What Is Search Engine Optimisation
By definition, search engine optimisation (also known as SEO) is a combination of techniques designed to improve your search engine ranking in search results for a particular search term (keyword/keyphrase).
While the prime target of your web design and web content are people, the only purpose of search engine optimisation is dealing with "spiders" or "robots" - automated tools, developed and controlled by search engines, which crawl the Internet around the clock indexing web pages for 200+ ranking factors.
Search engines reward pages with the right combination of these ranking factors, or "signals".
SEO is about ensuring your content generates the right type of signals. Search engine optimisation is about understanding what ranking factors search engines value and about applying these factors on your web site in the most efficient way.
For us, at Pro Internet Marketing (Australia), effective SEO means that "spiders" are guided through your web site and are directed how to appraise your web pages.
Having watched search engines for years, we do know how they operate, and the impact those operations may have on your search engine optimisation process.
Effective SEO allows you to achieve high search engine ranking and reach new potential customers who are actively searching for your products and services on the Internet.
Search engine optimisation may be just one part of an online Internet Marketing Strategy, but it is the fundamental part. It's the baseline.
If you are doing nothing else, search engine optimisation and keyword related advertising can make up 80 to 90 percent of your traffic.
Brand Week Online Magazine
Importance of Search Engine Optimisation
Everyday, the search engines average 300 million searches conducted by people looking for information, products, and services. In fact, a recent Forrester Research report found that 81% of consumers on the Internet find products and services by using search engines.
13 million Australians are now online making 6 million searches per day on Google Australia alone.
Imagine if you could get ranked in the top 10 results at Google, Yahoo and Bing. The search volume of "ready to buy" visitors coming to your web site would literally transform your business overnight by skyrocketing your sales and profits.
Here are some interesting statistics from a recent survey conducted by Enquiro Search Solutions Inc.:
- 93.4% of respondents use the internet to research a B to B purchase decision
- 63.9% of respondents go to the search engine as the first step in the buying process
- 54.6% of the people are 1-3 months away from making a buying decision
- 89.7% of the people are 2 weeks to 6 months away from making a buying decision
- 36.8% researched and bought online
- 27.3% researched online and bought offline
- Only 7.9% didn't find what they were looking for
- 76.7% of Google users used the natural search links
- The top 3 organic listings accounted for 59.6% of the click-troughs
The evidence is overwhelming:
If your website isn’t ranked as one of the top natural search results in the prospect’s search, your business won’t likely be part of their buying decision.
Without search engine optimisation, it is extremely unlikely that your site will rank well enough to be found naturally by your potential prospects.
The recent StatMarket.com study found that only 7% of all websites are visible by the search engines (less than 5% in Australia).
The reason for this is that many online businesses fail to address the importance of search engine optimisation, building their site without any regard to search engine compatibility at all.
Search Engine Optimisation Can Do Miracles!
Recently we had a phone call from one of our clients - Sauna & Steam Australia: "Could you please do something to stop our phone ringing? We can't cope."
That was indeed the nicest complaint we have ever received.
To find out how to better scope the time and costs involved in search engine optimisation of your web site, please contact us on 1300 900 800 or via e-mail.
Conquering The Search Engine Optimisation Pinnacle
Optimising your web site for your targeted key phrases won't get you to #1 overnight. You won't find all your keywords rankings in the top 10 on Google, Yahoo or Bing in just a few days, nor will you get significant traffic improvement at the snap of the fingers.
To use a simple analogy, SEO is like boiling water: you don't get a hard boil the moment you turn on the burner, you have to wait for it.
The process of optimising a web site or just specific pages in a site can take weeks, and that's just the initial search engine optimisation phase.
One of our colleagues recently wrote in his article (read full version in internet marketing articles):
On the front end of the search engine optimisation process hours and hours of research must be performed for each account.
Everything from keyword research, industry research, competition research, marketing research, and more, all need to be completed before any optimization can begin.
We often get asked if research time can be shortened if we have performed SEO work for another site in the same industry recently. The short answer to that is "no."
Every site is constructed differently, designed differently, laid out differently, has a unique history and targets the audience differently.
These are all factors that are considered in the multiple levels of research performed. No two sites are the same; therefore no research is the same.
You can try to perform a “do-it-yourself” SEO and achieve relatively high search engine ranking.
After all, a few basic elements of search engine optimisation contribute heavily to your ranking and you don’t have to be an Internet guru to learn how to use them.
However, quite often your "relatively high" ranking is simply not high enough for being visible.
Even though the 58th position out of 1,234,567 search results is a terrific outcome, many Internet researches show that usually people only browse through the first 2 or 3 pages.
If your web site doesn’t appear within the first 30 search results, you loose about 80% of your potential customers.
The bold wording above was accurate in 2004-2005 (when it was written) and we deliberately didn't remove it to show how the searchers' behaviour has changed since.
Nowadays, in 2011, most people don't bother to look further the first page of search engine results, they simply change their search string.
So, if you are not listed on the first page of Google results you are missing 93% of your target audience. Furthermore, the first tree listings account for 65% of all clicks.
There are about 200 elements in Google's algorithm that affect your web site’s search engine ranking, that’s why achieving high ranking takes time and requires specific knowledge and experience. (To tell you the truth, being involved in SEO from 1999, we only know what 100 of these algorithm elements are about, the rest is still a BIG secret).
Selecting A Search Engine Optimisation Company
If you have a budget for it, hiring a reputable company to perform, or help you with your search engine optimisation is highly recommended.
Rather than spending your valuable time on learning about keywords, Meta tags, CCS, themes, etc., you can concentrate your efforts in more productive areas of your core business, and leave search engine optimisation for those who know how to do it effectively.
Nowadays, many companies offer search engine optimisation services and it’s not easy to find the one, which you can trust and which will deliver the results that meet your expectations.
Far too many Webmasters start out by selling SEO and then have difficulty actually delivering.
We recommend you to read:
- Google Information for Webmasters - Google's tips that may help you distinguish between an SEO that will improve your site and one that will only improve your chances of being dropped from search engine results altogether
- Hiring a Search Engine Marketer article by Scottie Claiborne, the Web Marketing Strategist for The Karcher Group
to get better understanding of the most important issues associated with appointing a search engine optimisation consultant.
Working with Pro Internet Marketing, you can be assured that you will receive a high quality service and an online solution structured to you best advantage.