Search engine optimization (SEO) has become more widespread, and especially in the last two years as the internet grows by leaps and bounds. More websites means more competition, and web marketing and SEO has become critical to a website’s success whether it’s done in-house or through an outside firm. If you expect to be competitive and successful in the online space, SEO is a must have whether you do it in-house or with an outside SEO firm.

Only a few years ago, the “winners” of SEO and the sites with the best search engine ranking positions were given to the websites with the most links. Off-site links were just about the only thing that was measured. So, if you had a million links coming into your website, you were probably doing extremely well, and it didn’t matter where those links came from. 100,000 links from message board spammers in India? No problem, you still got the SEO juice. More recently, Google and other search engines have taken steps to reduce and eliminate the effectiveness of such linking schemes, and reward the websites with relevant “high value” links. Recent “Panda” and “Penguin” updates from Google have had significant impact on what works and what doesn’t – but more on that later….

There are many pieces of a successful SEO puzzle, and some are more important than others. I’ll briefly explain each part here, and then each separately in more detail in future blogs. There are four main areas of SEO to take into consideration when developing a winning SEO campaign: 1) On-site content and optimization, 2) off site link building opportunities, 3) social media presence and activity, and 4) site traffic and metrics. Within each of these there are additional details and things to consider. For example, for on-site optimization, you need to consider domain content, page content, URL structure and length, site speed, meta-titles, meta-descriptions, canonical tags, indexing, and more. As you can see, each piece has many points to it, and in order to have the best SEO presence you should make sure your SEO strategy encompasses them all.