The importance of your SEO strategy Part 1 - Ventura SEO Strategy
Many people know that their website needs SEO (search engine optimization) to really have a competitive online presence. A very well organized and strategic SEO plan is critical to the effectiveness of any SEO campaign. Yet, for many possible reasons SEO is often started without a well formed plan.
At best, most website owners have a loose understanding of SEO. At worst, the owner may have absolutely no understanding of SEO concepts. This can lead owners into dangerous territory because it is easy to be misled about things which you're unfamiliar with.
We've observed that getting together an SEO plan and hiring a professional marketer can be like having a root canal - you know it has to be done, you're worried about the cost, and you just want to get it over with. Combine this with the fact that even dealing with concepts like SEO campaigns can distract owners from their company, and you can understand how some people just jump onboard the first (or least expensive) SEO service that is offered to them. There are several reasons why this can be disasterous. Engaging in misguided, or just plain bad SEO can do damage to your website's standing with Google and Bing. This damage can be very difficult (and often expensive) to undo. There are so many ways that an SEO campaign can go wrong. Some are just a waste of money, others may actually be harmful to your website's standing with various search engines.
- Pay Per Click (also known as Cost Per Click, PPC, or CPC) can be valuable for certain company's strategies in specific industries. This strategy is not suitable for everyone though, and if poorly executed is one of the easiest ways to waste a lot of money. Pay Per Click isn't technically SEO it's faux SEO. SEO involves various work which serves to increase a website's ranking for non-paid listings. Pay Per Click is for paid advertisements only, so you can think of it as the anti-SEO. One common mistake is to buy clicks for searches for other company's names or searches not relevant to your company. Seems obvious doesn't it? It happens all the time. Often the company doesn't even know what terms they are "buying" when they hire somebody else to manage their paid advertisements.
- Duplicate, spun, rewritten, or plaguerized content. Google has made several algorithm updates to reduce the rankings of websites publishing content which is either duplicate, spun, rewritten, or plagueurized. Be careful when hiring content writers because it may be difficult to verify the source of the content. In most cases there is not a need to worry. There is only so many ways to describe how to bake a cake, eventually there is going to be some similar content on the web about the same idea. Provide your SEO content writer with information about your business and they should have no trouble developing content unique to your site. Google is not looking to punish your site for any hint of content similar to other websites. Don't copy somebody else's work on purpose and you should probably be fine. If you outsource content creation to some unknown source for prices which are too good to be true, you may have problems. It can be difficult to undo penalties arising from copied content.
- Bad inbound links. This is a very common practice. An "SEO" company is hired who says they can increase website rankings for very cheap. They often don't create any content for your site, they engage is some form of link farming in which they put links from any and every site they can which point towards your website. In most cases, the links come from websites based overseas which have nothing to do with your business. This is considered a low-quality link. Accumulate too many low quality links and not only will Google reduce your website's ranking but a Google representative may actually personally audit your website. If they don't like what they see (and they frown upon link farming) they may choose to manually penalize your site. You'll be forced to try to have the links removed and then request Google to reevaluate your website. The damage control required to undo this work is very time consuming, difficult, and expensive. The company who put the links in place will rarely be willing to remove those links. It's a raw deal. We're currently working with a client whose previous SEO company used this practice. They received a notice in their Google webmaster interface that a Google representative had audited their website and decided to place a manual penalty on their domain based upon the overwhelming amount of low-quality, spammy, and irrelevant inbound links. As we previously mentioned, erradicating these links is very difficult and time consuming. It is important to have your SEO company explain what "optimization" techniques will be used before they perform any work so you can avoid headaches such as these.
Check out part 2 of our SEO strategy series to learn more about what a well-organized proper SEO campaign involves.
We're different than other SEO companies in several ways. We're completely accountable for our work, and we make our commercial office available to our clients and the public so that if you have a question or concern you can receive an answer or resolution without having to wait for a return email or phone call.
SEO can be a minefield and we're here to help you through the process. We encourage you to call us or visit us in person for a free consultation to discuss your project.