Over the years, search engine optimization, or SEO for short, has gained a dubious reputation. A handful of people have engaged in dishonest tactics that have sullied are image for the rest of us.
Natural referencing has never been and will never be an exact science. This has led to much debate about how best to increase website traffic. Some even wonder if this is necessary as the Internet continues to evolve and search engines frequently change their algorithms and ranking techniques.
In fact, you may even be wondering if "natural referencing really works?" Or you may be wondering if there is "a way to improve your ranking on Google?"
The answer to these two questions is yes. In this article we'll see why it works, how it can be beneficial for any business, and discuss some errors, to watch out for your website.
Keep in mind that RankToPay provides its natural referencing services and tools to customers around the world. Whether you need seAMforrforr for your business in Rennes, or Lausanne, RankToPay can help you design the perfect strategy!
What is natural referencing?
Search engine optimization is a set of methods that website owners can use to improve their ranking in search engines like Google, Bing or Yahoo. Often abbreviated SEO, these methods can include things like targeting keywords, improving speed, improving mobile usability, using the right tags, making your texts and media content, etc.
Engines, like Google, determine a website's ranking by looking at factors on the page - that is, the elements of your website that you can improve - and off-page factors, such as links. By improving both your page and off-page factors, you can improve your ranking for keywords that are most relevant to your business.
Using best practices, and the latest in Natural Referencing, your business can improve in search page rankings, which increases the chances that someone will click on your link when they search for your products, services or industries.
Why is natural referencing important?
Think about your own habits when you search for something online. How many pages of results do you click when you search for words on Google - three? two? Or too rarely on the first?
The more your company appears in search results, at the top of the page, the more likely it is that someone will click on your page. We all have a short attention span, so the faster your website appears in the results, the more likely you are to attract the attention of Internet users, who are trying to quickly find a solution to their problem, or a response to their question.
SEO is the best way push your business to the top of the search engine rankings. It's reliable, efficient and inexpensive.
Does natural referencing really work?
SEO is not an exact science. Best PRACTICEs in referencing are frequently evolving because they are based on ever-changing algorithms, set up by search engines; to give the best results to Internet users. So, for example, if Google decided that it preferred websites with purple backgrounds to those with any other color, SEO best practices would have to change to match this setting.
Google's preferences are less random than favoring purple color, of course, but you understand the metaphor. A practice accepted in SEO a few years ago may no longer work today, and this leads to the perception that SEO does not work: if you use outdated guidelines or practices, your site will not just not ranked well.
SEO only works when you use current best practices. In doing so, Google and other search engines will increase your website's ranking, resulting in a increased traffic and, therefore, conversions.
But when you do a bad optimization of your web pages, it doesn't work. You will then have the false perception that SEO is ineffective.
How a bad SEO can hurt you
A SEO campaign that uses old, outdated best practices can prevent you from ranking higher than you are now. You may even find your search ranking in freefall, or - worst of all - your website has been completely removed from search results.
Here are three major SEO errors that can affect your website:
Once common practice, this system requires a site to pay for links in an attempt to convince Google that it is an interesting site. Since search engines favor sites with a lot of backlinks, many years ago it was easy to play the system by buying links from other sites.
However, Google prefers links to be earned and not purchased. Search engine algorithms no longer take any link into account when classifying sites - they can ignore sites spam website links, or even destroy your ranking because you have them. In addition, if you buy links, you may receive a Google penalty, which completely removes your site from the results!
Instead of buying links, focus on winning them through quality and unique content, compared to your competitors.
MAKING PAGES WITHOUT ORIGINAL CONTENT
This is a way to fill your site with content, with minimal effort. In the past, webmasters used to create tons of pages on their websites, which reused content from their website, or even stolen content from other sites. Because quantity mattered more than quality, it was easy to manipulate the rankings simply by creating a lot of pages.
It doesn't work anymore. You should not focus on creating a large number of pages, but rather on creating original content that answers questions, solves problems and helps your visitors make decisions. This quality content can actually increase engagement rates with your website, which in turn can help improve your ranking.
In an attempt to rank their websites for every possible keyword, website owners used to engage in a practice known as "Keyword stuffing". This involved placing a large number of words in URLs, page titles, page content and links. Although this tactic was very effective, Google understood and rendered keyword stuffing ineffective.
Whereas before, Google was only looking for the right combination of keywords, today it is looking for relevance and the right content. Search engine algorithms now only trace sites that have all these attributes (plus a few others, such as links).
Also, keep in mind that real people will visit your website and review your URLs or the contents of your pages. If you write content for the sole purpose of getting keywords on a page, you will disappoint your visitors. And the way they interact with your website can significantly affect your ranking.
Many of these tactics lost the favor of site managers years ago. But there are others who are simply dishonest. This has led to distrust of referencing in general.
The dangers of "Black Hat" REFERencing
Companies or individuals who knowingly engage in dishonest referencing practices are deemed to use the "Black Hat SEO". This form of REFERencing is designed to speed things up, so you can get the results you want quickly. And this is frowned upon by search engines.
Sites engaging in SEO Black Hat referencing will be punished. They may even receive penalties from Google, which are very difficult to recover and keep their site away from search engine results
The SEO Black Hat, and the disastrous consequences that accompany it, is a big part of why many people think that SEO does not work. As in any industry, when you do something wrong, you pay the price. In this case, the price is lower or non-existent positioning in search engines!
Use smart SEO tactics to achieve sustainable results
The only way for SEO to work is to use current best practices and keep abreast of any new developments, so that you can fine-tune your campaigns accordingly.
When you do this, SEO really works. The proof is the results of a long list of RankToPay customers who have seen huge traffic gains after launching SEO campaigns.
Now that you know that natural SEO really works - when it's done well, that is with us - take a look at our page on SEO optimization, to learn more about how a leading agency like RankToPay can help you improve your ranking and attract more customers through modern online marketing.