Search Engine Optimisation & Marketing.
It is likely that once your website is ready for the public to have access you will require for your site to be promoted in the search engines.
- In a survey of over 30,000 respondents the results indicated that 81% of people using the search engines found what they required every time or most of the time
- 77% of those that did not find the required results simply searched again on the same search engine using a different or revised search phrase.
- Additional research also shows that the top 30 results in a search engine get over 90% of search traffic and the top 10 results receive nearly 80% more traffic than those in positions 11-30 achieve
I can help with this but before I start, it has to be pointed out that Search Engine Optimisation & Marketing is not the same as website design. If you imagine that website design is the same as building, fitting and stocking your bricks and mortar shop on the high street then Search Engine Optimisation & Marketing is your publicity to bring visitors into your shop such as radio, print, internet, TV, word of mouth, PR and market research. Search Engine Optimisation & Marketing is a very ambiguous term which involves many factors and will be different for each customer, also, some websites do not require Search Engine Optimisation & Marketing as they maybe internal websites or information websites as a service for regular customers and do not require search engine exposure, therefore I keep this side of the business completely separate to the website design aspect.
One of the main questions most of our customers ask is “how can I get my website to the number one spot on Google“.
This is a deceptively easy question to ask and there is no simple answer. The first question is “the number one spot for which search term?”
You will appear in vastly varying positions within search engines based on the words typed by the potential website visitor into the Google search engine. If the potential visitors types in more than one word then the order of the words can even make a difference to your search engine position. You need to consider this carefully and focus the wording on your web pages on your chosen ‘search terms’.
Once your website is complete and online the emails from search engine optimisation and marketing companies are bound to start arriving in your email in box. Some will offer services which appear too good to be true. Pushing your website to the number one spot on Google or automatically submitting your website to hundreds of search engines. Other companies will offer you much more achievable website optimisation and marketing goals but at costs which are prohibitive to a small business.
For a start you can forget about the submitting to hundreds of search engines, most of them are specialist search engines focusing on unique services or products which have nothing to do with your company. Appearing on these websites can do nothing to promote your website and could even be detrimental to the success of your website.
I would love to build your website and I will pay attention to the known search engine optimisation principals in doing so. That said there are many factors, outside of our control, which will affect your search engine position.
Firstly, the wording on your website is up to you. You know your product and you know your customer base. I know websites. If you write informative wording on your website, using the keywords of your proposed ‘search term’ regularly in a natural way and make sure these keywords are included in your page title, description and keywords then you are well on the way.
Another one of these is ‘inbound links’. These are links on other peoples websites which point to your website. These can only be added to their sites by the website owner. If the website which includes these links to your website has a good rating with a search engine itself and the keywords on the site match those on yours then the search engine can safely assume that this is a recommendation for your website by another site who is possibly considered an authority on the same subject. Much like a recommendation for a builder or electrician coming from a friend you trust in the real world! To a lesser extent it is assumed that ‘outbound links‘ from your site to other sites will have an affect on the basis that if your website links to other websites which the search engine considers dubious then you may also be less than respectable by association. In the real world, again, if somebody recommended an electrician to you who turned out to be nothing but hassle you would probably have reservations about taking their advice again.
Other factors which could affect your sites rating are the length of time your website have been online and the rate at which copy changes. Search engines favour websites which have been online and achieving good results for a long time as they can be considered an authority on the subject. If the copy changes regularly then the search engine knows the website is current and useful. There are many websites on the internet which have been created and left to die a long time ago. These clutter up the search engines database and the only way a search engine can tell this is by checking whether the copy has changed recently. It is widely accepted that the website will fall down the search engines listing and be visited less frequently if the wording does not change at all.
Your ultimate goal is not to be at the top of the search engine listing but to attract useful, interested visitors to your website who will ultimately benefit from using your website for the purpose it was designed. You could achieve the number one spot on a search engine which specialises in subjects irrelevant to your products or achieve the number one spot on google for a ‘search term’ which has nothing to do with your website at all. This, in turn, is likely to send many visitors to your website but if none of them are interested in what you have to offer when they arrive then they will leave without using your website in the way you’d like them to. If you consider another scenerio, if you only achieve the number three spot in Google and it is for a ‘search term’ much less frequently submitted to Google, say only 10% of people are searching for this work than the previous one, then you may only achieve 3% of the visits from Google but if all those visitors have arrived at your website because it closely matches the ‘search term’ and is therefore exactly what they are looking for then this could possibly result in all the visitors making use of the site meaning you have achieved a far better result from your Search Engine Optimisation. This ratio between your position in search engines and the ultimate usefulness of your website to those visitors is called the ‘conversion rate’.
The truth it, search engine optimisation is not a ‘one size fits all’ solution and it requires hard work, and in-depth knowledge of the website and it’s subject combined with an understanding of the competition who will also be battling for the number one spot on the search engines.
Our ‘content management system’ (CMS) websites allow the website owner to log into the website using a username and password. They can then switch to ‘edit mode’ for any of the pages where the copy on the page can be updated along with hidden elements of the page designed specifically for search engines. These are the page title, a description and a list of keywords. This can be changed for all pages allowing you to optimise separate pages for their own ‘search terms’.
SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMISATION GLOSSARY
The words somebody types into the search box of any search engine to find what they are looking for.
The success with which somebody finds and uses a website. If you are selling products on your website and you achieve hundreds of visitors to your website but nobody buys anything then you have a poor “conversion rate”. If you are aiming to persuade visitors to contribute to your forum on your website and all the visitors who arrive at your website ultimately contribute then you would have a good “conversion rate”.