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SEO is one of those industries that’s becoming more and more common as business niches become more specialized — the kind where you basically have to give an expert your money and trust that they’re doing their jobs. The problem with SEO is that it’s not a sure thing: it’s possible for you to invest in SEO, have your SEO guy do all of the work they intended to do exactly like they intended to do it, and not see the gain in traffic and conversions that you expected. It’s rare, but it does happen, and it can lead you to ask: what did you do for me all day?
The answer, of course, is “SEO,” but that kind of like saying you ‘do chess.’ There are a lot of moves in a chess game, and if you don’t know how to play the game, it’s hard to understand when the player starts throwing terms like ‘Queen’s pawn to Q4 and en passant.’ Just asking some SEO specialists to explain their activities to you isn’t going to get you the understanding you want — which is why they hire a writer like me to put it to you in layman’s terms.
On-Page Search Engine Optimization
In general, an SEO company starts with your website. If it’s not set up to be SEO-appropriate, it doesn’t matter how many off-page factors they get right, because there target those off-page factors are aiming at isn’t actually there to be hit.
So for the first week-to-month of the process (depending on the complexity of your website and their own staff size), they’ll be working to optimize your site. They’ll do things like research keywords for your site to target. They’ll work those keywords into all of the subtle nooks and crannies of your site (like picture alt-tags, meta tags, and so on.) They’ll redesign some or all of your site to be more friendly to search engine spiders.
This part of the process is generally a little more obvious than the rest, because you can look and see what they did to your site, even if you don’t necessarily understand exactly why. So let’s move on to the part you might have more trouble with…in Part II.