Studies show that over 80% of all online users use search engines to find what they are looking for, whether products/services, or just plain information.
The following twelve points will, I hope, summarise a philosophy, approach and methodology to the SEO question which is both sound and effective, along with giving some helpful insight into the industry itself which is growing at a very fast rate.
1. Content Is Half The Battle Won
Copywriting which is professional, effective, ethical and optimised is the most important factor in any search engine optimisation campaign. Search engines index websites based on the content found on each page of the site. A business website owner who can identify who the target market is can then have some of the pie too and most importantly move the website on a higher ranking in the “SERP’s” (Search Engine Results Page).
2. Analyse Web Logs.
If you have an existing website, measure it. This means you must have access to:
• The number of visitors to your site on a daily basis
• Which is the most popular page on the site
• Which is the least popular page on the site
• How much time are visitors spending on the site
• Which page do they exit from
There are many more elements but if you do not have this information, then it is very difficult to make an informed decision as to what is working or not working on your website. One of the most powerful and free tools available in the market today is Google Analytics. It is easy to set up and offers you live information. In this way you are able to track your website progress and make changes where necessary without spending too much money on it.
3. Big numbers do no necessarily mean big results
If you hear claims from search engine companies that they can submit your website to 50,000 search engines, be weary. 85% of the search results on the Internet come from one search engine, which, if you have one link from an established website, or better yet, a directory, will find your site just fine, on its own. Four of the main search engines account for over 90% of the traffic on the web.
4. SEO is not Pay-per-Click.
While no one would argue the effectiveness of getting increased traffic and sales, through a well planned, pay-per-click campaign, the fact remains that the conversion rates are generally low and they cease the moment the “pay” stops. With a well planned and executed SEO campaign, while results may take a bit longer, they continue to produce, and in fact grow, long after the work is done and paid for. Quite often, after a thorough optimisation of a site, only minor adjustments are needed on an ongoing basis, primarily related to new content and/or new items of sale or service.
5. SEO is not Hocus Pocus
Most of the SEO techniques can be found online so there is no secret list or bible that search engine companies follow. You normally pay for their expertise in increasing the website ranking in search engines, thus creating greater visibility for your website.
6. SEO – Be Ethical
Many business websites will do anything to gain top rankings but it is a rather short existence. Avoid shortcuts or less ethical methods. Search engines are very powerful and they are constantly revising their selection methods and are up to speed with the “dirtiest of tricks” employed by ruthless internet marketers.
Therefore, it is important to choose the right search engine optimisation company for your business.
7. Important Link Information
Both the relevance to your line of business and website subject matter and the PR (Page Rank) value of the incoming link determine how valuable they are to your own PR ranking. Gone are the days where for a sum of money was paid to a link farm and you had literally dozens of link of which more than half were irrelevant.
At the end of the day, Search Engine Optimisation is not as complex as people have made it out to be. It is a matter of understanding what is involved and using ethical principals will ensure the long-term survival of your online business.