What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization refers to how your website is presented in code, not graphically. Search Engines, such as Google, Yahoo!, and Bing regularly send out 'robots' (web applications which detect and analyze Internet websites) and 'crawl' websites and their content. The way robots look at your site, what they look for, and how they analyze that information is determined by 'algorithms' - and those change all the time.
It is important to understand that these robots don't see graphics and most multi media (such as flash); they read code and text only. That's why it is imperative that your website consists of valid code, a healthy amount of actual content (text), and properly written copy (with important key words or phrases present) and image descriptions.
SEO is neither magic nor an exact science.
There are some do's and don'ts. There are guidelines. There are thousands of articles and online discussion forums devoted to the subject. The most important rules to obey are:
- Clean, valid code. This will help with site speed, too.
- Responsive Design
- Good, accurate page titles and meta descriptions. "Welcome to our home page" won't do much good.
- 3 words: Text, text, and more text. Each page should contain 1000 words or more of GOOD copy (if possible).
- Update your website frequently. Consider a blog.
- Keywords. Each paragraph on any given page should mention the main keyword for that particular page at least once (provided it fits into the structure of your sentence).
- Write your copy with your visitors in mind. You'll want to avoid keyword stuffing. Even IF (and that's a big if) it places you at the top of the search engines, it won't please your customers.
- Stay away from 'Blackhat SEO' such as invisible text, cloaking, keyword stuffing, duplicate content, and the likes.
- Only exchange links with sites that actually relate to your business and/or will enhance your visitor's experience (also see Link Strategies »).
- Build quality back links (links to your site).
NOBODY can GUARANTEE you top position.
Or any placement at all, for that matter. On any search engine. Think about it: Search results are displayed by a third party, compiled from information collected, analyzed, and processed by a third party. On a third party web server. How could anyone make promises in regard to something they have absolutely no control over? NOBODY can guarantee you top placement. And, if someone does, you're being lied to.
Here is what Google has published on the matter:
No one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google.
Beware of SEOs that claim to guarantee rankings, allege a "special relationship" with Google, or advertise a "priority submit" to Google. There is no priority submit for Google. In fact, the only way to submit a site to Google directly is through the URL Inspection Tool or by submitting a Sitemap, and you can do this yourself. (Full article here »)