The Past and Future of Website Design and SEO

Looking back at how SEO and Website Design worked in the past, it’s insane how hard it is now to get your website seen. If you want to know where SEO is going in the future, you’re going to have to understand how it started. Here we’re going to go over what’s changed, what will change and how you can stay ahead of the curve and avoid some of the rougher spots with all of the SEO and design problems the rest of us have had to deal with! Let’s get started.

In the Beginning it was Easy!

In the beginning of the internet, it was easy, but it was also filled with adult website links. You could look for anything innocuous and sweet, like children’s clothes for example, and you would somehow still come up with something in the adult industry. You could stuff your site full of keywords and game the algorithm of the search engines of the day. While it was easier back then to get ranked, the design was flawed; I think we would all take the internet of today over Geocities any day!

Design was another problem altogether on the past internet, even up until web 2.0 began to emerge back in 2006-2007. People had to stumble around tables and try and figure out how to place information where their visitors would actually be able to see them. There weren’t that many different types of browsers, but the ones we had were hit and miss.

And Now… It’s Hard

SEO for the current iteration of the internet is hard, but design isn’t nearly as hard as it once was. We have WordPress with drag and drop theme design, we have tons of theme repositories if we don’t care about having a cookie cutter theme, and we have the W3C organisation that holds sway over design standards. The internet is a prettier and friendlier place, graphically speaking, and we have the first internet to thank for it.

SEO is a bit more of a bear when you think about it. You can’t just load up your website with invisible keyword pages at the bottom, and you can’t use redirecting tricks like they used to. But you do have a much larger audience to draw from, and all the perks that the social web can give you! Sharing your website with the masses is easier today than it ever was before, and if you want to get the word out you have so many tools at your disposal today that you wouldn’t have had previously.

While search engine optimization might be hard, virtually anyone can make a website, buy a domain and have everything up in a matter of hours. Who knows what it’s going to be like in a matter of five years from now, but if this big leap forward is any indication the next jump in the web is going to be fantastic, but only time will tell!

How SEO Services can Benefit Your Company

Almost every business online needs SEO to make sure they get to the top of the search engines ahead of their competitors, but how do you know what SEO services you need, and what is SEO anyway? SEO stands for search engine optimisation, and this is just a collection of techniques and tricks that helps you get indexed favorably in search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo!. You’ll want to focus on specific keywords that are geared towards your “niche” or business type, so your customers can find you when they’re looking for what you offer online! If you’re selling urban street art, you’ll want to use “urban street art” as a keyword. You’ll have a list of keywords to optimise your site for, and you’ll also want to make sure that you do all the other SEO services that will help you get that edge on your competition.

Why You Need Professional SEO Services

There are amateurs everywhere that are offering really cheap SEO, but can you really trust them? Doing SEO for your website is really a one shot game; if you mess it up you may not be able to get to the top of the search engines, and even worse you may end up banned from Google and the other search engines. Don’t leave the future of your business in hands that aren’t sure of what they’re doing! When you get a professional, you get people who have done this before and know what needs to be done to make sure that your site gets to where it needs to be.

How Long Does SEO Take?

When you get professional SEO services, it can take anywhere from a couple weeks to get the results that you need all the way to a couple of months. SEO isn’t just a one shot thing that you have to take care of when you site launches online though! You’re going to have to stay on top of it for years to come, but with the right company you won’t have to do this yourself. They’ll charge you a monthly fee to do SEO maintenance and to keep your site relevant, and all you’ll have to do is focus on your business and your customers like you should be!

Why it’s Better to Hire a Company

When you want to have you SEO done, it’s best to just go ahead and hire a company. When you have someone in your office doing it, you end up taking them away from the tasks they were hired to do in the first place and you also run into the newbie factor. Make sure that your SEO is in experienced hands and avoid some of the pitfalls that a lot of people run into when trying to get their websites seen by the search engines with a professional company!

When you’re hiring a company, ask for references and a pricelist for ALL the services that they provide. If you’re looking for a good SEO company, check us out!

The Differences Between SEO and Web Design

When you’re working on your website, you’ll hear a lot of terms bandied about. A lot of companies say they’re experts in both web design and SEO, but these two things are just not the same thing! You’ll want to make sure they’re knowledgeable before they touch your site, and you’ll want to know a little more so you can make sure you get the most out of your website now and in the future. When you want your website to be SEO friendly, and you want people to like the way your site looks, it’s important to know what all these terms mean. Let’s get started!

A Friendly Web Design

When you look at a site and like the way it’s laid out, how easy it is to navigate, and of course you want to come back again, it’s a well designed site! Web design is the art and science of making websites look beautiful and work the way they’re intended to. A good web designer will know all about colour theory, how to use colours and create a great design to make sure customers “stick”, or keep browsing your site. The longer you can make a customer stick, the better your chances are for getting them to do what you want (buying a product, signing up for your newsletter, etc.). This is VERY different from SEO-friendly, keep reading for a better explanation of that.

Being SEO Friendly

An SEO friendly site is one that helps the search engines find you, index you, and of course helps propel you to the top of the SERPS, or search engine ranking position (like having your website come up on the first page for a popular search term). The higher you are in the SERPs, the better your website will do online. There are on page SEO methods you’ll have to do like properly using header tags and targeting specific keywords on your website to make sure your audience can find you when they need you.  

You Need Both for a Successful Website

When you want your website to be successful, you’ll need to be both search engine friendly, or SEO friendly as well as have a friendly web design too! It doesn’t matter if you’re running an ecommerce site or a portal for dog owners, being able to be found and keep your core audience on your page is the big recipe for success on the internet.

Many companies will tell you that they can create a beautiful website AND get your website SEO friendly, but they don’t have the proof to back it up. Ask for references and examples of sites they built, ask for keyword reports of people they helped launch into SEO prominence. Any good SEO and design company (like us!) will be able to provide this information and help you get your website on to road to winning online. Click here to see what we offer today, and start making money online with your website!

Understanding SEO for Small Business

Every business needs a web presence, but how do you get one? How do you make sure your local and international customers can find you, and how can you make sure you do it on a budget that’s both affordable and helpful? Here we’re going to go over what SEO is, how you can get SEO for your small business online, and how to utilize it effectively to bring you the customers you need to start growing your business and get profitable!

What is SEO?

SEO is search engine optimisation, or how you can make your website play nicely with the search engines to drive traffic to your website. Each site has its own algorithms, but they all follow the same general rules that you can follow to get your site some new traffic.

Keywords

The first thing you want to do is identify the top keywords that people are going to use to find your website; while competition for keywords can be fierce, if you know how to customize your keywords you’ll do fine. If you’re a local plumber, use your area (Atlanta or New Brunswick for example) and combine it with “plumbing emergencies” or “24 hour plumber” to start getting that local link juice! This is also known as “geo targeting”; focusing on local areas to make sure you’re hitting your local market. If you’re working with a larger audience, you should still aim for your home area to bring in the best customers possible. Competing with the national market can be tricky, but it’s doable!

Backlinking

Another good way to get traffic to your site and good SEO running is backlinking. There are many ways of doing back linking, so you’ll want to check each one out to see how they work for you.

The first way is article marketing; article marketing allows you to get links back from higher PR (PageRank) sites to bring up your relevance in the search engines. You’ll want to be careful about what sites you use for article marketing.

Forum backlinks are also a good way to get link juice; you can leave relevant posts (don’t talk about children’s toys in an adults with Alzheimer’s forum for example) that get people to click on the links voluntarily, as well as get the search engines to take notice of what you’re selling.

SEO for small businesses is all about getting the exposure you need to get your customers to your website. Use keywords that target your local area, outsource your tasks to save time, and work on back linking to bring in people.

Why You Need to Build Strong SEO Content

Building strong SEO content is one of the most important things any business can do to stand out. This can be with a blog or guest blogging, article marketing on high page ranking sites, or great comments that will give relevance and value to your links, and will make the search engines (especially Google) take notice of what you’re offering. The first thing you should do is create content that’s GOOD that people want to read. Then you want to go over what keywords you’re using!

Understand Your Keywords

Everyone has keywords for their niche, but are you using the right ones to bring the right traffic to your website? When you’re looking at the keywords you’re using, you need to start paring them down to the best options; long tail keywords help, but you want to specialise what keywords you want to use for all of your SEO content. If you’re selling iPod cases, you’ll want to use special keywords for your content like “spotted iPod cases” if you’re selling spotted iPod cases or “pink iPod cases” if you’re
selling pink iPod cases. Look over what you’re doing and maximise exactly what you’re selling; if you just put “iPod cases” in your SEO and people aren’t looking for the specific thing you’re selling, you’re going to lose their interest and it’s a wasted effort.

Make it Unique

After you’ve come to grips with what keywords you need to be successful, you’re going to need content. Content canbe everything from articles on article directories that link back to your site, to your block posts and other written material like product descriptions and mission statements on your website. Even if you received product descriptions from your suppliers, you’ll want to make them unique and your own! You can be penalised by Google for not having unique content and you can probably think up
some better product descriptions than the ones you received! If you’re using PLA (private label rights) or other articles, rewrite them so you can have unique good content, but pay attention to all of your keyword densities so you don’t have to rewrite them later.

Understand Keyword Densities

Keyword densities are what the search engines like Google are looking for when they’re scanning your page. Everything is looked at, and you’ll want to have the right densities for the job. One time per hundred words is usually okay, but you may want it to appear more depending on what you’re selling whether it’s products or services. Look at how the sites ahead of you on Google craft their content and how many times their keywords appear on the page (there are many free tools out there to check keyword densities on articles) so you can see what different densities will respond better with your SEO campaigns.

Why You Need to Understand Search Engine Secrets

When you’re starting out with SEO, you’re going to make mistakes! We all make them, and it can be hard to puzzle out just exactly what the search engines want and how to formulate your SEO plan to get the results you need. Here we’re going to go over how the SEO algorithms work, why they’re so tough to get around, and what you need to do to get the best results on your SEO campaign.

Why is it so Difficult to Place in Search Results?

Years ago when the web was new, people found all kinds of tricks to get good rankings in the search results. If you used the internet from 2000 to 2004, you can remember how almost every search term brought up gaggles of porn results. People quit trusting the search engines and lost trust in searches, so the search engines had to figure out how to weed out bad results; thus the algorithm was born! Each search engine has its own formula, but you’ll be able to tailor your SEO campaign to make sure you that you’re getting the results that you need.

If it was Easy Everyone Would do it

If getting high up in the rankings were easy, everyone would do it! You want to make sure you’re getting the best results, but you also have to give the search engines something in return: value. If what you’re putting out there is of little value, no one is going to keep using that search engine that delivers crap results. So by providing real value to the eyeballs that land on your page, you’ll be able to get the results you need to get your site the ranking it needs to survive and thrive.

How to do SEO the Right Way

Doing SEO the right way is a combination of tactics like:

Backlinks Backlinks tell a search engine where you are, and that you’re important. Have a lot of backlinks that are coming from bad sites? This is going to tell Google that you’re not a great bet for searchers. Have a decent amount of backlinks coming in from good sites that are actually relevant to what you’re selling? This is going to tell Google that you’re someone who knows what they’re doing.

Optimise Your Content – Optimising your content is important; this means finding the right keyword density for your keywords (if you don’t know what keywords you need, you should hire an SEO consultant who can help you find the right keywords fast). Good keyword densities are 1-2 times per 100 words; if you’re selling pipe cleaner monkeys, you’ll want to mention the keyword “pipe cleaner monkey” once every 100 words to show Google that you’re talking about pipe cleaner monkeys and a relevant source for people looking to buy or find out more about pipe cleaner monkeys.

Understanding how the search engines index your content and weigh your website against your SERP is the first step towards making sure your website does well and people can find you!

Vote for Me: The Essentials of SEO online

When you’re trying to get your site to the top of the rankings, you want to let people know you’re there! Think of it like electioneering; you’re trying to win everyone (visitors and search engines) vote and trust by being as visible as possible. Good quality links are the fastest way to build who you are online; you just have to know what you’re doing. Here we’re going to go over everything you need to know about link building, and how you can do it on your own! You don’t have to spend a lot of money to get quality links, so let’s get started.

How Backlinks Affect Your SEO

When you’re ranked by Google or other search engines, your site is run through a really complex algorithm. They’ll “weight” your incoming links (known as backlinks) from other sites by the relevance of the link and what site it’s coming in from. If the site is low quality and there are a LOT of low quality links coming into your site, you’ll be rated as a lower quality site. If they’re high relevance high quality links coming in, your search engine rank position (SERP) will go up. It all depends on how the links are getting to you and where they’re coming from; you’re also judged on what you’re linking TO; if you’ve built a blog on blogger or WordPress to get better rankings but the site is garbage, then your site will go down in SERPs.

Incoming Links

There are many ways to “cheat” at incoming links, but you’ll want to do it carefully. There are many ways that you can get backlinks, or incoming links; the first thing to start doing is identify what you’re selling. You should know, but if you’re a consulting firm it can be a little abstract and hard to figure out. If you’re selling products, think of writing guides or explaining how to buy the product. If you’re selling services (like SEO for instance!), teach people rudimentary things about SEO. You want to write articles so you can create backlinks that actually work, instead of paying someone in Southeast Asia to create a zillion low quality backlinks that’ll do zilch for your SEO.

Outgoing Links

Outgoing links are just as important to incoming links, so you’ll want to be careful about how you go about it. People used to do link exchanges, but if you’re linking to sites flagged as spam, viruses or just poor Pagerank sites in general it will tank your own PR. Be careful who you link to, how you link to them (nofollow, follow links, etc.) and why you’re linking in the first place. If you’re trying to explain something, use an “authority site”; Wikipedia may or may not be considered an authority, but the New York Times definitely would be.

Understanding how backlinks affect your SEO is the first step on the road to bring up your SERPs. Learn how incoming and outgoing links work in your favor, and avoid the pitfalls of linking out from bad sites that you wouldn’t want to visit.

Establishing Trust with Search Engines

Establishing trust with search engines can be hard, but you can do it! Think about it, search engines serve billions daily and you have to prove yourself as someone who is trustworthy and has something of real value to offer a search engine’s visitors. If people don’t trust the search engines they’re not going to use them; it’s the duty of every search engine to make sure that everyone is able to get good results without being hit by a big fat pink wall of spam. Here we’re going to go over the different ways that you can establish trust online, and why you NEED to establish trust too!

Why Are Search Engines so Skittish?

To understand why you have to hop through so many hoops, you have to know where they’re coming from. For years people have been finding loopholes in all of the algorithms to gain high ranking SERPs (search engine ranking positions) for highly sought after keywords, but offering little value in return to visitors. Think of search engines as a battered woman, if her partners (websites) keep beating her, how is she ever going to trust someone new in her life? Search engines are just like this, and you’ll have to show them that you can provide them with value.

Don’t Use Code Tricks

There are a lot of code tricks like page redirects, meta-tag wizardry and more that are designed to trick the search engines. These grey hat (sometimes black hat) tricks might work for a little while, but eventually the search engines will catch onto what you’re doing. You don’t want them to figure it out, but they will; that’s why people are so freaked out by the Panda update. Every time people find a new trick to bamboozle the search engines, the search engines adapt and beat you at your own game.

Be Honest and Provide Value

No matter what you’re selling online, you need to be honest about your services and provide real value to get eyeballs on the page. You need copy (text) on every single page, at least 300 words, to explain why that page is there and why people need to read it. If you have a lot of ecommerce pages, you’ll find that you can’t always hit that target but there is something you can do: rewrite your descriptions. Provide unique descriptions for your items so the search engines can tell your website apart from everyone else who is selling the same items that you are. You need to show the search engines that you’re not just another sniper site trying to turn a fast profit, that you’re here to stay and you want to really add something to the internet instead of taking something away.

Earning the trust of search engines is easy; be honest, give something of value and really put effort into your website! Set yourself apart from the competition and you’ll be able to start rising in the search engine rankings.

Understanding On Page SEO

While there are many ways you can get off site SEO, you’ll want to work on on page SEO too! Your website is the thing that Google crawls, and no matter how many backlinks you have coming in if your website doesn’t have the right SEO you can end up with a bad ranking or even no ranking. Why make it harder than it has to be, when you can get your on page SEO done all at the same time? On page SEO is super simple, and you’ll kick yourself for not doing it sooner.

First Stop, Meta Tags

Meta Tags can be overlooked; while many SEO experts say they’re not all that important, they really are! Keep an eye on your meta tags, and if you don’t know what to do take a look at the different meta tag generators (be sure you remove any links back to the generators who are trying to piggy back on your good fortune). Before you start editing your meta tags you need to gather a few things like:

Your Keywords – You need to have the keywords you want to use for every page. For most pages you’ll probably use the same keywords, but tailor your keywords if you can so you don’t get hit with spamming penalties for using unrelated keywords. Also note that you can use UP TO 12 keywords and keyword phrases, anything more than that can mess with your SEO.

Use Yoast for WordPress – If you’re running a WordPress site or blog, you will want to use tools like Yoast to get meta tags for each blog and optimise your SEO. They’ll help you find good keywords for your article, and even write your description.

Descriptions for Your Pages – There are a meta tag known as “description”; you’ll want to have a custom description no longer than 140 characters (not words, but characters!) to let people know what this page is about, what you’re offering and all that. It’ll show up in Google search results as the little text that tells people what the page is about, so be descriptive and drive those users towards your page!

In Links

You’ll want to utilize “in links”, meaning you’ll link within your content to other content on your site. Crazily enough, this actually works! Like any other kind of linking you’d do outside of your website, you want to make sure that what you are linking to is relevant to the article. You might be tempted to in-link everything, but you don’t need to do that; 2 links or so will be fine for all of your needs.

Focus on Your Niche

Focusing on your niche is the best step you can take for on page SEO. You want to focus on what you do best; use high quality content to drive your traffic, be an expert in your field and you won’t have to worry about employing black hat tactics to bring up your SEO.

How to Write Content the Easy Way

There’s nothing worse than the frustration of a blank page, especially when the future of your site is on the line. Who wants to write their own content? Content is boring, how do you come up with titles and how do you make sure you hit those target keyword densities? It can be frustrating, but you can grow as  a business person once you start writing! You won’t need others to explain your audience to you, and you’ll be able to identify who you’re marketing products with and interact with them. Here we’re going to talk about how you can move beyond the blank page and create smashing content for your own website.

Who Are You Writing For?

Writing the company blog can suck, but it doesn’t have to. The first thing you need to ask yourself is, just who are you writing for? What are your customers looking for? What do they want to know about your products and services, and what do they NEED to know? Will your audience appreciate some levity in the content, or will you need to keep it a little tame? Understanding who you audience is and what they want is the first step to making great content.

What Are They Looking For?

Once you’ve identified your audience, you need to identify what they’re looking for; specifically, you want keywords that they’ll use to find you on the web. You can use the free Google Adwords tool to find keywords that people use to find sites just like yours, and learn to write your content with those keywords throughout your content. Always make sure it’s in atleast the title, in the first and last paragraph plus interspersed throughout the rest of the page too.

It’s All About You!

And not you, the writer but them, the audience. The audience doesn’t care about what you have to say (which sounds awful, but it’s true!), they want to hear you discuss their problems and dreams, their wants and desires. Always address them as you, be informal (if the situation calls for it) and always be informative! Never use the pronoun “one”, as this can drive people away. Something about the word one can upset people on a visceral level, so opt for you, your and your’s.

Start Writing

When you start writing, you’ll want to:

  • Write down two headers; one you want to write, one you think your audience will like more.
  • Write an introduction paragraph; it should be 20-25% of the article. If you’re writing 500 words, make it 100-125 words for example.
  • Write down three “steps”; this can be how to solve a problem, three cool features of a product, etc.
  • Make a mini-header for each paragraph; people scan articles! You want bold catchy texts to keep them reading throughout.
  • Dazzle them in the end! Your conclusion should be just as awesome as you beginning to keep their attention throughout the article.

Now you know how to write your own content, so give it a whirl!