WHAT IS SEO?
more importantly why do you need it?
taken the liberty to break down this white paper into a few
digestible sections. Please feel free to scamper across to the
most relevant section that interests you
what is SEO?
is it so important?
3 things you must do?
can you trust?
can you expect to achieve?
SO, WHAT IS SEO?
or to use its' full acronym is Search Engine Optimisation. Lots
has been said and written all over the net on this extremely
demanding topic by every self-effacing Marketing expert today
I'm sure if you trawl through a search on Google for the term
SEO you will probably find countless entries on the subject
and herein lies both the explanation and the ensuing problem
by a vast number of websites to pursue one's search further,
an average searcher will click on perhaps 20 websites to find
what he/she is looking for at best
what happens if your website is ranked from say 30 or 40 or
a 100 upwards? The chances are you will be one of the very lucky
ones if your website receives any traffic worth mentioning at
at it's very core if applied correctly is designed to rank a
website/webpage, for a pre-defined set of keywords, at the very
top of the search engine thereby ensuring that a particular
website has more chance of being clicked on than that of its'
competitor's ranked below it
then should mean that a website having been thus optimised naturally
rises to the top of the search rankings for those specific keywords.
Alas if only life was so simple!
I did say if correctly applied but how do you know what
to optimise and how much to do?
cobbled together webpages with too much optimisation or indeed
too little unfortunately end up being either buried in the deep
recesses of the results or get shelved by the search engines
IS IT SO IMPORTANT?
that you have a shop selling ice-cream on a very busy high street
full of other ice-cream sellers, each one offering pretty much
the same thing that you are
do you go about attracting customers over your competitors.
The answer is that in the real world it is much harder to jostle
for the number 1 spot without spending a fortune on advertising,
marketing and company branding
in cyberspace given the same scenario the playing field is somewhat
easier and a whole lot cheaper too
secret is getting your webpages right the first time around
so that you can take full advantage of table topping rankings
and great traffic as a result
don't worry if you haven't enjoyed much success with your website
to date, existing webpages can be tweaked and manipulated to
become more search engine and visitor friendly
page and off page SEO techniques can be applied to catapult
your rankings to the very top of the free search engines bringing
much needed traffic and more importantly an increase in revenue
there is also another knock on effect to better rankings but
more on that at a later date...
THE 3 THINGS THAT YOU MUST DO?
section applies to every website owner be it well-established
or a fledgling start up
Evaluate - Always put yourself
in the shoes of your potential site visitor. Looking at it from
their perspective ask yourself these questions: Does your website/webpage
have the necessary content to attract and keep their attention?
Is your message clear, well thought-out? Do you have a strong
call to action?
first this may seem a rather difficult or tedious process, but
I always advise my clients to spend some time on it simply because
even if you do enjoy top rankings it doesn't always necessarily
follow that your sales will also increase as a result
time however, this will become a part of your thinking process
naturally and will stand you in good stead when you decide to
launch a new product online or a new website etc;
key here is to provide the client with what they came to your
website for in the first place and in so doing stimulate their
buying interest at the same time
Monitor - In cyberspace
a lot can happen very quickly. I'm sure that almost everyone
must be aware of utter havoc created by the Google Florida updates
in November of last year
to quickly recap, Google started enforcing their guidelines
and had grown tired of those website owners using "spammy
optimization" techniques and having little or no real content.
Google claimed that the change was all part of their continued
efforts to improve their search engine results
people thought however that it was an over optimization penalty,
others a bug perhaps. Whatever it was, Google had upset a lot
of people in the process
Google understands the fact that people's businesses rely on
Google results. Craig Nevill-Manning, Google's Senior Research
Scientist, said, for what it's worth, "I apologize for
the roller coaster. We're aware that changes in the algorithm
affect people's livelihoods. We don't make changes lightly."
to say that the Florida update caught a good many search engine
professionals and online business owners off guard demoting
previously high-ranking sites and relegating them to the netherworld
of Google's search results
moral of this is to monitor your rankings constantly, do not
attempt half-baked spammy optimisation techniques - instead
fill your pages with real content and every so often go check
out Google's ranking criteria
Adapt - The internet marketplace
is great place to tap into an ever hungry world wide audience.
However, what happens when things go wrong and sadly they sometimes
SARS or 9/11 and the ensuing fear of terrorism! It decimated
the already sluggish travel industry at the time and while no
can predict these events or for that matter what lies ahead
with any deal of accuracy it might help to have some contingency
plans in mind
instance, when the fear of international travel was at its'
height some companies better prepared than others turned their
marketing and their websites to promoting internal travel
these companies had access to an hitherto untapped audience
interest and as a result grew their customer database and better
still increased brand loyalty
CAN YOU TRUST?
you've been spammed by innumerable so-say SEO "EXPERTS",
all promising the holy grail in online marketing results for
your website rankings
who do you trust?
a rule of thumb it's always good to have a few key questions
in mind before evaluating whether a company deserves your business
or not such as:
how long has the company been around for?
b. who are their customers?
c. are they happy for you to talk directly to their customers?
(this will usually sort the wheat from the chaff!)
d. the all important results - Can they supply proof of their
finally the clincher - ALWAYS FOLLOW YOUR GUT INSTINCT!
CAN YOU REALISTICALLY EXPECT TO ACHIEVE?
the right SEO techniques applied for both on page and off page
factors, key selling pages can be turned around to rank highly
in the search engines
highly ranking pages will in turn bring in more unique visitors
i.e. potential new customers and if nurtured correctly these
new visitors/customers will go on to become loyal customers
in the years ahead
these key pages begin to feature well, similar optimisation
work can be done to subsidiary pages
idea is to get as many of your webpages to rank as highly as
possible thereby spreadbetting your supply options, generating
the all important increase in traffic and also acting as a counter
against any unforseen problems with search engine algorithm
a nutshell therefore, your key pages must have valid content
presented in a way that both engages and motivates your target
market audience and backed-up by a strong call to action
this basic principle of SEO right and your search engine rankings
will almost take care of themselves
bottom line is: Content is what it is really all about from
both your target market and a search engine perspective
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