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At one point or another you’ve heard the term Search Engine Optimization, but do you understand what this phrase really means?  Generally speaking, SEO is a complicated, detailed, ever-changing process designed to assure your website appears higher in search results for specifically selected keyword terms.

Can I let you in on a little secret? Here at Power Marketing we take great pride in our transparency; strictly adhering to an honest, truthful approach in everything we do. With that being said, I feel it’s important to point out a harsh reality regarding this vital marketing strategy: successful Search Engine Optimization can only be performed by dedicated specialists—period. Throwing keywords against the wall to see what sticks simply won’t produce results. Even implementing every technique found in the most up-to-date SEO manual, by yourself, can prove to be futile. Why?

The giants of the search engine world (Google, Bing, etc.) purposefully leave many of the intricacies of their algorithms undisclosed. They do, however, offer generalized guidelines to help website owners create content that they feel serves the greater good; serving relevant results to posed queries.

Spiders, Pandas & Penguins, Oh My!

Thousands of books and resources are available to help explain both the rudimentary and finer points of SEO, but allow us to present a quick overview of what is involved.

The following may sound like a science fiction movie, but this is what really occurs. Search engines frequently utilize robots, often referred to as spiders, to crawl websites. This artificial intelligence notes keywords, relevant content, functioning links—even image load times—to name just a few.  This information is then returned to the search engine for proper indexing. Crawled websites are then categorized on a wide variety of criteria, earning a specific ranking which determines where pages will be placed relative to search queries.

Google frequently changes their criteria pertaining to what makes a website relevant. What made a website appear first in search results prior to a Panda, Penguin or Hummingbird update (it’s even a mystery why these revisions have been given animal names) may now be viewed as a disadvantage. Excessive penalties can cause your site to be buried beneath the competition—and everyone knows appearing anywhere but the front page of search engine results isn’t a good thing.

Do you really want to be the person responsible for overseeing your company’s SEO, or would you rather have a team of specialists dedicated to ensuring positive search results?

The Good Guys Vs. The Bad Guys

Frequent web content alterations regarding what search engines view as relevant have become a necessity. Unscrupulous site owners are frequently looking to circumvent the system; taking the easy route to gain exposure even when their content isn’t pertinent to users. These underhanded methods are referred to as “Black Hat Techniques”, sooner or later ending up in severe penalties for the culprits.  Valuable, germane content created strictly with the user in mind, “White Hat Strategy”, is rewarded with better placement in search results.

If your current website design hasn’t been recently reviewed it’s quite possible you’re being penalized without even knowing it! Even worse, failure to examine your site after each SEO update can have disastrous results. The techniques you were using prior to an update could very well be considered Black Hat afterwards.  You owe it to your business to reassess your website, assuring no unwanted fingerprints are left behind that will hinder your sites exposure.

SEO Is A Marathon, Not A Sprint

A well-structured SEO campaign does take time to produce results.  It’s a gradual process involving constant attention, both onsite and offsite,  as well as consistent nurturing and detailed care. Just as planting a seed will progressively pay off in full-born fruit, implementing a detailed SEO strategy will, in time, increase visibility. Patient, persistent attention is required to assure your website organically receives maximum exposure.

It is, however, important to note, strictly focusing on SEO is the equivalent to placing all your eggs in one basket. A truly successful marketing campaign consists of multiple well constructed techniques and strategies.  If you would like to learn more about how Power Marketing can help your business achieve the results your marketing budget deserves, please feel to contact us at 301.416.7861 or click here to schedule your free, no obligation 30 minute SEO consultation.