What is SEO – Search Engine Optimization explained

SEO is the acronym for Search Engine Optimisation, a broad series of practices that all equate to improving the overall usability, structure, and outreach of a website by adopting an ever-changing set of best practices with the aim to improve rankings on major search engines. Although ranking for a particular phrase OR set of key phrases is a great way to gauge the success of your efforts, the overall aim of an SEO campaign should be to increase the ability for your site to rank for as many terms as possible. Terms referred to as the ‘long tail’ is the hidden key to success for all successful businesses on the web today.

The web is an organic group of literally trillions of web pages, varying in quality and content. Some of these websites are cutting edge, offering the latest advancements in web design and precise execution only a gun team of developers can achieve, why other sites are created by ‘mum and dad’ web novices. Often the content of this spectrum of site offerings are varied and can not be judged simply on the look or feel of the site it is posted on. Some of the most relevant responses to my web queries over the years have been on 1995-esk websites that have invested their time in the quality of the content over the look of their site.

So why do I see the ‘mum and dad’ sites on the web quite regularly?

Relevant content!

Although the ability to achieve a strong site is also the way the site is constructed and its overall health, great content will get you most of the way. This is something I can’t stress enough. Day after day, I see many sites attempt to release sites that are beautiful, with strong imagery and little content. And although ‘A picture paints a thousand words’, on the web this simply is not the case. If people can’t understand what you are trying to sell (product or service) OR can’t adequately do the research from your site to ensure they are making an informed purchase, the conversion will below.

What is SEO?

Search Engine Optimisation allows a site to be visible in a sea of competition.

The SEO Rules

Search Engine Optimisation is a complex and ever-changing environment. There is no rule book for SEO, it is a series of best practices generated by key players in the web landscape. Hands down, Google has the biggest say in these best practices, offering a series of tools, forums, and blogs dedicated to the pursuit of enhancing the web. Like most search engines, Google is committed to delivering the very best results for all search queries they serve. In order to do this, they must determine which sites offer the very best response for the query generated. This is achieved by scoring a webpage’s relevance on a number of secret ranking factors (or signals), better known as the Google algorithm.

Why is the algorithm not made public? The web is a competitive space, therefore if the formula for a first position was made public, businesses would be working the formula to the nth degree, exploiting its weaknesses and the issue of quality ranking over rubbish would continue. With no regulatory body governing the web, it is up to search engines to reward quality and effort and penalize poor and devious practices (black-hat).

Black / White Hat SEO

SEO efforts can be loosely categorized into two camps, White and Black Hat SEO. There are shades of grey, but definitions best described as;

Black Hat SEO – Any practice was taken to improve the ability for a site to rank with little thought to the quality or the impact it may have on users (positive OR negative). A black hat practice is often attempting to exploit a particular ranking factor in any way possible.

White Hat SEO – Put simply, it is the art of implementing best practices on the web. Although ‘best practice’ is not always easy to determine (a great starting point is https://support.google.com/webmasters/?hl=en) best practice can often be determined by putting what’s best for the visitor first.

Finally a note on Grey Hat SEO. Although rarely discussed, Grey Hat is actually the most common area for site owners and SEO to work within. The desire to improve ranking and increase traffic often clouds a person’s judgment, which leads to the bending of best practices to get the desired results. Here at SEO Strategy, we will attempt to highlight the Black, Grey and White Hat practices so that you can make an informed decision on the best path forward.

If you are looking for a Toronto SEO company try Toronto SEO Geek.

Deadly Sins of SEO – Hosting Viruses, Malware & Other Success Spoilers

Although you probably already know this, if those little search engine “crawlers” or bots detect malware, viruses, spyware or other “nasties” on your website, there is literally no chance that your website will rank highly for your chosen keywords. In fact, your website will likely be blacklisted and removed from the search engine results, never to be found again.

Even though you think you’ll have no problems; after all, you don’t intend to host any kind of unsavory content, so this doesn’t apply to you, right? Just because you plan to have a clean, legitimate site doesn’t mean you won’t be the target of unscrupulous hackers. Regardless of how strong the security of your website is, it can still be violated through hacking, resulting in infections. Understandably, search engines and humans hate these infections – and the unfortunate truth is that your website could be hosting all kinds of malware, viruses or other infections, and you may never know it. Although it appears that everything is running smoothly and you’re working diligently on implementing effective SEO tactics, things may not be going as well as you think.

What can you do to ensure that your website stays in favor with the search engines, and isn’t the source of these internet nasties? It’s obvious that you should check your website out yourself frequently. This can be done by visiting your own site with your anti-virus working, to make sure that nothing is obviously wrong. What you may not know is that you can install a Firefox add-on known as “Web of Trust.” This add-on allows you to learn what is going on with your website (if anything) through your visitors. A ring is displayed near the browser menu; if the ring displays green, it means that your website is safe and free of infections. Orange indicates doubt, so your website could potentially have an infection. Red means “stay away!” This is an easy way to detect if there is a problem with the security of your website.

Spyware, viruses and other infections can really do a number on your website. Others who visit your site may find that their own computer becomes infected, which can lead to sluggish performance, “freezing” up, constant pop-up ads, even the hard drive crashing. It’s easy to understand why search engines would not rank your website highly if these nasties are detected. Google and other search engines want to protect those that surf the web from these risks, and therefore want to keep infected websites out of reach.

When implementing sound SEO practices, it can be easy to get off in the direction of keyword optimization, building links and other tactics that work; however, it can be just as easy to forget about making sure that your website is secure. Put checking your site regularly for malware, viruses and other infections on your “to-do” list. This will help ensure that your website stays in front of your target audience – and not banned from view forever.

SEO And Press Release SEO, Four Benefits For Search Engine Optimization

As someone who teaches search engine optimization, I highly recommend press releases to my students as an SEO tactic. Press releases do more than one simple thing, however, and many of the press release services do not fully understand the search engine optimization value of press releases.

So what are the four true value points of press releases for Seo? Here we go –

Direct Traffic from Press Releases

Press Releases and SEOReal people read press releases! Real people click on press releases! And real people engage from your press releases! Now, let’s be honest, many of our press releases are not the highest quality content, and the places through which they are placed via the syndication services are not the highest quality places either. However, if you write a strong title and select strong keywords you can get your press releases into quality websites such as the San Francisco Chronicle or other major newspapers. So I would say this direct traffic benefit from press releases is about 2% of the value.

Editor Attention from Press Releases

Now, many people have the mistaken idea that real-world editors are pulling content from syndication services on a daily basis. Sadly, nothing could be further from the truth. I have worked as a journalist, and I have been sent many, many press releases. Very few went anywhere if they were either not directly of interest to our high technology coverage and or they were followed up with a phone call or personal email. Nonetheless, press releases do have some value for getting the attention of the real-world editors. I consider this the winning the lottery aspect of a search engine optimization friendly press release. You probably will not win, but if you do you will win big and get additional coverage of your new product for the new item through the attention of real-world editors. So I would say this is less than 1% of the value.

Link Benefit from Press Releases

If you create a press release that is keyword heavy, and you correctly placed the keywords into the title tag of the press release, and sculpt a keyword-heavy link, and write keyword-heavy content, and pay one of the better syndication services, you can get many, many wonderful links from press releases! Don’t let Google or anyone else tell you that press releases do not have an SEO benefit. Even if just a small percentage of the syndicated occurrences of your press release retain a do follow the link, you are getting link juice from those press releases. Even more so because you write the content, you can optimize the content with keyword-heavy text that is also natural syntax. I think this is 80% of the benefit of press releases.

Direct Benefit of Press Releases for Search Engine Optimization

Finally, your press releases can show up directly on Google searches if you write them in the correct fashion. So a Google search on your target keywords may show one of your press releases, or one of its occurrences in syndicated fashion, in the top 10 positions. I would say this is approximately 20% of the value.

Things Don’t Add Up

Now, if you add all of the percentages you will see that press releases add up to more than 100% of value. I am not a mathematician, but I do mean to imply that there are synergies here. Showing up in one position helps the other position, in the sum is greater than the whole of its parts, or whatever those mathematicians say.

Bottom line – press releases have at least four major benefits. So go out and write to press releases, people!

Health Insurance For Models

Assess your Health Care Needs Before Purchasing a Health Insurance Plan

An elongated illness or injury due to accidents can cause a huge hole in your pocket. This is where health insurance steps in. Health Insurance plans help keep yourself and your family protected against huge medical expenses that might incur due to unforeseen events. Today there are a variety of health insurance plans available in the market that vary according to premium costs as well as coverage offered. But before choosing a plan make sure to analyze your needs and budget and check the details in the policy document to ensure that the plan is suitable for you by all means.

Today, there are a variety of medical insurance plans available online. Traditional means of obtaining insurance has become a story of the past. Now consumers play a major role in deciding and choosing a suitable coverage to manage their health care needs and finances. Companies now offer a variety of plans online as well as provide information on the cost of health care plans, network hospitals and doctors in order to help consumers choose the best amongst a variety of options available to them.

A person can choose to buy a plan for whichever provider he wants. The only concern is to choose the one that is experienced and provides a good customer support to guarantee assistance during claim making process. This can be found by going through reviews and feedback of present and past customers readily available online.

Choosing the most suitable plan means you need to find a plan that suits your budget as well as includes hospitals and doctors that are easily accessible under their network. Choosing a low budget and a suitable plan has become easier because of the internet. When shopping for medical insurance online make sure to fill in the online form completely and accurately to avoid denial later. This can be done by assessing your and your family’s present health and well being. When filling the online health insurance application form make sure to mention every illness, accidents, surgeries, broken bones or any other medication you have experienced in the past. If you fail to do so your application might get rejected or you might fail to make a claim against the missed out ailment.

If you are hiring an agent or broker to do the job on your behalf then provide them with all the necessary information. Make sure to cross check the application form for accuracy before submitting it online. If any of the claims made by you in the future gets denied then you will be the one who will be affected and not the agent. So be extra careful and attentive while filling in the online application.