Search engine traffic is the Holy Grail of internet traffic. Once your site has a good search engine position, it brings a flood of interested visitors to check things out. Meet that traffic with compelling content and the result is usually a great deal of profit. When considering stepping up a site’s SEO (Search Engine Optimization) game, there are a couple of things to consider:

Are You Ready for SEO?

Good SEO can bring the least expensive and most consistent traffic of any known web site promotional method, but it does have its costs. First, having a competent SEO firm handle things is highly recommended for those who plan to tackle highly competitive keyword phrases. The SEO world is much like tax law – it constantly changes and only the professionals really keep up with those changes. Having an amateur dive into this complicated pool is as likely to result in disaster as success. In addition to the complication of the SEO world, SEO is also a long term strategy. No site is going to land a top spot on major search engines overnight (at least, they won’t do it and keep that spot for more than a couple of days). Good search engine positioning is about building credit. It takes time before banks trust you and it takes time for search engines to trust your site. While good SEO should be a factor in any web site, those who need immediate traffic should not rely on SEO alone.

Is the Site Tuned for Search Engines?

There are many factors in the site itself that either contribute to search engine trust or detract from it. Again, these factors and the weight they carry varies and constantly changes so only a real professional can keep abreast of what factors are most important at any given time. Some of the universal things that help or hurt SEO are things like background page information and broken links. The background page information consists of things you can see and can’t, like bold text or meta tags, that tell search engines that these words are the ones the webmaster considers most relevant to the site. Links that lead nowhere lose search engine trust the same way an uncut lawn loses curb appeal. Having a site that is as ready as possible for search engines to rank well is the first step in strong SEO.

Customer Experience is Crucial

Now and even more in the future, search engines rely on feedback from visitors to help rank web sites. The first generation of that is seen in the social bookmark widgets that allow customers to “like” a page on their favorite social sites. In the future, it is likely that search engines will expand this process to add increasing weight to the experience web visitors have on sites. Seemingly minor details like overly long title tags or generic image information for pictures can dramatically affect the perceived quality of a web site from the visitor perspective.

SEO in its most basic form can be done by any reasonably informed webmaster. By the same token, taxes can be computed and filed by any reasonably informed taxpayer. Corporations wishing to take full advantage of tax laws always use accountants that specialize in the subject and webmasters who are serious about getting the best search engine positioning possible should probably follow suit and use competent SEO professionals.