What Is SEO?

Introduction: SEO What's All the Fuss About?

Search Engine Optimization / optimization (SEO) is one of those terms that most people who run a large company website will have heard about at some time or another.

What does SEO do for us? Search engine optimization ensures that the website that we have spent thousands of pounds on is visible to all the major search engines. Secondly and perhaps more importantly SEO allows our potential clients to find us more easily when surfing the web.

How Does Your Website Grow? – Organic vs. Pay Per Click

When browsing a major search engine such as Google we might sometimes glance to the right of the screen to see the heading 'Sponsored Results'. These are paid for entries (charged per click). Many companies spend enormous amounts of money on these sponsored listings.

On the other hand in the main results section of the search engine we see what are known as the 'organic' results. These pages appear without the need to pay the likes of Google, Yahoo or MSN each time a click is made. The difference between the two is huge in terms of the traffic that can be achieved through the results.

For one thing, the majority of people prefer to click on organic results, most reasoning that the site must be an important one if it is near the top of the results pages.

Secondly, and of great significance, the organic result is always visible, whereas the sponsored result will only be visible for as long as you are able to pay for it. A large multi-national company in a highly competitive sector may well be able to afford hefty amounts of money (eg £ 40,000 per month) to ensure that their site is always visible. For the majority however, far smaller amounts are generally all that is available.

So organic is always preferable. The big question is – How do we achieve good organic results?

It's Black and White – Is not It?

SEO is a constantly evolving business and has often been described as a bit of an art form due to itscomplexity. A good SEO company needs to keep abreast of the ever-changing nature and inherent subtleties of the internet.

There are many ploys that are used by SEO operators that are classed by the search engines as 'Black Hat'.

At SEO clinic we always endeavor to use 'White Hat' protocols as some of the more questionable techniques are likely to get your site penalized in terms of ranking, and in some cases even sponsored alt from search engine results.

Be very wary of any company who promises instant or seemingly amazing results. You know the sort of thing: "Get your site listed on the front page of all major search engines" or "We will submit your website to 50,000 search engines".

Such claims are a sure sign that this company are [A] Happy to lie to you, and [B] Probably Black Hat.

How Long Should It Take to See Results?

The old proverb "All good things come to he who waits" is highly appropriate in the world of SEO. Measured gradual ranking improvement over a course of a few months will be far better long term than a quick-fix spamdexing approach.

Oh yes, you might be able to get quick results by using the Black Hat methods, but it is highly unquestionably that the result will last for long, whereas a gradual rise through the ranks often leads to good long-term results.

So in conclusion, it is hard to say exactly how long it will take to get massive improvements. This depends upon the level SEO work a company chooses. Gradual improvement in page rankings should start to be seen after a week or two, but big results will take a few months, so patience is required.

In the mean time, many companies choose to use pay per click campaigns in order to keep some traffic moving towards their site.

How do you measure any level of success? Progress in organic ranking and tracking of PPC campigns can be measured accurately using web page statistical packages such as the excellent 'Google Analytics'.