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Best SEO Practices

SEO is misunderstood. SEO is not a lone switch that can be flipped on at any time. It isn't a single line of code that just magically makes your website appear #1 on search engines. Starting SEO the next day will not register thousands more hits later that week.

SEO is an ongoing, highly nuanced science that deals with probabilities and reacts with every fluctuation. SEO never ends, and it requires dedication. SEO is best reserved for specialists, individuals and companies who have made it their sole priority and commit themselves to its ongoing efforts.

Truly effective SEO belongs to those specialty firms. Consider them your heart surgeons and neurologists. But we're your general physician. We can tell you what's wrong and what needs to be examined, so you know exactly what to demand from your SEO specialists.

Google PageRankWhat is SEO?

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of making your website(s) as attractive as possible to search engines in order to obtain higher rankings in search results. A simple enough premise. But search has greatly evolved and is no longer a simple matter. Search is no longer just type in keyword, show up on page one. Did you know that search results are...

  • filtered based on personal physical location, past search history, and social interests
  • change dynamically throughout the day, hourly if not sooner, due to popular search habits
  • differ in rankings depending on ads and other sponsored listings

SEO is not an guarantee. Implementing even basic-level practices will not make search engines discover your site, let alone put it on the first results page. But steps taken to optimize your website for search engines collectively help towards grabbing the attention of search spiders, and if they deem your site relevant enough to a particular search query will rank it as the algorithm sees fit.

And that's the issue. SEO is all about appeal...but the judges are algorithms, not people.

The Numbers Game

Heatmap on Amazon.com

The other, far more advanced side of SEO is analytics. Because so many minute factors can affect a site's visibility it is imperative to understand just what is causing either an increase or decrease in visiting traffic. In-depth tracking is crucial, and in order to stay abreast of fickle users and search engines the strategies that work one month may need to completely change the next.

The most effective SEO includes a lot of testing and feedback, from comparisons (A/B tests) to directly surveying visitors. All these trials lead to subtle refinements, from tweaking certain verbiage to moving entire portions of the layout, all to maximize traffic.

Defining that traffic is its own struggle. How many people visit a website during a seven-day span? How long did they stay on a particular page? Did they come from Google, Bing, or other websites? What country are they coming from? Which web browser did they use; and does a lack of users from a specific browser mean your website isn't displaying properly on it? How many hits are from actual different people on different occasions, or are they people who left and came back after only a minute?

These, and many more discerning questions, seem trivial but can actually mean a world of difference depending on your needs.

Just look up quantum mechanics

SEO, at its full glory and chaos, can be awfully confusing and bewildering to the uninitiated. Even to those who work in it, the ambiguity of definitions between metrics, services, and search engines can be convoluting at least, maddening at worst.

But ultimately all SEO comes down to increasing website visibility. All the metrics, techniques, and tricks lead towards this simple goal. Just like how at the end of the day particle physicists, for all their stupefying theories, only want to better understand how the world works.

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