Your SEO Service, Ethical SEO, and Competitor Monitoring

When a company undertakes a search engine optimization program, whether it is performed in-house or outsourced to an SEO service, most of the attention (and rightly so) is focused on the company website. This is the one aspect where there is a feeling of control–once a website is released into the wild, the company will have to see how its site fares against all the other websites out there, whether the other sites are using ethical SEO tactics or not.

Apart from changes made to the company website, the assumption is often that the company and, if it is using one, its SEO service, has zero control over what appears in search engine results. However, this is not usually the case. Often, you or your SEO service can have a direct effect on search engine results by monitoring your competitors and reporting them to the major search engines when the SEO techniques used on their site fall outside what is popularly referred to as ethical SEO. (Please note that while I believe that the word “ethical” is tossed around too often, “ethical SEO” has become the standard phrase to describe white hat techniques, and so it is the phrase I use throughout the article.)

Primary Competitors

To start with, let’s define competitors. Almost every company has at least a handful of other companies that it considers to be primary competitors–the ones that sell the same products and services, that are of similar size, and so on. It is important that the SEO efforts (or lack thereof) of these competitors, whether they are using ethical SEO techniques or not, be monitored on a routine basis. If they have not hired an SEO service of their own, or if they have not started doing SEO in-house at all, you will have peace of mind knowing that the use of this channel, for the moment, is yours. If your competitors begin an SEO campaign, with or without an outside SEO service, you can learn much about their sales and marketing tactics by evaluating the keyphrases that they target. And you can also investigate whether they are using ethical SEO practices in their campaign.

Your Online Competitors

It’s important to keep in mind that it is unlikely that searchers are going to decide only between you and the primary competitors you have listed. They are going to consider any company that matches their particular needs and that shows up for their search term. This is why your criteria for a competitor online should broaden to encompass any company that offers products or services like yours that outranks you for any of your targeted keyphrases. If your in-house staff or your SEO service not only continually monitors your search engine positions but also analyzes the companies that appear above you in search results, you can often identify forward-looking competitors of which you were previously unaware–your primary competitors of tomorrow.

Violations

This brings us to the key issue of ethical SEO. Search engine optimization is still a very new concept to most companies. Even the most respected companies can make mistakes in this arena, either by choosing the wrong SEO service, or by trying to avoid hiring an SEO service altogether by bringing it in house with well-intentioned but unqualified people. For example, BMW’s German site was recently removed temporarily from the Google index for using doorway pages–something that is not considered an ethical SEO practice. It stands to reason that your competitors are also not immune to violations.

Bad Firms

There are very notable examples of otherwise smart and established companies hiring an SEO service that put them in a worse situation than before they pursued SEO–by getting their site removed from major search engines for violating the engine’s terms of service, for example. Not long ago, there was a well-publicized example where most of the clients of a Las Vegas SEO service were penalized. Almost all of the clients claimed that they were not informed that the firm was not practicing ethical SEO and that they were therefore at risk.

SEO firms are generally divided into two camps–those called “White Hats” (those that use ethical SEO practices and will never knowingly violate a search engine’s terms of service) and those called “Black Hats” (those that do not use ethical SEO practices and that will attempt to unravel the latest algorithms and exploit any loopholes to achieve rankings at any cost). Neither approach is invalid–it is not against the law to violate the terms of service of a search engine. Moreover, black hat techniques can be quite effective. However, the tactics are risky, and anyone hiring an SEO service that wears a black hat and does not use ethical SEO practices should definitely be apprised of this risk up front.

Internal Resources

Firms are often tempted to avoid hiring an SEO service by performing SEO in-house, and the project almost always falls onto an already overburdened IT department. The problem with approaching SEO from a strictly technical mindset is that the strategies employed, such as the keyphrases targeted, will not necessarily be in line with the goals of the marketing and sales departments. In addition, an IT resource will usually approach SEO from a purely technical standpoint, without being aware of ethical SEO practices, and this can lead to trouble. Penalization is a very real possibility, and it is hard to get back onto an index once your site has been removed.

Monitoring

A thorough SEO service will monitor not only the handful of competitors that you deem crucial but also the sites that appear higher than you for any of your chosen search phrases. This may be somewhat controversial, especially to any SEO service or webmaster that uses tactics forbidden by the search engines’ terms of service. However, many white hat SEO service firms consider it an obligation to their clients to routinely monitor the sites of any competitor found on the engines to be sure it is using ethical SEO techniques.

There is a reason that every major search engine has a form to report sites who do not use ethical SEO tactics and who violate the terms of service so that these sites can be subsequently penalized or removed. Spam filters cannot catch all violations without also removing a large number of good sites. Search engines rely on their users to help them to keep their indexes clean and free of sites not using ethical SEO tactics. There are many techniques to spam an engine–far too many to list. However, a good SEO service not only knows what all of these techniques are but knows how to identify them when it sees them so they can be reported to the engine accurately.

The End Result

Business is business, and your interests often run directly counter to that of your competitors. When you report a website that is not using ethical SEO, it is very likely that it will be removed. This means there is one less company that you need to worry about in the online arena, at least for the time being. If the site in question outranked yours, you also get the added benefit of seeing your rankings improve as the violating pages are removed–provided, of course, that you are using ethical SEO techniques and steering clear of violations yourself, or you may be reported by a competitor of yours or its SEO service!

The engine also benefits from users reporting violations. Engines do not like people trying to trick their indexes, since there might then be pages showing up for particular search terms that are not actually relevant to those terms. Clearly, search engines understand this benefit–if the engines thought they could weed out all the spam themselves, they would not provide a reporting system. Supporting such a system, after all, is not free. Real people employed by the engine have to visit the offending pages to confirm that they are not using ethical SEO tactics.

In the notable example cited earlier of the firm that got most of its clients penalized, the owner of the SEO service in question was quoted as saying, “Google can kiss my ass. This is the Wild Wild West.” He may be right–maybe it is the Wild Wild West. But there are a whole bunch of new sheriffs in town–and they are wearing white hats.

SEO Web Marketing Articles – How Bold And Italics Can Bring In Significant Traffic Easily

Here is a very simple SEO web marketing trick you can us in your articles that can easily yield a lot of extra targeted traffic for you and your site.

Some folks are not aware of the fact that search engines place a lot of importance on Italics and bold within the body of an article. It usually means an important reference and is very strong evidence of what the page is about which is one of the main objectives of search engines.

Before the Google search engine came along and revolutionized search, making it so much more efficient, a common practice with many web sites was to guess popular keywords and then stuff their sites with as many of them as possible without caring whether they had the content for it or not. The whole idea was to get very high traffic and then expose that traffic to their advertisements in the hope that they will catch a significant enough percentage to make money.

The result was that searching for anything online was a very frustrating affair. Google came in with their Page Rank link based system and suddenly you could find exactly what you were looking for in seconds instead of hours. The search engine algorithm considers many other factors. It is all top secret except that people often take a close look at sites that rank highly and they notice things. One of the aspects on which a lot of importance is placed is on words and phrases within the main body of the content on a page that is either bold or italics.

This is something important for anybody involved in SEO web marketing articles to consider because it could get you plenty of targeted traffic from search engines for very little effort put in.

Yes, Good Affordable SEO Services Do Exist

You’re likely aware that affordable SEO services exist and are an important marketing strategies available today. Likewise, it’s also one of the most effective ways to establish an online presence, especially if you’re just new in the business. Though, let’s not forget the fact that it could also be quite expensive–more so, if you’re just starting a business. That in mind, how can a small business with limited budget enjoy something like this?

The answer is, through affordable SEO.

Believe it or not, affordable SEO services still exist. However, before we delve in further, you have to know that ‘cheap’ and ‘affordable’ aren’t the same–they have different meanings. The term ‘affordable’ means that you’ll be able to enjoy services at a reasonable price, without compromising the quality or features being offered. On the other hand, ‘cheap’ means you’ll be looking for the lowest priced services available–this wouldn’t give you the assurance that you’ll still enjoy SEO services that could help your business succeed.

Experts would tell you that it’s not advisable to go for cheap SEO services. Instead, focus on a company that’s capable of providing the services you need at an affordable price. This would give you the assurance that you’ll be able to enjoy long-lasting results that’s worth the investment. Also, there’s no need to pay for another SEO professional just to correct the mistakes made by the cheap company you’ve hired before.

Affordable SEO services are the most practical solutions to give your website the boost it needs. This will help you achieve your goals without burning a hole in your pocket.

Listed below are the characteristics of an affordable SEO service:

1. Comprehensive Services

This means SEO professionals would be willing to provide different services, such as keyword research, link building, content writing, directory submission, search engine submission, and social media marketing under one roof. This would give you the advantage of having an array of choices when it comes to picking features that should be included in the SEO campaign. With that, there’s no need to go to several providers just to obtain the services you need.

2. Insights From Other Experts and Customers

You should always do your research and try to figure out what other people say about the SEO company you’re planning to hire. Attempt to look for customer reviews and testimonials online. This would give you the insight you need, allowing you to determine if it’s an affordable SEO company or not. Pay attention to the feedback about pricing, costing, customer service, and level of professionalism.

3. Scaled Services

Some SEO companies make it impossible for businesses to access their services because they only offer complete services, and you’re not allowed to pick individually. This means you have no choice, but to take the entire package or look for another SEO company instead.

An affordable SEO company is willing to provide a broad range of options that allow the customers to scale different features depending on the allotted budget, as well as the benefits the business can enjoy. This gives you the privilege of personalizing the solution depending on your particular needs.

4. Unique and Customizable Services

Affordable SEO services are always willing to give options to ensure customer satisfaction. They allow their clients to personalize packages or features depending on their needs. This enables the business to decide what features should be included in the package and which ones are not needed at all. This can be very helpful for small businesses because they’ll have more control over the pricing.

5. Experience Is Important

Companies offering affordable SEO services are usually experienced and have been in the business for some years. They’re willing to provide quick turnarounds when it’s needed, and you’ll have the assurance that they’ll handle the given task professionally. You’ll be working with a more efficient ‘machine’ and you can expect more from the company, without paying extravagant fees.

Final Words

SEO is the foundation of everything being done online. It’s in the website pages, blog posts, social media posts, content downloads, and emails. That’s why it’s critical to look for an SEO expert that’s capable of helping you boost your online presence. However, this doesn’t mean that you should spend ridiculous amounts either. There’s a lot of SEO companies that offer affordable services, and all you have to do is look for these.

Thank you for stopping by

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