bright pastPerhaps the most important part of internet marketing, however, is SEO – Search Engine Optimization. Search engines are the librarian’s of the internet, constantly monitoring all content to make sure that they can provide the best results. There are a few key components that are registered by search engine algorithms, and knowing them can help you optimize your online presence. Content and titles play a huge role in getting your site to the top of the list, but reputation is perhaps the biggest; the more your content is shared, and the more reputable sites that link back to your own, the higher you get on the list. It’s not easy, but it is possible.

Social media now plays a role in SEO, as well – trending posts are taken into account, and are sometimes some of the first results shown, depending on the search. Going back to maintaining a positive online presence, managing your business’ social media account has the added benefit of keeping the search results relevant to your brand.

There are pitfalls associated with trying to play the SEO game, however. Google recently updated its Panda algorithm to make sure that high-quality content gets preference in the results; high-quality is determined by grammar, text formatting, length of content, and inbound/outbound links. Keeping these in mind can help any of your relevant pages stay relevant.

Some choose to hire SEO services to manage this for them – and why not? They’re knowledgeable about search algorithms, and can make sure that your site gains as much traffic as possible, as such. It can be a great move, but a lot of people make the mistake of not giving the effort enough time. Just like the stock market, there’s ups and downs in web traffic trends. A lot of people make the mistake of thinking it’s a short-term tactic, but seeing the positive influence of an SEO campaign can take time.

Not investing enough, though, can be worse than not trying at all. There are a variety of SEO firms that pride themselves on being a cheap alternative. It may sound nice, but the old adage ‘you get what you pay for’ is still being said for a reason. Cramming a site full of short, keyword heavy articles isn’t likely to get you a higher spot on the list. Grammar and length are key factors in leading search engine algorithms, and leaving your SEO fate in the hands of a third-party doesn’t guarantee that either of those features are included. If you do decide to hire a third-party, do the research and make sure the firm is up to your standards.

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Another fatal mistake is taking on the burden of SEO management on your own. Creating enough quality content to register to the major algorithms takes a lot of time, and effort – churning out enough content on your own would take years. Hiring a team of writers could be costly, but it would have a positive effect on your online reputation. There are even companies that allow you to hire freelance writers to bolster your content.

There are several methods of managing your reputation, these days. Professional or personal, your online presence has never been more important, or more fragile. Putting in the time and effort required to maintain a positive online presence can be the difference between fading out and finding fame. PR is in the hands of the masses, these days, but that doesn’t mean that it’s any easier than it used to be.