SEO isn't Rocket Science. In fact it's based on 4 key principals:
1. Identify the Right Keywords
2. Optimize the website
3. Optimize Inbound Links (Backlinks)
4. Measure Results and Repeat
Each of those 4 key principals have a lot of details, but everything comes back to them.
Identifying the "right" keywords: This process is probably the most important of all research that you can accomplish and most important to understanding how SEO works. There is simply no point to entering into a search optimization campaign unless you know; which keywords are being searched, how competitive are the keywords (i.e. how likely and how long will it take to win them), which keywords drive conversions, which keywords drive traffic but not conversions. We have a very mathematical approach to keyword identification. Factors we consider are search volume, search engine result counts, keyword phrase use in title tags, Alexa Rankings, Google Page Rank of competitors. These factors are then mathematically combined into Keyword Effectiveness Index (KEI) Keyword Performance Index (KPI), BLKEI (tm) and a BWKPI (tm) - Download a sample Keyword Report.
On-Page Optimization: When a search engine visits your site and indexes a page (bot or spider) it cannot "see" images. All it can do is read the text that appears on the page to try and identify what the subject matter of the page is all about. What the text says and how that text is formatted is exceptionally important. Text on the page includes Title tags, Meta Tag, Description Tag, Image Alt text, Link alt text, link anchor text, and of course body text. Formatting factors are also taken into consideration including the usage of; bold, italics, H1 and other H# tags. Density of keyword phrases is also exceptionally important. If a particular keyword phrase is not used enough, then the search engine will most likely not determine that the page is about that subject. However, if the keyword density is too high (i.e. the keyword is used too often or "stuffed") then the search engine may mark the page as "spam". Again, our On page optimization reports are based heavily on these mathematical factors. - Download a sample On-Page Optimization Report
Site Structure - Many factors regarding the way that a site is constructed and structured can affect the overall performance of the site from a SEO perspective. One of the most common problems is duplicate content. While Google and other search engines are getting better about recognizing and handling duplicate content issues, it is much better to solve the problem from the website construction side than to leave it to the search engines to "decide" for you. Examples of duplicate content problems are: Dynamic sites that return the same web page under different URLS, URL tracking codes that are carried throughout the site as a visitor navigates, and site whose link structure include bounce from http to https pages with the same content. URL Rewriting techniques can be utilized to correct these issues.
Additional site structure problems are; Internal links that "link everything to everything", SEO Hazards (Black hat techniques such as small text, same color text on near color backgrounds, and many others), Excessive links per page, and excessive outbound links.
Off-Page Optimization: While some search engines place a heavier importance on content, Google (the current King of Search) places a heavier importance on inbound links (backlinks). These are the links to your site (and sub pages) from other websites. The quality and quantity of these links is exceptionally important. To give you an example of just how important these inbound links are you can do a search on Google for the phrase "Click Here" http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=click+here as you can see Adobe Reader is the first result. If you look at the page you will see that the phrase "click here" doesn't appear anywhere in the text. Why do they rank so well when the content is not relevant? The answer: Anchor Text. Anchor text is the text used on the link itself. A lot of sites use the phrase "click here to download adobe reader" In the case of Adobe Google recognizes nearly half a million backlinks to that specific page. http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&rlz=1T4HPNW_en&q=link:http%3a%2f%2fget.adobe.com%2freader%2f . The acquisition of quality backlinks can be critical to your overall success in SEO.
Where we get links: There are a number of ways to build quality backlinks. Directory submissions, Off site Blogging, Press Releases, Working with your current vendors and customer to get links from their websites, testimonials of products that you use, sponsoring non profit events, and more. In addition on consideration is community building. Is your product or service conducive to an online community format with message boards and forums? If so this can be a fantastic way to have content (postings etc) built for you naturally by a community of site users. This can often be a great source of links. Social Networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIN and others can also be a source of strong communications, building brand followings and ultimately inbound links from natural sources. Lastly direct email requests to sites and blogs that represent your industry asking for links and / or link exchanges is the final method of link building. This brief overview of link building just scratches the surface on the details of a successful link building campaign.
Measure Measure Measure: Traffic is useless unless that traffic converts into leads and sales. We believe that it isn't our responsibility to just drive traffic to our client's sites instead we have to drive the right traffic through to the right experience at the right moment. We have to help your customers find exactly what they are looking for, and take them through that experience, from a search trigger, to completed action. When customers find our clients our clients see results. This can only be accomplished by a strong a dedicated approach to analytics review, and performance tracking. We have to know "why" the visitor visited the site, where they went, what pathing best creates the desired outcome and then manipulate our efforts to that end. Regular reporting of SEO campaign performance, Link Performance, and changes in competitors is a requirement to successful SEO.