In “brick-and-mortar” terms, SEO may be compared to placing an advertisement in a medium that caters largely to a particular market segment, e.g., medical journals, fashion magazines, adult cable channels, etc. so that there is a high probability that whatever products or services you offer is what that particular viewing, reading, or listening market segment needs. The “agent” for this type of advertising is the advertising or marketing firm which, when related to cyberspace is the Search Engine Optimization firm.
SEO is the set of activities and strategies implemented (either by yourself or through a Search Engine Optimization firm) that influences a search engines spiderbot to give your website a high relevance rating which translates into a high ranking in the list of keyword relevant websites. Since it is a targeted approach, the success rate of an SEO strategy (measured in terms of average business per visitor also known as conversion rate) that a Search Engine Optimization firm implements should be higher than, say, online advertising (which may attract more visitors but will include a big share of “just looking” hits, thus resulting to a lower average business per visitor). This ultimately results to lower cost per sale since the resources required to service the visits (which will go down in terms of quantity but increase in terms of quality) goes down.
What does a Search Engine Optimization firm do in order to achieve its objective of ethically optimizing your website? One Search Engine Optimization firm may apply a different set of SEO strategies versus another Search Engine Optimization firm, but they both focus on one aspect: the search engine keyword or keywords. Essentially, the keyword is the major rating criterion of a relevance rating; i.e., how often it appears in the website or content. Although more sophisticated discernment algorithms are being implemented by the search engines spiderbot to weed out unethical practices (e.g., embedding keywords in articles or content that do not have any logical connection), the keyword density still the key.
Some of the strategies that a Search Engine Optimization firm employs are as follows:
In selecting the Search Engine Optimization firm that you will use to optimize your website, be sure to put a heavy premium on its experience and reputation. Also, avoid a Search Engine Optimization firm that engages in unethical (and illegal) practices just to increase the number of visitors to your sites. Avoid a Search Engine Optimization firm that is vague about how it is going to optimize your website. If it has nothing to hide, then it should be transparent as to what it is supposed to do. If you heard about a Search Engine Optimization firm through spam mail, do not even consider it. If the Search Engine Optimization firm charges you a low price without any clear specifics as to what it will do, walk away. Finally, make sure to canvass your requirements before selecting the Search Engine Optimization firm you will use.