SEO stands for Search Engine optimisation and is the process of improving your websites organic rankings in the search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc) when someone types a search term.
Interesting SEO Facts
- Up to 80% of users may actually be ignoring the paid ads, and focus on the organic listings because they trust them more.
- More than half of user clicks will be concentrated in the top 3 listings.
- Less than 10% of clicks come from listings on page 2 or more.
Typically a few paid ads come first, and the paid ads show up in the sidebar also. On Google these are done through Adwords, and the website owner will typically be paying a few dollars per click.
Getting a top position in Googles organic listings may take a lot of time and energy but the payoffs can be huge.
After those few then the organic or “free” links are shown, I say “free” because in todays environment, to get them to be in a top position in the organic listings, the owner has typically spent quite a lot of money paying someone to do the work to get it to that position, or has done a lot of work themselves.
All of the search engines have various algorithms to figure out where a site should rank in the organic search for a particular search term. The point of SEO is to make the search engines ‘like’ a particular page more for relevant search terms and improve it’s ranking. Keep in mind that to go up in the rankings, you are basically pushing your competitors rankings down, while they are typically trying to fight their way above you also.
Google is increasingly using signals from social media sites like Facebook to determine rankings.
Because getting to a top position is so valuable, you can understand why it’s so competitive. If you have a business that’s in it for the long haul, typically you will be wanting to have a strategy in place to get your site ranking well in Google, though most of the time this will take at least 6 months, so in the meantime you may want to have other forms of internet marketing in place (such as adwords) to make sure that people are reaching your website.
In my time working with websites I have seen SEO services offerred from $99 to thousands of dollars per month, and all price points in between. While you can be fairly sure that the cheapest of the cheap will not get you the results you are looking for, and may even be harmful. The more you pay does not guarantee you are getting a better service.
DON’T BELIEVE IN GUARUNTEES
Many SEO and internet marketing companies will prey on peoples ignorance and may promise the world, but once they have you signed up you may not see any increase in web traffic even after 6 months or a year. Even if they guaruntee first page google results and they do deliver, this is not much value to your business if the first page results they are getting you have low search volumes (which are also much easier to get a high result ) or it may not be all that related to your business, and therefore any traffic that gets to the site may be worthless anyway.
So don’t overvalue the guaruntees that SEO companies will give you. Basically I believe that you need someone managing your account that will understand your business, figure out the best type of potential customers to bring to your site, and then target the right search terms so you will slowly but steadily find your quality leads or sales increasing from your website over time.
Why does SEO take so long ?
If you need instant traffic, then SEO alone will probably not give you what you want. In the meantime you can try different forms of internet marketing such as paid ads or affiliate marketing. In the past there were shortcuts to take (though once Google sensed a site was ‘cheating’, it would be penalised) to get results fast, though these days Google is just too smart to fall for much or will figure out that you are gaming the system and penalise your site.