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Why does your website need SEO?

October 12, 2008

Ranking at top (at least from page 1 to page 3) of the major search engines (Google, Yahoo! & MSN) for targeted keyword phrases that have a high propensity to convert will significantly increase lead generation, sales and ultimately website ROI.

As a result, the greater the potential revenue a keyword phrase has, the more competitive it usually is to rank well for that phrase. Therefore, companies spend resources in an effort to achieve these listings. It is important to have someone who is well versed in the best practices of search engine optimization to oversee those resources and ensure that they have the desired effect.

Many of the site-wide elements that were enumerated in the first section of this document are not intuitive to set up from a system administrator’s perspective. It is very common for Web masters to utilize 302 redirects incorrectly, use relative linking within the site with inconsistent linking to www.domain.com and domain.com, create multiple URL paths to the same content, use java and flash navigation that do not allow for proper indexing as well as a number of other behaviors that do not cause problems for the usability of the website, but do cause problems for search engines to correctly index the content of the website. Understanding the optimal server settings and site architecture for search engines is critical in resolving these issues in some scenarios. This can be especially true in the case of content management systems.

Another reason that SEO professionals are needed is to evaluate the strength of the content as it relates to targeted keyword phrases versus that of the competition and to make recommendations for content development that increase the opportunity for the website to rank highly for those terms.

In addition to content recommendations based on keyword phrases, the SEO will often times need to adjust the keyword focus of Web pages that were written by content creators who did not write with SEO in mind. Often times, content is written for the sake of brevity or with the assumption that the reader can infer some of the content without actually having to spell it out.

The SEO professional understands the search engine crawler’s limitations in this regard and will adjust the content to include any words or phrases that might have initially been omitted. Having a person with an SEO focus in the content production cycle is very important, especially within large organizations where multiple writers are used who do not focus on SEO.

SEO professionals also ensure that internal linking navigation is optimal for conveying keyword relevance to search engines. This is especially important for constructing the navigation using technology that can be properly indexed.

Additionally, as previously alluded to in the first section of this document, there are a number of internet marketing and linking opportunities that must be evaluated and prioritized based on available resources. Proper understanding of SEO ensures this prioritization will lead to higher search engine rankings as a result of link acquisition efforts.

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