Why is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) important?
Did you get tired one day from everybody's continual insistence that the Internet would revolutionise the way companies do business? Therefore, to ‘get with the times' you hired a company to produce a tasteful, professional and up-to-date website. You integrated it with your backend accounting and financial systems so people could order products directly from the website. You then sat back and waited for the cash to roll in, right?
Now raise your hand if it didn't turn out to be that simple.
In the mad rush to get something (and anything) onto the Internet, companies made the leap unprepared. Many businesses forgot to ask one simply question: How will customers actually find our website?
Since you literally share the Internet with another million websites, it is an important question. Being a perceptive marketing person, you realise there are four ways Internet users typically locate your site:
You only have major control over the first method - throw enough money into advertising and everyone will know about the site. You can even buy links from other websites such as the Yellow Pages. For companies that don't have the marketing budget of a large multi-national corporation, the fourth method is the only real manner of attracting new visitors.
To make SEs a viable method, your website must appear in the top ten search results. Why? Nine out of ten Internet surfers do not go past the first 30 search results. Many do not even proceed further than the top 10 results.
How do you get your website into the top 10? An industry has arisen with the means and knowledge to answer this question. The process they employ is generalised as Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).
SEO is a methodology (some would argue art) employed to improve a website's rank in SE results given targeted ‘keywords'. Keywords are the phrase(s) your target market uses to limit search results to locate your product or services. For example, you want your website to have a high rank when someone searches for ‘ipod accessories'; but you don't really care if it rates highly for ‘tropical fish' - that is not your target.
The key to this industry lies in the fact that SEs are actually very limited software programs. They don't have the intelligence to understand everything they see on the Internet. They use ever-evolving rules to score and rate a website's ability to answer a particular question. Armed with this knowledge, we can break the SEO process into three general categories:
So if you decide to give your site the SEO treatment, how long before you see the results?
Google re-indexes websites everyday of the year. The process it follows ensures every entry in its database is re-indexed every 4-6 weeks. Google will re-index ‘news' sites much quicker - almost daily - to stay current. Other SEs use roughly similar periods between re-indexes. Therefore it can take up to 4-6 weeks for changes in the ranking to be observed.
Will the three categories in SEO improve your ranking? Yes. Will they keep you there? No. The SE algorithms evolve over time. SEO is a form of marketing and is therefore an on going process of monitoring, obtaining feedback and tweaking. Most companies do not release a ton of advertising material with getting feedback as to how they can improve it in the future.
Please remember that SEO is not the ultimate and final word on creating a profitable web presence. It is only one aspect of your Internet marketing strategy. A good SEO practitioner understands this. They realise that there is more to the Internet than just search engines. Obtaining links from reputable websites, advertising using traditional media and ensuring your customers recommend you to their friends is just as important. If they don't reflect this in their overall strategy, consider someone else who does.
Source: Free Articles from ArticlesFactory.com
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Samer Shami is the Client Advisor for Communicat Business Solutions. His role within the company is to help companies increase sales and decrease costs by improving the latent potential hidden within the Internet.