SEO is the acronym for search engine optimization. It is the most widely used technique for promoting Internet marketing and has been around for more than a decade.

How does SEO work?

Basically, SEO works by modifying a website using certain methods and techniques for the purpose of increasing the traffic to the site. The volume of traffic is essentially dependent on the ranking given to the web site by the search engines. Each search engine employs its own formulae or algorithms to determine the rating of a particular site. These algorithms are kept as closely guarded secrets and are not made known to the outside public.

Some of the factors which the search engines take into consideration are:

1. Relevancy -- the nearest match to the search items

2. Popularity -- the number of visits or hits to the site

3. Site age -- the older the site the higher the value

4. Contents -- the usefulness of the information

5. Keywords -- number and frequency of appearance

These are the important items; there are other factors like Meta tags, etc. which are also used for determining the rating of the website.

The weightage given to each of these factors is not the same but varies from item to item and is again kept as a trade secret.

The search engines do not directly search the sites in the World Wide Web. The actual searching is done by robot programs which are called “spiders”. The spiders “crawl” the sites and prepare a data base for the search engines for working out the rankings and for indexing the sites.

Search engines help to generate traffic to the website and to maintain it at a sustainable level. A well organized and relatively more informative site will naturally have greater attraction for the targeted audience and result in increased turnover and profitability of the online business.

Choosing the right SEO Company:

Even if a company has the requisite expertise, it is will be burdensome for it to deal with SEO by its own in-house staff, as it involves a lot of detailed work and will consume too much of their time. It will be wiser to outsource the work to a competent SEO company which specializes in such matters. The immediate problem will therefore be to select a suitable SEO company for this purpose. You may consider the following points when starting the selection process.

• Make a short list of potential candidates and collect full details of the companies. Verify the data given by them by direct inquiries and through the Internet.

• Get information from the companies regarding their other clients and refer to them for their impressions regarding the capabilities and past performance of the SEO companies which worked for them.

• Avoid SEO companies which tend to use black hat tactics for getting better ratings, because it will ultimately lead to being penalized by search engines.

• Hire only a company that is willing to enter into a long term contract with you because SEO is not a one-off job and needs continuous follow up.

• Don’t decide only on the basis of the quotations submitted by the candidates. As neither the cheapest nor the dearest quote may be the best choice, consider all other relevant factors and make an informed selection.

• When you have found a suitable SEO company that gets the desired results, it is wise to stick with it.

Author's Bio: 

Larson Frederick is the Vice President of Operations for Surefire Online Marketing, LLC. He has vast experience in the field of SEO. Find out more about this and other articles at www.surefireonlinemarketing.com