Continue to Part II: Professional Search Engine Consultants»
IntroductionSearch engine optimization (SEO) is a growing online business which offers to make changes to websites which the search engines' spiders, or algorithms, will use to rank the sites higher on the search results pages. SEO generally consists of two different components - on site and off site. On site SEO refers to how the content is written, use and placement of keywords, and the writing and use of headers and tags in the HTML code. Off site optimization typically refers to a link-building campaign in which links are added to and from other sites. Professional SEO services can offer to do all of these services, or individual ones. Link exchanges are brokerage services which offer easy ways to purchase links from highly ranked sites, or to trade links between webmasters.
CostsSEO costs can be extremely varied depending on the amount of work involved, the keywords used, the size of the SEO company being employed, and which SEO characteristics you need. Freelance SEO professionals can be found for typically lower rates than larger companies, but even so, SEO costs can range from hundreds of dollars for smaller sites, to tens of thousands of dollars for larger ones.
TimeframeSEO is not an overnight process, and in fact, should be an ongoing element of any online business. Links should always be added, and links that are found to be broken or are linking to sites which have dropped in the rankings should be discarded. Most of the on-site optimization is typically a one-time project. Once the main text is written with SEO in mind, and the headers and tags are included, this part of the project will likely be static.
Execution DetailsFor webmasters who have some design experience and who are somewhat comfortable with HTML, some SEO can be done themselves, which can save costs when a professional SEO company is hired. The content, keyword distribution, and tags can easily be done by almost anyone with basic website design experience. Before hiring a professional SEO company, different companies should be contacted for rates and explanations of exactly what services are offered. Any reputable company should gladly supply potential clients with a list of case studies and past clients which can be contacted for verification.
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