A Quick Guide To Search Engine Optimization (SEO.)


  1. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the art of enhancing a website or web page's Internet presence by utilizing programming, development, design, and content management techniques to gain higher positions in a search engine results pages, commonly referred to as SERP's.   
    The two main categories of Search Engine Optimization are:  On-site SEO and Off-site SEO.
  2. On-site SEO focuses on manipulating the code, content, and structure of the website or web pages with the goal of creating optimal results from search engines. On-site SEO is most often centered on optimizing around a specific keyword or keyword phrase. 
  3. Off-site SEO consists mainly of developing and gaining links to your website from other websites. Google was developed with the idea that the number of links to a website is a key measurement of the site's importance, and consequently rewards it with a higher ranking then sites with less back links.  
  4. On-site SEO  
    Keyword Research -
    Keyword research is the first and most critical step in search engine optimization because all SEO efforts depend on it. By utilizing different online research tools - specific keywords and keyword phrases can be analyzed in terms of their search volume or search popularity.  Selected keywords can then be used to optimize web pages by inserting them in a carefully organized manner through Meta Tags, which are part of the underlying programming code of a website, and through Content Optimization in the visible text and images of each web page.  
  5. Meta tags are HTML codes that are not seen by users, but instead provide data directly to search engines. Meta tags include Title, Description, Keywords and are developed along with or following sufficient keyword research. Some quick tips for creating Meta tags include:
    1. Page title tags should be less then 68 characters and need to succinctly describe the content of a web page.  Page Title tags are seen in the actual search results display and are written around the most dominant keywords on the page.
    2. Description tags are a bit more detailed and provide a slightly broader view then the title tag. Description tags need to contain the same keywords as the visible content on the web page and should run no longer then 148 characters in length.  
    3. Keyword tags have become far less important (especially to Google) for effective search engine optimization due to keyword abuse. Keywords in the meta data should be used with restraint and in a strictly coordinated manor with each web page's visible content.  
  6. Content Optimization - Content optimization is fundamentally the most important component of SEO. In the business of search engine optimization, content is king.  Creating content that is optimally prepared for search engine indexing is the focus of any SEO campaign and it's an art that blends the creative skills of a copywriter and the technical skills of an SEO specialist.  Content optimization is about prominently
    and tactfully including select keywords and keyword phrases into the copy on a web page to appeal to prospects searching for specific goods and services. The long-term marketing cost is far lower for SEO than paying for advertising to promote a site. When content optimization efforts are spread in a consistent and integrated fashion along multiple channels such as the web page, Pay Per Click advertising, and online Press Releases, the overall return on investment can be far greater. Today, a balanced approach to the use of keywords in both On-site SEO and Off-site SEO is at the heart of successful search engine optimization.  
  7. Off-site SEO  
    Off-site SEO mainly consists of gaining incoming links to a website. The idea behind the building of back links, is that most search engines evaluate the number and quality of external links to a website or web page and use it in its ranking process.  In the eyes of most search engines, each incoming link is viewed as a vote for the page and more votes mean a higher ranking. Directories, Article and Digital Press Release campaigns provide some of the fastest and most efficient ways to create back links. While high authority directories such as DMOZ or Yahoo Directory provide the most value to search engine optimization, today, optimized articles and press release are proving to be powerful vehicles for search visibility and back link development. Optimized press releases not only help syndicate messages quickly across the internet but they double as free-standing web pages with links that continue to deliver visitor traffic back to a specific web page.  
  8. What to do next?
    Call us,
    because the most economical place to start is with a mix of our Digital PR and a small SEM prgram. Together they are a powerful, low-cost SEO solution that gets you the value of an organized and researched keyword program. Contact us to learn more!
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peter jacobs

Shark Communications is a creative and digital marketing agency led by award-winning creative Director, Peter Jacobs. From waterfront, dog-filled offices in Burlington, Vermont, Shark serves clients in a wide variety of industries with a strategically-planned mix of branding, marketing, web, SEO, and digital solutions. With award-winning design and marketing for the 1998 US Winter Olympic Trials, to numerous radio, web, television and film awards for clients large and small, Shark's creative excellence has received widespread recognition and continues to provide the core for delivering a higher level of marketing across both traditional and digital media.