We Are Directional Preference – Your SEO & Paid Traffic Specialist
What does a SEO Specialist do?
To answer the question of what a professional SEO specialist does, it is important to know what SEO actually means. These three letters stand for Search Engine Optimization. There are several search engines available online, for example Bing, YouTube and Yahoo. Google has, of course, been the biggest player in this market for many years, which is why every website wants to rank higher in Google than its competitors. The word ‘optimization’ in this context means that your website must be locatable in the search engines. Two factors are important, namely the On Page and Off Page factors. Compare it to your own wellbeing: to feel good about yourself it is important to take care of your body (On Page). In addition, environmental factors such as family, friends and work play a role in your emotional state of being (Off Page). A SEO company therefore creates, as it were, the conditions for a website to feel good and be in top health, which in turn will be rated by a search engine with a higher ranking.
Want to be found in Google by paying per click?
Each one of these search engines has a way to pay for increasing the visibility of your website, for example the well-known advertising system Adwords. This system works, among others, based on Pay Per Click (PPC). Every time someone clicks on your advertisement you pay a certain fee. You could compare this to an auction but then for search terms. Every word has a certain price, depending on the competition. If you offer more, your advertisement will rank higher in the Google Adwords Rankings. Apart from the bidding price, the quality of your advertisement (Google Quality Score) is also important for these rankings because search engines want to show internet browsers the most relevant ads. This is a relatively easy and popular way to get many visitors to go to your website, as long as you pay the fee. This form of internet marketing also has a downside. Once a paid campaign has ended, the traffic to your website will stop. You can compare an Adwords campaign with a pill you take to relieve back pain; a perfect way, in most cases, for quick results but it is not a solution for the real cause of the pain. It is therefore important to use paid traffic as strategically as possible to optimize your revenue. The right choice of search terms and reason for an ad are crucial factors for a successful campaign.
Want to reach a top-ranking in Google with organic search results?
Apart from the paid systems, Google & Co also have non-paid machines that give results based on search terms. These are the natural, or organic, search results that are shown when entering in a search. Reaching a high ranking in Google in not easy. This company has developed an algorithm with more than 200 factors to asses a page and/or website, so you need to be a SEO expert to understand this. Based on this information your website will be assigned a certain ranking. Important ranking factors involve quality, authority, relevance and user experience of your website. Moreover, the algorithm is updated daily. The idea behind this is to offer the search engine user increasingly better search results. Directional Preference divides the SEO process in four steps:
The constant changes, or actually improvements, are most likely too complex and time-consuming to keep track of yourself. A website is also a dynamic unity, just like your body. To achieve maximum performance you need to constantly work out to stay fit. It is then understandable that many companies initially earmark a budget for, for example, an Adwords campaign. It is more tangible and easier to see what you get in return. It is also an easier way for SEO agencies to make money than with generating organic traffic. If you look beyond the number of leads for the upcoming month you’ll come to only one conclusion:
- The returns for Adwords are often overlooked in comparison to high quality SEO for a good and natural long-term Google ranking.
It is vital to get the right mix of paid and organic visitors so that you get the most out of your investments.
What are the obstacles to choose for organic SEO?
As a SEO firm Directional Preference understands the issues companies face when choosing for organic Google optimization. The cost, lack of knowledge or bad experiences in the past with questionable SEO companies can discourage you from using this type of online marketing.
High startup costs
One of the obstacles is often the high startup costs at the beginning of a process without there being any guarantees for positive results. A website analysis (audit) must be made for every new client to assess the health of that website and to make the right diagnosis. In addition, it is also important to map out the business activities, which are then used to prepare a strategic SEO plan. This is specialized work and needs to be executed with precision. You don’t want a hospital to overlook a bone fracture. Directional Preference works with you in the distribution of these initial costs to tackle this obstacle.
Some agencies promise to get you a number one ranking in Google, when actually only Google can deliver on that promise. Unfortunately they don’t accept checks to influence the organic ranking. Compare it to a surgery that you need. A surgeon cannot give any guarantees because complications can always occur during surgery. As a SEO company Directional Preference will never promise a certain ranking, but will do everything that is needed to create the conditions with the aim of reaching a higher ranking in Google or other search engines with your website. Fortunately, the results of our clients are excellent, which confirms that the methods Directional Preference uses as a professional SEO agency work.
Another sign of poor SEO is not keeping up to date on Google’s algorithm. What was good two years ago can now be assessed differently, and might even result in a penalty. When Google gives a website, or part of a website, a penalty, the rankings will fall and a much coveted position on the first page of search results is excluded. Depending on the type of penalty this might count for certain search terms or the website as a whole. Not every SEO agency changes its methods in a timely manner, which could then lead to disastrous consequences. It is a frequently occurring problem that can only be avoided by constantly staying up to date on the newest developments in the SEO area. Directional Preference reserves several hours each week for SEO training, and both learning and implementing the newest developments.
Black Hat SEO
A commonly occurring disastrous SEO marketing method is the use of techniques that are in conflict with the rules and regulations of search engines, the so-called Black Hat SEO. A well-known example is the use of Spam, filling a webpage with a certain search term or actively hiding content. Some of the techniques can be effective in the short term, but they make a website critically ill in the long term. Search engines almost always track down these techniques. Consider it a drug that temporarily gives you great high, but eventually comes crashing down. As a quality SEO agency Directional Preference only uses techniques that are in line with the applicable rules and regulations for SEO.
Amazing Web design & SEO, can it co-exist?
For many years there has been a discussion of what is more important; the look of a website or the optimization? As usual, the answer lies somewhere in the middle. An attractive website creates the right appearance for your company. But without any visitors that appearance won’t do anything for you, except that maybe you can tell your neighbor you have a good-looking website. Some sites have other visitor volumes than those coming from search engines and are therefore not interested in search engine optimization. This is fine, and they most likely will never consult with a SEO specialist. On the other hand, an unappealing website can repel visitors and make them decide to do business elsewhere. When you get a tremendous amount of visitors on your site there will always be a few that are interested. The conclusion is then to create a SEO-friendly website that is both appealing and user-friendly.
What is search engine optimization?
Putting together a website so that it fulfills all the requirements that are formulated by a search engine. The goal is to increase the ranking of that website. Google finds it very important that there is text on a page, for example. It can then determine what the content of that page is. This sounds very basic, but there are numerous examples of pages with only one image of a few words.
What is SEO?
It is the abbreviation for Search Engine Optimization. These three letters are used worldwide when talking about optimizing a website for search engines. Like in The Netherlands, the abbreviation is also used in Spain while the full term is written in the original language. In The Netherlands the term SEO is never replaced with ZMO, but it is referred to as ‘zoekmachine optimalisatie’.
Why do I see a different ranking in Google than my colleague for our company website?
Google adjusts its search results based on the search history. One SEO expert trick to try is to repeat the search with a different browser than Chrome and to turn on the privacy or incognito option. This will assure that the search results are not influenced by your search history. But the ranking can still show up in a different position per search, because Google says so. You can find an overview of the average position of a certain search term via Google’s Search Console.
When can I expect to see results?
When you have registered your website with Google’s Search Console you can see exactly which search term has which position based on a set time period. This is a great way to monitor your results on a daily basis. Usually the longer search terms show up in the higher positions. Depending on the competition, your own efforts and whether or not Google got out of bed on the right side that morning, the first results show up after a couple of weeks. Larger websites with a lot of authority are updated more frequently by Google than smaller websites.
What does SEO cost?
The answer to this question is another question: what is it worth to you? Since it is an ongoing process there are usually monthly costs to deliver reliable and continuous quality. An estimation can be made based on the competition in your area, their SEO quality and your targets. Do not assume that everything is set and done with $100,-. On the other hand, you won’t be spending ten thousand euro a month if you’re a local pizza restaurant. To give you an indication for an: the most small to medium sized companies have a budget between $300,- and $3500,- per month to spend on SEO. Small local companies can sometimes book great results with a smaller monthly budget once their website has been completely analyzed and optimized.