What Exactly Is SEO?
SEO simply means Search Engine Optimisation which is a subject that I get asked about a lot. The ability to be number one in the all important search listings is the holy grail to most small businesses, and for the right search terms, it pretty much guarantees success.
Anyone with a live website will have no shortage of emails, sitting in their junk mail promising that with a few tweaks to the website they can be number one in Google and Bing for just a few hundred pounds (or less!).
Having been in the digital business for few years now, I constantly keep up to date with the latest in SEO best practice. I thought it would be helpful to help explain a few basics regarding SEO, and dispel a few myths along the way, so here are five points, that are useful to know for your business:
1. Nobody can guarantee they can get a site to number one in Google organically (without paying Google for PPC ads) for any search term that will make you money for a few hundred quid. Google work extremely hard with their algorithms to make sure that when any of us type in a search term, we get the best results back. If there was a cheap way of manipulating this search, it would make the whole thing useless. The way dubious businesses offering SEO get around this, is by getting a site to number one for it’s own name, which in most cases is pretty easy and shouldn’t cost the earth.
2. When you are updating a website to a new platform from an existing website, you have to be very careful not to loose all of the SEO. On more than one occasion this week alone, we’ve had to rescue a website that had been performing well in Google rankings before it was migrated by a web designer who didn’t know how to keep the SEO from the old site.
Every time a site is updated, we have to be mindful of the old sites rankings, as Google needs to be informed that the new site is just as important as the old one was. This means that all of the previously well ranked pages have to be redirected to the new pages with similar content. This means that Google doesn’t downgrade the site (as long as the content is still relevant) and it will stay pretty much where it was when the migration occurs.
3. Just because a site ranks well in Google, it doesn’t mean it will stay there indefinitely. The very best websites that turnover millions of pounds a day are number one in Google for their relevant search terms because their web developers work on the SEO every day to keep it there. To a lesser extent, this is the case for all websites, i.e., the more effort that goes in to the site to make it rank well the better it will perform. Therefore if a few competitors in a particular market place start working hard on their SEO, they could push previously well performing sites down the ranking. So to keep a site at the top, SEO work needs to be regularly undertaken.
4. SEO is a very complicated business and there are a lot of people miss-selling it.
At the time of writing, my opinion is that for our target audience (small businesses) SEO is typically not the best marketing investment they can make with their hard earned cash unless they have a realistic budget. There are of course, exceptions to the rule and I hate to turn away money, but the truth is in a lot of cases, the amount of time it would take (i.e. money) to have a positive effect on a small businesses site ranking (over and above our SEO Boost package) is disproportionate to the reward. If we could offer an SEO package for £100 p/m that would make a substantial difference however, that would be worth doing – we’re working on that one! As it stands, anything less than £500 p/m doesn’t justify the outlay in most cases, and the last thing we are in business to do is over promise and under deliver, that way lies disaster!
5. Does PPC (Pay Per Click) improve your organic ranking? If a business chooses to run a Pay Per Click campaign with Google with an agency then (if the agency are any good) typically the agency will apply some updates that will affect organic SEO as a result. Paying for PPC doesn’t affect the ranking in organic listings in itself, but the best practice activity in running a PPC campaign (landing pages etc) should have a positive effect overall. Again, a good agency will charge for their time managing the PPC campaign as well as the cost that goes to Google. Some companies will choose to manage their own campaigns (the software is free from Google), but this can be a costly exercise if they are not experienced, AdWords is a complicated beast and can bite if not understood.
To conclude, SEO is designed to serve us all with great search results and manipulation of this search takes time, money and effort. Therefore the best thing a small business can do is to make sure that the content of their site is relevant for the terms their customers search for in order to rank with Google. An SEO boost is also a great way of ensuring all of the best practice is adhered to, please do get in touch with us to find out more about this process.
Google are renowned for updating their algorithms regularly so you can rest assured that we are vigilant in keeping up to speed with the updates, leaving you to concentrate on your businesses. If anything changes regarding the info above, you’ll be the first to know.
Online Business Coach
Skype Me@ olosko2011
Please feel free share your opinion or comment to this blog post, I look forward to hear your contribution.
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