Search Engine Optimisation, otherwise known as SEO, is made up of a number of disciplines, and all of these areas work together to help a website achieve a higher ranking. There is little chance of success without using all areas; link building, using keywords, social media, tags, descriptions, and so on.
The main problem that a lot of people have is that they are unsure on how to divide up their time; where they should focus on and what they should devote the most time to. This is a hard question to answer. Search engines such as Google or Bing are notoriously cloak and dagger about the specifics of their complex algorithms and where they put the most emphasis, so how should you know where your emphasis? It might seem like there is a lot of guess work involved.
In some ways this is true, it is guessing, but with a professional SEO company, they will be using more trial and error, which actions equal the best results. They can learn from their actions and responses, and this combined with keeping up to date with SEO news and potential search engine updates, will give you the best chance of success.
You still may well be curious though, on the more effective methods. Two of the main, both long lasting and tried and tested, are link building and increasing traffic.
Building links between your site and others has always been important, and unfortunately (or fortunately depending on how you see it) this is much more difficult to get right these days. Search engines are no longer just looking at who has the most links but also the quality of those links.
Whilst once, if you had 20 links and another company had 5, you were the clear winner, now if your 20 links are to low ranked sites and their 5 were to relevant and highly ranked sites, you might well be the loser.
Increasing traffic might seem like the goal, but if you think about it, the goal is really generating business or interest. Increasing traffic is SEO in itself as search engines will monitor the number of people going to your site as a sign of the quality of the site.
It will also monitor the quality of the traffic, by which I mean the bounce rate. If you get a load of traffic but people are going in and going straight out again – bouncing – it’s a sure sign it’s not what they were wanting or expecting.
You will get marked down for this, which just goes to show, you need to make sure that the website is appealing to people as much as search engines, or by proxy you will affect the way search engines see you.
For an article that started off asking which method was the most effective it seems counterproductive to say that it’s hard to tell. Unless search engines start announcing what they want we will only ever be able to measure results and work from there.
Create a well-connected and high quality site that appeals to search engines and readers, and never sit back on your laurels and you will struggle to go wrong.