Why is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) important?Written by Samer Shami
Did you get tired one day from everybody's continual insistence that Internet would revolutionise way companies do business? Therefore, to ‘get with 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 website. You then sat back and waited for cash to roll in, right?
Now raise your hand if it didn't turn out to be that simple.
In mad rush to get something (and anything) onto Internet, companies made leap unprepared. Many businesses forgot to ask one simply question: How will customers actually find our website?
Since you literally share 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:
- Learning it from traditional media such as TV, print, radio, brochures, business cards etc.
- Link from another website
- Recommended by someone
- Found using a Search Engine (SE) such as Google, Yahoo!, MSN etc.
You only have major control over first method - throw enough money into advertising and everyone will know about site. You can even buy links from other websites such as Yellow Pages. For companies that don't have marketing budget of a large multi-national corporation, fourth method is only real manner of attracting new visitors.
To make SEs a viable method, your website must appear in top ten search results. Why? Nine out of ten Internet surfers do not go past first 30 search results. Many do not even proceed further than top 10 results.
How do you get your website into top 10? An industry has arisen with 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 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 fact that SEs are actually very limited software programs. They don't have intelligence to understand everything they see on 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 SEO process into three general categories:
- Content tailoring: A SE rates web pages according to their relevancy given a set of keywords. You must therefore tailor your content with these keywords in mind at all times. Fundamental to determining which keywords are relevant is an understanding of your target market. You must know typical questions they ask to find answers. There are websites such as WordTracker (www.wordtracker.com) that can help you to determine commonly used keywords.
Been got at by a Rat or a Dog? Try a Ferrit. Optimization of web pages by old prWritten by malcolm james pugh
You may have already paid good money only to have been promised earth and left with a web page no one can see unless they know your company name.
You will have actually paid for inclusion in indexes, which lapses after a finite time unless you pay over and over again.
There is no point paying money out on a web site if your potential customers have to know your name already in order to find your web pages.
Now you own what.
An invisible website with no indexing.
watch out theres a rat about.
RAT as in Really Awful Trader.
Have you been sold a pup by a big dog, a Dodgy Optimisation Guru.
DOGS sing a nice tune, and play what you want to hear, but who are they really playing for.
To paraphrase another trustworthy source.