Search Engine Optimization, or SEO for short, is a multistage process to increase the position of a given website in search results. Due to their scope, there are two types of activities: on-site and off-site. SEO is not black magic. You have heard this term many times before, but you still don’t know the true meaning behind the implementation of various techniques to enhance the position of your website and manage the marketing details of your business. Dream Chasers’s philosophy relies on transparency, and unlike other SEO companies, we do not hide behind data. Read on to find out what it is and why it’s worth investing in SEO.
The Internet is an infinite and virtually limitless collection of information. Smart search engines provide wonderful support to source that information by distinguishing relevant versus irrelevant queries, so you don’t have to look through each unrelated item before you hit the spot of your interest. Investing in creating a website just to have it drown “out there” in such a vast array of similar industries is quite literally useless and a waste of your money. But not having an online presence is as damaging to your enterprise. So how do we balance the vicious cycle? Here’s where SEO steps in.
The Genesis of SEO
SEO truly began in 1996 with the emergence of the Google search engine. Since its inception, it has been systematically gaining popularity, knocking off its pedestal, among others, Altavista – the first groundbreaker in the search engine realm. After entering the query into Google, the average user would receive more precise results than ever before. The initiated revolution was based on the ranking of pages, organized in relation to the content’s degree of valence. The indicator of a given article’s value was the number of links leading to it, preferably from other sources with a high-ranking page.
The website owners undertook numerous activities aimed at raising the position, often contrary to basic morality or ethics. Getting a high-ranking position on the search engine’s front page was all that mattered, so the goal began to justify the means. For this and other reasons, Google decided to change the algorithms, the new version that put an end to highly questionable practices. Algorithm modifications are accompanied by bigger and smaller changes in the positioning methods.
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Meta tags are the elements describing the content of a given page. The <title> of your website is displayed in search engines and can offer a chance to either hate your site or win users’ hearts. It largely determines the number of visits – if it easily attracts attention and defines your site well, it will generate higher traffic. The title should be concise and clear, without exceeding 70 characters (Google does not display more than that), and include the main keywords.
A <description> of your page is found just below the title. Here, the users will see a sample of the information they are looking for, allowing them to source through relevant or off-topic inquiries without exploring every website. Similarly to the title, the description should contain the most significant keywords with a length limited to 156 characters.
<ALT> is a hidden textual description of the graphic content of your page. ALTs improve the optimization of your website by increasing the probability of showing it in search results. They are also an invaluable tool for people with eyesight problems who use web-reading software.
Internet users enter <keywords> to find the desired pages. It is essentially one of those things in the optimization process that you can’t do without. Choosing the right range of words defining your business and services is possible only with proper SEO audit and competition research. Knowing which key phrases your rivals are positioning in will enable you to build a foundation for successful SEO.
Surfing the Internet, users look for specific information that will prove valuable to them, primarily high-quality content. Search engines also want such content on your website, using tools to judge its freshness, uniqueness, and frequent updates – the more, the better. Dream Chasers are top leaders in content creation, providing painstakingly personalized and “page-turning,” or rather scrolling, content.
The UX acronym relates to user experience. Internet-friendly websites are characterized not only by modern and aesthetic design. Functionality is equally important. Complicated navigation will surely scare potential consumers away, and after all, it is for them, not for search engines, that websites are created in the first place.
Internal linking is a network of links connecting subpages, relating to, once again, navigation. Links help to organize information on the website, serving both users and search engines. The first purpose makes it easier to find relevant content, the second enables scanning and indexing the page.
Website responsiveness relates to adapting your website to the device on which it is viewed. Until recently, the most common practice was to create mobile versions of page data. Currently, the standard practice is to build one version that will automatically adapt to a specific device. In the expansive era of mobile devices, responsiveness has become a standard, which has recently been contributed by Google’s change in algorithms, favoring websites adapted to mobile devices in search results displayed on smartphones and tablets. All in all, without investing in responsiveness on time, you lose your position on Google.
The second SEO department, called off-site, relates to activities outside the website, which is its positioning. Linkbuilding, getting as many links as possible directing traffic from other sources to your website, is one of SEO’s most significant aspects. Linkbuilding is not just about quantity but, most importantly, quality. Soliciting links from sites with dubious reputations will ultimately damage yours, and sadly it still remains a course of action of many SEO firms.
Where do we look for quality links? Here are some places:
- Social Media – links from social networking sites with a high Page Rank will definitely positively impact the position of your website.
- Social bookmarking sites – share your links, and others will promote them.
- Website directories – subscribing to them will help you position and present your website with a short and unique description.
- Catalogs of graphics and video – placing multimedia elements on pages that are specific databases involves obtaining additional links.
- Guest posting – publishing foreign blogs will help you win the Internet sphere you have not reached before. As a bonus, you will benefit from a new link!
Analysis of the SEO Agency’s Activities
Before you start measuring the performance of an SEO agency, you should first know how page positioning works and when you can even expect the results.
SEO is a process. Gaining visibility for the expected keywords on Google or increasing traffic to the site takes time. If you signed the contract 3 weeks ago, it might not be the right time to verify the work. The first effects in Google’s visibility appear most often after three to four months from the start of SEO, and in the following months, the traffic and conversion increase.
The introduced optimization changes do not immediately translate into results. The search engine crawler has to notice them, index the content, and only then affect your presence in organic search results. One of the ranking factors is links to your website posted on other sites, which may be noticeable within the next few days or even a month. Patience is key, and the best approach is to treat SEO as an investment that will soon start to pay off.