Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Remember why you need Search Engine Optimisation!!!

A lot of people undertake Search Engine Optimisation with the sole aim of directing traffic to their sites, and completely forget that this is only half the battle. You can get millions of people on your site every day, but if none of them do what you want on the site, or worse feel your website is poorly created, then what's the point?

I.e. a vast number of sites are created for the purpose of commerce. So if you want someone to purchase from your site, you need to think of what is seen when someone clicks on your site. Do you have any calls to action? Is the site well designed, clear and obvious to its purpose? Can people find all the information they need? If the answer to these questions is no, all the traffic in the world isn't going to make your site successful.

Before you start a Search Engine Optimisation campaign, and really before you create any website, the first thing you should do is write down specific aims and objectives for the site. Do you want sales, sign ups, donations, to spread information, etc. Then once you have these targets, the design and style of the site can be created, before you even begin to consider how you will drive traffic to the site.

A lot of websites and search engine optimisation campaigns are also created to drive real world sales, with estimates of up to 80% of online searches being undertaken to research products being brought offline. Companies who optimise their website for this purpose might argue this is a moot point for them, seen as they are simply increasing brand and product awareness, instead of looking for online sales. I would argue the opposite. If someone is researching online a product to but offline, and don't like the look of your website, they are a lot less likely to purchase from your company in a store.

Monday, 4 July 2011

Keyword Research - The most important part of Search Engine Optimisation

Many times when I started search engine optimisation of websites I proclaimed I didn't need to undertake any keyword research, as I already knew which keywords the customers would be using. It was just so obvious which keywords they would be using. Then I did the keyword research anyway, and found out I was miles off.

Everyone expresses how they think in different ways, and this is never more apparent than how people type in searches, looking for the same websites, but with completely different keywords. Some people would look for cheap flights to France by typing in "Cheap Flights to France", some would type in "I want to fly to France for cheap", and others would type in dozens of other ways of expressing the same needs. Which keywords and phrases do you optimise your website for? All of them. But without the research, you'll have no idea how many you're missing.

The old saying "If you fail to prepare, be prepared to fail" is never more true than with Search Engine Optimisation. If you don't know what you are aiming for, you'll have no way of achieving your goals.

Friday, 1 July 2011

Why is Search Engine Optimisation important?

Why is Search Engine Optimisation important? Imagine you have a company selling cars online. And then say for example the search term "Buy Cars Online" had 10,000 searches a month on a popular search engine, such as Google. Wouldn't you want your website to be found when that term was searched?

Unlike traditional mass marketing, where you are sending a message to everyone and hoping someone is relevant and interested, with Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) you are bringing traffic to your site that is already interested (or why would they have typed the search query in). So your website is no longer convincing potential customers to buy, you are just convincing them to buy from you. And the higher your placement in the search engines, the higher the authority of your website is perceived as having.

There are a lot of scams out there with companies claiming to be able to guarantee you a first position on search engines. This is impossible to guarantee. But with appropriate strategies and the right person running your Search Engine Optimisation campaign, and a realistic time-scale, there is no reason why your company cannot get to the top positions on search engines, and teh benefits that come from that position.