Search Engine Optimisation – Why do you need it and how do you achieve it?

For success in selling online you cannot rely merely on flashy graphics and amazing special offers. Web visibility is crucial so your customers can actually find you. Then you can start shouting about your two for one shoe sale or time share in Mogadishu.

Google and Yahoo’s biggest asset is their ability to provide the most accurate and up-to-date information. If the sites they list don’t provide the answers you are looking for then you’ll click away and move onto their competitors.

As a result, they are constantly tweaking and improving their methods for classifying websites. These methods have had to become increasingly complex to combat web savvy entrepreneurs flooding their websites with key words.

These days, hiding key words in the html code, or using an inappropriate frequency, is more likely to get your site blacklisted than placed anywhere near to where your customers can find you.

Key words still have a role to play. But the search engines have now reached a level of sophistication that they read sentence structures to gauge the relevance of what is being said.

Content now needs to be properly written to satisfy Google and Yahoo. This does have its benefits. Well written content will attract readers and encourage them to explore further rather than lose interest and click away.

A sharp, concisely written site reflects well on the credibility of the business and will encourage potential customers to make return visits for the latest news. Key words will attract search engines but quality will attract readers.

As the search engines classifying methods have developed so have the attempts to trick them. Excessive, generic links to irrelevant sites are frowned upon. Search engines are only interested in back-links to sites with high quality, relevant content. It is these links you will be seeking to garner with time. 

Pay per click advertising has been heralded as the quick, easy way of boosting the visibility of your site. You bid for certain key words and for your address to appear prominently when they are searched upon. You then pay the search engines again for every time somebody clicks through to your site.

Pay per click advertising may offer rewards in the short term but has limited longevity. The number of new sites fighting over the same key words will push prices up. PPC will inevitably become prohibitively expensive and it is not a viable long-term marketing tool.

The search engines regularly check up on sites with their web crawling ‘spider’ programs. These scour the internet to classify the location and relevance of content. Yahoo are known to conduct updated checks every 48 hours. Google reclassify sites every two weeks.

These ‘spiders’ are always looking for the most up-to-date, relevant content on any particular topic. Consequently, the most updated sites will be the ones awarded the highest ranking, most visibility and most traffic from targeted customers.

The increasing importance of relevant content reflects the desires of modern surfers. They don’t want to spend time trawling the web for information, but want it fast and accurately compiled.

If your website is providing the most up-to-date information then not only are you optimising yourself for the search engines. You also have the opportunity to become the primary knowledge provider in your field. I will cover this point in more depth in a later posting.

Your website is your biggest marketing asset. If the usage of your news and information is properly developed it can provide even the smallest enterprise with the largest internet presence and targeted traffic.

11 thoughts on “Search Engine Optimisation – Why do you need it and how do you achieve it?

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