So how can business owners know which SEO company to hire when there are so many promises, so much misinformation, and so many lies?
In this article, I will try to explain you the difference between good and bad SEO service. In order to go on Google’s first page of search results, it is necessary to take into account a number of factors. To have better clarifications, I will explain what good companies are doing and what to look for. Then I will put together a list of things you should avoid. Finally, I’ll give you an example of two websites and SEO techniques I used for each of them.
Good SEO companies/individuals will begin with looking into the code of your website. The website that ranks well in the search engines it usually has a strong HTML structure. HTML is a markup language, and it is a basis or foundation for every website. If this is done correctly, you will have semantical code that search engine understand. A simple example of this is the <h1> tag. The purpose of this tag is to tell the browser that the text in this tag is the primary topic of the page. A number of different HTML tags can be used to create web pages, or each tag has a specific purpose and meaning. Unfortunately, search engines have to guess the meaning and importance of poorly written websites.
A great way for people who are not familiar with the programming language, the best way to understand this is to compare your website with the book. The book has an index (site map), chapter (page titles), paragraphs (<p> tags) and footnotes (links in the footer). Semantic code is the foundation of SEO. The semantic code “tells” the meaning to the search engines for what is necessary to understand in the content and its importance within the structure of the site. Imagine a book without chapters, paragraphs, and indentation. So the first thing is to look for companies that insist on seeing the HTML code of your website first.
Enough about HTML code, let’s get to the interesting stuff. Links, inbound links, and directories are all topics which you will hear from SEO companies. They all say that you need links and inbound links pointing to your website. The only correct way to do this is to have links to sites that are thematically related to your website or dealing with your site. Imagine if someone spoke about your business, and they are not an expert in what they do. Are you serious about their opinion? Google is able to determine which links come from authority in this field and it can determine if those links are paid links. It takes a long time for a good link campaign, but the results are long lasting. Keep in mind that people also like simple and beautiful websites and Google is putting this as a ranking factor, it is called User Experience, click here to read more about how you can drastically improve your business by having a great looking website. In addition, you do not need so many links, you just need high-quality ones. Shortcuts can bring quick results, but they will just as quickly disappear.
Social networks and articles are the best way to get quality inbound links. These links come from sites with high rankings, which usually means that others discuss about your business and those links are permanent. Sites such as Twitter and Facebook keep a permanent archive of your messages and comments.
Everything else is probably a waste of time, or black-hat techniques need to be avoided. You should be familiar with these techniques when interviewing SEO company. The most common are listed below.
Keyword stuffing – the most common practices, easily applicable and easily to detect. A bad SEO will often put a ton of same keywords to your page or pages. This makes the page difficult to read, which will bring bad user experience and Google will find out about that very quickly.
Hidden text – another very common practice and search engines easily detect. This is usually invisible to readers, but search engines are now smart, and they can see that.
Duplicate sites – very popular in today’s SEO community. They will tell you to create separate websites with specific keywords to different domains. This should be avoided at all cost unless each site has a completely different content and audience. For example, if you have a business that provides two different of services, you can have a site that focuses on one service and one site to another service.
Paid Links – paying for links on websites must be avoided at all cost.
As I promised, I will give you two examples of proper SEO results and how it should be done:
1. I had a client with a terrible HTML code, structure of the website was bad, but he didn’t want to make any changes on a website and still rank on Google. So maybe you think this is not possible, but it is if you build a lot of high-quality links that link to your website. At the end, his overall traffic has increased by 38% which is a lot for his niche. Click here to read the whole SEO process for this Toronto company.
2. One client from Ottawa was open to all changes; his primary focus was to be on the first page of Google in Ottawa no matter what. We did the whole strategy together and after six months of my hard work on OnPage SEO, cleaning the website and building links I managed to put his business to the first page on Google. Click here to read the whole SEO process for this Ottawa company.