a computer can call himself an SEO or Search Engine Marketer. There is no grand SEO council deciding who will and will not be granted the authority to charge significant sums of money with the hope of pushing websites to those coveted top rankings. Not that regulation is any great solution, but there are abundant practices in use by some pretty big SEO firms that are outdated, unethical, don’t work and can actually do the website harm. And, many of these can result in the site’s removal from search engines altogether.

Without getting into link exchanges, paid directory submissions and all the other stuff that SEOs propagate with the full knowledge that they are ineffective; the entire practice of SEO as a business model runs in direct contrast to the goals of the businesses who use the service.

Search Engine Rankings is Not ROI

Business owners expect a return on their investments. SEO firms charge big bucks for a service that may or may not produce a result. This is true for other forms of marketing as well. However, no radio or TV station requires that advertisers sign onto a year long (or more) contract in which the station automatically charges the client’s credit card every month, and that makes no requirement of producing a positive result. Yet, that IS the state of the search engine optimization business.

(Most) SEOs Lack Understanding of General Business

SEO is marketing. Business owners view SEO in the same light as other promotional opportunities. They know that their websites must be seen to be effective, yet lack the background and knowledge to know what steps to take to achieve that result. SEOs, by extension, rarely have any understanding of their client’s industry, and therefore rely on the client for all of the information necessary to reach his or her clients. In short, SEO means pushing selected keywords and key phrases to the top. Nothing else.

The SEO might see results for the selected keywords, and gets paid whether anyone buys anything or not. It is our belief that SEOs should be able to assist in ensuring the success of the campaign (RIO), not just pushing keywords up the ladder.

iPutty is Different from Other SEO Firms

First, iPutty does not require monthly contracts. That is not to say that a business should expect instant results. Depending on how competitive the keywords, the time it takes to achieve top search engine rankings can vary from weeks to many months, sometimes more. The truth is, once that result has been achieved, maintaining that position is usually a whole lot less time consuming than getting there in the first place. What SEOs won’t tell you is that most of the heavy lifting is done in the first few months. After that, the site owner pays simply because of the contract.

Yes, There IS a Good SEO Company Out There

iPutty. Honest search engine results without the high cost and mystery of a typical SEO. And, we can help your business grow in other ways too. Give us a call to learn how we will get your business the exposure it deserves for a fraction of what you’d expect to pay. iPutty, Search Engine Marketing the way business owners like it to be. 775.324.1644

SEO Tactics – Link Building

SEO Tactics

Update: 10/2013

The following article an SEO tactic called “link baiting.” Of all the SEO tactics that are currently considered best practices, the idea of link baiting is outdated in my view. However, the focus of this article is the emphasis on writing good website content, which has been the ultimate best practice in SEO for as long as such a term existed.

So, although the term link bait is out of use for the most part, the concepts presented here as as valid today and when the article was first written in 2007.

What is “Link Bait?”

Link Baiting is the process of writing website copy that is so compelling that the owners of other websites link to that online content. Examples include topical pages that offer articles providing expert advise or information about specific subjects, like a hobby or a medical condition.

As an example, let’s say you are a business startup consultant located in Reno, NV. and that you have identified your best prospects as males between 50 and 60 years old, with little to no business experience, but who’ve been in the job market for many years. These individuals likely have long dreamt about starting a business, but have recently gotten serious about taking the plunge.

For you, the Reno Startup Business Consultant, the aim is to attract as many visitors as possible to your website that fit this demographic. To that end, you know that high search engine rankings the key to reaching that prospect.

Link Baiting

With link bait, or those web pages that attract links, it is not the primary goal to sell a product or service. Obtaining the link is itself the key objective. This is because search engines use inbound links as a means of scoring a website’s relevance to a searched keyword phrase. In other word, websites with lots of related inbound links rank better than those with few to none.

That’s it. Simple right? Well not so fast. To be effective as link bait, the page must provide online copy that is genuinely worthy of those valuable links. Don’t expect to buy an article and have scores of webmasters direct their visitors to it. For starters, the link bait page must be able to be found in the first place, which presents a bit of an SEO catch 22. To earn that link, your brilliant article must first be found.

Link Bait is Really Just Good Website Content

In reality, a page that could be deemed link bait is really just a solid web page with information that your visitors value. So, getting back to our business startup consultant living in Reno example, a web page that takes a visitor step by step through the process of starting a business in Reno would be of significant interest to those thinking of doing so. If the information is accurate, others in related fields like accountants, point of sale system providers and others would have an interest in linking to such a page, because it adds value to the information that they provide.

Link Bait for Dynamic & e-Commerce Websites

Dynamic websites, usually written in PHP or Perl, present a host of challenges with regard to search engine strategies. This type of website assembles the web page only when a request comes in from the visitor’s browser. The pages are put together from pre-defined regions like a header, footer, side menu, top menu, etc., which makes individual pages difficult to modify and, consequently, difficult to optimize for search engine visibility. For this reason, it is often best to build link bait pages statically, using simple HTML code and effective SEO strategies.

This is not to suggest that eCommerce websites can’t serve the purpose of link bait. Quite often, items that are hard to find or offered at a very good price will attract links. This is especially true for hobby related websites in fields where people often form clubs or newsgroups to share information among members.

iPutty Link Bait Strategy

The good news about link baiting strategies is that if you have the time, you can do a lot of the work yourself. Effective link baiting starts with strong copy that people will find so interesting that they want to pass it along. Since iPutty offers SEO services at a low hourly rate, you can write an article and have iPutty develop a link bait optimized page from that in just a few hours. You pay only for the actual work-no monthly contract.

iPutty. Delivers honest search engine results without the high cost and mystery of a typical SEO. And, we can help your business grow in other ways too. Give us a call to learn how we will get your business the exposure it deserves for a fraction of what you’d expect to pay. iPutty, Search Engine Marketing the way business owners like it to be. 775.324.1644

Search Engine Marketing

Reno Search Engine Optimization & Search Engine Marketing Firm

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Search engine optimization is one of the most important aspects to consider when developing your business’ website. Part art, part science, search engine optimization, or SEO is the practice of optimizing a website’s content and source code so that it will rank well on Google, Yahoo! and other search engines. One of the most widely misunderstood aspects of website development and promotion, SEO is often viewed as some mystic and incomprehensible procedure that will magically propel your company’s website into top rankings.

The importance of website optimization can’t be denied. Obviously, if your website can’t be found by your potential customers there’s really little point in going through the effort and expense that it takes develop and maintain it. Volumes have been written on the subject of search engines and how gain those elusive top positions within the rankings. Still, few business owners and managers have a firm grasp of what it takes to get there. In fact, even very few web designers are familiar with the methods by which to ensure a steady climb to the top.

The Problem with SEO Firms

First, it is important to be aware that there are scores of “SEOs” out there, who simply make a few adjustments to a site’s meta tags and load its copy up with keywords. In the early days, while search engines were a fledgling industry, a site could achieve high rankings this way, but that standard is over a decade old and not only won’t work, but in extreme cases can get your site removed from the search engines altogether. There is an entire Internet subculture of unscrupulous individuals who put enormous effort into trying to fool search engines into ranking sites well that really don’t offer the visitor anything of value, or worse, promote the infinite variety of scams that exist on the world wide web today.

Without getting into so called black hat methods, there are a few things to watch out for when selecting a professional to handle your search engine ranking strategies. Topping the list is guaranteed results. Don’t believe it when an SEO firm tells you that they will guarantee that your site will achieve top rankings. It is one thing for a firm to offer your money back if it is unable to reach your goals for your site, but this is generally not the nature of such promises. The reality is that search engines adjust their ranking standards continuously. So too do competitors tweak their sites to remain on top. In short, there are a lot of factors that lead a website into those top positions-none of which can be guaranteed.

Search Engine Submission is another sure sign that an SEO is either in the dark about current practices or is simply full of it. These days, if a URL (Domain Name) is valid, search engines will find it. Next time you see a claim for submission to “thousands of search engines,” see how many you can name. Even if there are thousands of search engines, virtually all web searches are made using Google, Yahoo!, MSN and AOL, none of which require submission.

Even the legitimate practice of search engine optimization needs to be carefully examined. The standard practice
in SEO circles is to charge monthly fees, usually thousands of dollars per month, to optimize specific pages for selected key-phrases and to monitor their position in the rankings. The service usually includes some kind of “back linking” campaign as well. Many of these firms produce fantastic results, but for smaller companies, the cost can be overwhelming.

Search Engine Marketing

Search Engine Optimization one element in the broader area of Search Engine Marketing (SEM), which includes, among SEO, paid inclusion or pay-per-click campaigns, like Google Ad-Words. Such Internet marketing campaigns often employ blogs, affiliate programs and other methods to build links and further promote traffic to the site.

Paid inclusion plans differ from SEO in that the latter is focussed on the “natural” or “organic” results search engines provide for a given keyword search. The advantage of high, organic or natural rankings is that they tend to be more permanent. Paid links disappear once the campaign has run its course.

Conversion Rate: The Real Measure

Ultimately, the real measure of an Internet marketing plan’s success is in conversions. Any time the visitor performs the desired action of making a purchase, filling out a form, etc., it is considered a conversion. In other words, the visitor was “converted” to a customer. Monitoring your site’s conversion rate is critical. The site owner must know the value of conversions and divide that into the cost of the campaign to determine his or her return on investment (RIO). This is especially true for campaigns utilizing paid inclusion tactics.

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