It is amazing just how often I get asked this question. For many websiteÂ owners they believe that if only they can be number one on a search engineÂ for their particular product then somehow their business will become anÂ instant success. They also get angry because their competition is ratedÂ higher than them. As a search engine optimization specialist I can empathize with their concern.
Is search engine placement really worth all the effort?
Whether clients are right to put so much emphasis on search engine placementÂ depends onÂ the business. Although we do a lot of work on search engine optimisation weÂ do not always recommend it to all our clients.
Reasons when search engine placement is NOT important.
Time to see results.
A big problem for my clients with search engine placement is that it takesÂ too long to become placed. With so many sites competing for position, GoogleÂ always returns the most relevant search results and this is based on severalÂ factors such as domain name, age of the domain name, incoming links, qualityÂ of the website etc, etc. As a result it can easily be months before you beginÂ to see the results of all your hard work.
So if you are looking to run a short term campaign, this route is almostÂ certain to be entirely ineffective and a pay per click or Google AdwordsÂ campaign would be more effective.
An unpredictable outcome.
Another problem we see with search engines is that results are often mixed.Â You can spend hours refining keywords and optimising pages but at the end ofÂ the day you do not know exactly where you will appear in the listing. TheÂ Google algorithm is constantly updated and changed. You need to be pro activeÂ in promoting your website in several different ways for example blogs andÂ social networking websites.
If you build it they will comeâ€¦
Gone are the days when you built a website and it could suddenly have 1000â€™sÂ of visitors per day. I remember building a website in 1997 for â€˜hand madeÂ wedding stationaryâ€™ and within a few weeks we saw emails and orders floodingÂ in! This was because the website had shot to number 1 on Alta Vista and Lycos
for the search term â€˜wedding stationaryâ€™. The simple reason it became numberÂ one was because the word â€˜wedding stationaryâ€™ was used many times throughoutÂ the site.
Search engines thankfully have became smarter, especially since Google formedÂ in 1998 and revolutionised search. The upshot was the hand made weddingÂ stationary company could not cope with the sudden demand and need to stopÂ taking orders, which is not good for any business.
Other methods of generating visitors
There also many other viable methods of generating visitors direct to yourÂ site that are looking to purchase from you. This is especially true if youÂ know your target audience you can place magazine adverts or leaflets thatÂ attract people to your website to purchase your products.
Reasons when search engine placement is IMPORTANT.
All commercial websites want to be number one for their brand name and ifÂ possible their products. In theory most companies are number one for theirÂ brand name for example Nike, Sony and Apple. The question then arises toÂ companies selling Nike products. For example Nike clothing or Apple phones,
these are products that many websites sell and to be number one on GoogleÂ would return a high volume of potential purchases.
Know your market
If you want to be number one on Google, what do you want to be number oneÂ for? If you perform a search Google will tell you how many other web pagesÂ are competing with that particular search query. It pays for itself to carryÂ out market analysis as often the key phrases or keywords you think yourÂ customers would use are not correct. You may think being number oneÂ for ‘Widgets’ is has the most traffic, however being number one for ‘redÂ widgets’ brings in more traffic and more relevant traffic.
We can help by providing a search engine optimization service to produce a report based on your business so that you can see exactly what keywords your website should be aiming for and which keywords to avoid.
Get your website built correctly
A high percentage of websites are actually technically incorrect and behind allÂ the pretty images is a mess of code. Google can not read or see images but itÂ can read code and see if a website has the code structured correctly. A goodÂ example is looking at your website in Google’s cache, also to see yourÂ website without any CSS, this is what controls the style and layout of yourÂ webpage structure.
Usability is basically the study of a person using your website. You would beÂ surprised at how people use your website. For example some users do not knowÂ they need to scroll down the web page, some users may not know where to buy or howÂ to buy a product on your website. The key to your website success is to make
it as easy as possible for your customers. If you are selling a product youÂ basically want the customer to be able to do this as quickly and easily asÂ possible.
Finally the Google algorithm!
Googleâ€™s trademarked PageRank is so called after it’s founder Larry Page andÂ not the actual webpage. The formula or algorithm is constantly changed andÂ tweaked on a regular basis to ensure that Google always returns the mostÂ relevant results to it’s users.
- If you are in business then search engines are important
- If you are selling any product or service then search engines are important
- Search engine optimixation is not the only way of generating relevant traffic to your site
- If you an individual and traffic to your website is not key to your success then search engines are not important to you.