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SEO Best Practices For Professional Services

Aug 28, 2008
Webmasters and web designers should create websites with SEO in mind. The reasoning behind this is that many people who are doing their research online frequently encounter the things that they are looking for due to the SEO efforts made by the company to get the best ranking in the search engines. What is really SEO?

SEO is actually search engine optimization. It is the process which increases the audience and visitors of a certain website by optimizing the website to rank well on the SERPs (search engine results pages). It definitely helps Internet users to find the appropriate websites they are looking for.

Search engine optimization guarantees the accessibility of Web pages on the search engines. It is an important service that is rendered to certain professional service websites. Though it is important in the growth of a business' online success, many websites fail to have a good ranking on SERPs because of poor search engine optimization practices.

The two types of search engines are the human-powered directories and the crawler-based search engines. The two are different in terms of gathering what is considered for listing. The human-powered directories based their listings on human editors. One good example of this type of search engine is the Open Directory. The descriptions submitted by an editor will be the basis for a particular search. One important thing in this type of search engine is that, a website with good and effective content will get reviewed more favorable compared to a website with limited content. On the other hand, crawler-based search engines automatically create and generate listings. From the word itself, the search engines "crawl" the web and look for the site that they've been looking for. Google is the best example for this type of search engine. This search engine has three elements namely: crawler, index and the search engine software. The crawler visits and reads certain web page and then follows a link within a particular website. The index, then stores a copy of the web pages that the crawler has found. It actually acts as a big catalog. After indexing, the web page is already available to search engine seekers. Lastly, the third element is the search engine software. It sorts out hundreds of thousands of web pages found in the index. One drawback of crawler-based search engine is that the changes made for particular web pages can affect the current listings of the said web page as well.

In terms of ranking, the crawler-based search engine follows algorithm which is actually a set of rules. However, no one knows how algorithm works because it is said to be a closely-kept trade secret. One thing is for sure, ranking of web pages are based on the frequency and location of keywords. That is the reason why keywords should be located in a suitable location and the contents of the web page should be really relevant and of the essence.

Now that you understand the types of search engines and how they work, it is important to look at how to utilize them in your marketing efforts. The one common thing to remember in either search engine type is that content is king. Ensure you have keyword rich content in your title, META data and webpage content that not only allows the search engines to understand what you offer but also relays a great message to your visitors. We can get into techniques that will help in your ranking efforts but for now let us start with four main points.

The first is to ensure your webpage title reflects your message along with the keywords that your customers would use to find you if they searched for you in the search engines. This is not your company name or web address. Most likely if they knew that they can type your address in the address bar and find you directly. Just like a good book, your title will let the search engines and visitors know what to expect. If your keywords "Atlanta Attorney" are not in the title, you miss out on the opportunity to reach those that are searching for that term.

Next, ensure that your keywords are in your META data. There are two types; the keyword and description. The keyword META is just that. It tells the search engines what keywords are relevant to the site. The visitors never see this information. The description META tells the search engines a brief description of what the website is about. Do not make this too long. This will be seen on your search results when the visitor finds you on the search engine. So ensure it makes sense.

Create your content with the visitor in mind first and not the search engines. Have a good story to tell. The search engines are smart and can find the keywords within your content. Sprinkle them in hear and there and you will find that your conversions will increase as well as your ranking. Put your keywords in your headings, first and last paragraph and within the body. Do not over do it or you may get penalized. Remember, it must make sense to the reader.

Last, have others praise your name. Establish links back to your site from other credible sites. These can be directories, publications, or other sites that speak to your market like bloggers. The better quality of the links you have then the better results.

Indeed, the SEO is essential in terms of the accessibility of a particular website on the search engines. Moreover, it is one of the best practices for professional services. Also, it serves as a marketing strategy sometimes to have a large number of visitors and target market.
About the Author
Jeff Beale is a marketing consultant with Jazar Dezign, a marketing firm that provides search engine optimization , web design, search engine marketing , and other Internet marketing services. Visit his blog at http://www.searchenginenewswatch.com and the company site at http://www.jazardezign.com
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