Introduction to search engine optimization

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) comprises the set of practices used for optimizing a website for increased visibility and relevancy in search engine rankings.

A number of misperceptions exist about SEO — that it is entirely the result of guesswork, or that it is a “dark art” impossible to understand, let alone master. Others equate SEO with the all-too-common practice of cramming your site with lists of disjointed keywords — an unscrupulous tactic that while effective initially, may get you banned from respectable search engine results.

The reality is that the basic principles of SEO are not only clear and easy to understand, but they are also essential for building a successful web presence for your business or organization. If SEO is done early and done well, it can be the most cost and time efficient stage of building your website. And importantly, SEO has numerous intersections with the principles of usability and accessibility in web design. By investing the time and resources to properly optimize your website for search engine rankings, you will ensure that your end result is a highly visible, easily navigable, and accessible website.

Most important to consider in SEO is that search engine results must be viewed as a competition. Unlike a certification, in which anyone who receives a passing grade becomes certified, the only way to get a top search engine result is to knock off every other competitor for that term. This is not an easy task.

Your website needs to be properly optimized to stand a chance to gain, and then hold, a top search engine results page (SERP) result when users search for keywords that describe the services, products, or information on your website. Even if your website attains top placement, it must be continually monitored and re-optimized, as placement at the top of the SERPs for popular phrases is extremely competitive. Many of your competitors will be monitoring their respective SERP, and if they see you have moved ahead of them, they will make changes in an attempt to knock you from your spot!

The next section of this document explains the basics of SEO with the aim of de-mystifying the process. This will provide a solid foundation to the subsequent sections, which provide an overview of our professional services in Keyword Research, Competitive Analysis, Website Review, and SEO Maintenance. The Keyword Research section explains our services and process in analyzing keyword phrases. Competitive Analysis discusses our process for comparing your website’s web presence with your competitors’. Website Review explains how we conduct a review of coding practices and keyword optimization on web pages. And finally, SEO Maintenance provides a description of our process for working to place your site at the top of the SERPs for your keywords, and ensuring that your website stays in compliance with the best SEO practices.

If you have any questions or would like to schedule a consultation with an SEO specialist at DesignHammer, please do not hesitate to contact us. We look forward to working with you to integrate the best SEO practices with your website.