Higher search engine rankings at the drop of a (white) hat

To the online marketing neophyte with a brand-spanking new website and great expectations for a future full of high search engine rankings and thousands of visitors every day, SEO may seem like a mystical concept best left for the pros. And while professional help is often the best road to take when it comes to SEO, there’s no harm in knowing for oneself. Despite what many may think, it is possible to learn enough about search engine optimisation to understand what your marketing manager means when he says that your “PPC campaign is underperforming” because your “CPC is too high.”  In fact, with a little bit of reading you may even be able to make some valuable suggestions about how to get better search engine rankings.

Higher search engine rankings are the gold standard every SEO would like to achieve for his clients. Better search engine rankings equals more visits to any given webpage, which will ideally lead to more sales. However, getting higher search engine rankings requires a little bit of elbow grease and a certain amount of patience.

SEO and your business

The search engine ranking system is a bit of a mystery, since the precise algorithms that decide which sites get better rankings are something of a top secret. However, some information is public knowledge; for example, it is an established fact that keyword-rich body copy, high-quality backlinks, and relevant keywords are all excellent ways to obtain high search rankings. These techniques are all part of white hat SEO, which is considered the ethical method of optimisation, as opposed to black hat, which includes keyword stuffing and buying backlinks from irrelevant sites.

If your site is suffering from poor performance in the search engines, consider doing a little bit of research through reputable sites such as SEOmoz or Google’s Google Analytics blog. Both have valuable information about how to achieve higher search engine rankings, such as this gem from SEOmoz:  “The most valuable links you can get are those which your competitors will never be able to have.” While this may seem like a no-brainer, the article that follows this statement is actually full of good advice on improving search engine rankings.

And if after all your reading you still can’t seem to wrap your mind around how to conduct a tight SEO campaign that will produce higher search engine rankings, never fear. After all, the pros are called pros for a reason, right?

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