• So What Is SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)

    It is often easy to forget that others not in the same business just don’t get the lingo, “Just what does SEO mean?” and whilst I often get passionate about this subject, I sometimes forget there are many that have yet to discover what this essential digital service profession is all about and why it is becoming the most important profession for digital businesses.

    SEO is short for Search Engine Optimisation although the Americans spell it “Optimization” and it is used to ensure your site is shown first on the list of results.

    So What Is A Search Engine?

    The three main brands are Google, Yahoo and Live (was known as MSN). These act like directories. First you visit their homepage, where you will find a search box, you enter what you are looking for into this box, press “go” or enter and so tey will show you the 10 most relevant results for that enquiry.
    As these become more complicated and cleverer, the chances of anyone needing to go to the second page for their desired results is becoming less and less. It is estimated that up to 90% of all Internet users will use the big 3 to find what they are looking for, very few of them go beyond the first page of results, if you are not there, your site may never be found.

    Getting better rankings is is the skill of giving engines what they want, so they will show your website hopefully on the first page of their results, so you get the visitor and you get the business. A professional knows what these need to deliver the credibility and to ensure good results. An amateur looks for quick wins.

    Lets give you an example

    I am a part owner of an internet business that is currently number one Google UK for the search term “Car Parts” , this position means our business gets 4500 unique visitors a day which deliver up to 1400 leads for our customers every day. Compare this to 12 months ago, during the development of the site, where we were at position 30 and only delivered 70 visitors a day and 10 leads for our customers every day. To use paid advertising would cost us around 50p a click, which is over £2000 a day to get the same amount of visitors. Had we not made SEO a priority to our business and understood how many people would look for our services, we just would not be in business now.

    It Is Constantly Changing

    Millions of pages are added to the Internet every day, so in order to deal with the increasing size, how Google etc deal with the results change constantly. Many practises that were popular 12 months ago are now out of date and some that were popular 24 months ago could now get your site banned and removed.

    There Are No Quick Wins

    Every type of spam technique or quick win solution has been found out and a filter applied to take care of it. So never believe anyone who says he knows a quick way of delivering results. There is a natural timeline to every website, try to speed this process up and the opposite occurs. A filter is applied and your SEO campaign goes backwards until you re-do everything.

    Why Is This Different To Good Design?

    Good web design does include SEO, such as how well all the pages link together etc. But most designers are in fact Graphic Artists who’s objective is to make your website as visually appealing as possible. Having lots of graphics, moving graphics and little text may look good, but does nothing to help the search engines discover what your website is about astey cannot read images. The Internet is littered with fantastic looking websites that are never found and there are also basic looking, text rich versions that have made businesses and their owners millions. In my training seminars, I compare this to a 1000ft billboard full of colour photos placed in the desert or a 10ft board written in black and white situated in Piccadilly Circus. Which on would make more money for you?
    I would take the Piccadilly Circus every time, plenty of traffic, plenty of money spending customers.
    Bye For Now