Search Engine Optimisation Explained
A search engine is the main starting point for most people looking for a product or service on the web. Just think of the number of times you have used Google to find an item of interest to you. Indeed think of the number of times you have searched for your own product or service hoping to see your own site at the top of the listings. If your site wasn’t there then you need to do something about it.
Search Optimisation Must be part of your Marketing Plan.
What a Search Engine does
Its sole purpose is to find the most relevant websites for its users. When a user enters a search term or a phrase into a search engine, the search engine examines its database of known web sites, decides what’s most relevant, and returns the results to the user. These terms and phrases are also known as keywords and key phrases.
Search Engine Results pages
When a search engine performs a search as requested by a user it returns the results, listing them from most relevant to least relevant. Results are grouped into pages of usually 10 listings per page. Your objective in search engine marketing is to increase your site’s ranking to be as close to the top as possible for keywords that are important to your business. Search optimisation can achieve this.
Keyword research identifies keywords that your target market would use to find the products or services you supply and establishes the competition for those keywords. Sometimes keywords can have a high search volume with not that many websites competing (using them on their site) for them. They could be of great value in bringing customers to your site.
The most generic terms don’t always bring people to your site that will buy from you. If a website that sells cars in Roscommon, Ireland invests big money and effort into being in the top 5 in the world listed on google for the keyword ‘cars’ and managed to achieve it, it would not guarantee sales to every corner of the world. If however, it ranked highly for ‘used cars Roscommon, ‘used cars midlands’, ‘Renault Megane diesel’ or whatever was likely to bring a sale from its target market then that would be an achievement and it would give a higher Return on Investment.
2 Types of SEO campaigns
- Pay Per Click Adword Search Engine Optimisation.
- Organic Search Engine Optimisation.
Pay Per Click listings appear on the right hand side or top (shaded top area) of a google search. The benefit of PPC listings is that a website can gain a top listing in the PPC click areas instantly through payments to google. The downside of this is that the listing disappears instantly once payment ceases. Budgets can be set for daily/weekly/monthly periods.
Organic Search Engine Optimisation is the optimisation of a website with a view to appearing in Google’s Organic, Natural, listings. It takes 2 forms.
On Page Optimisation (Page title, description, keywords, content etc.)
Off Page Optimisation (Link Building, Directory Submissions etc.)
While this approach takes longer to see results than Pay Per Click it does however have a longer lasting effect and is more economical over time. Organic SEO campaigns usually take place over a period of about 6 months. This is not because there is 6 months work required but more because the processes of organic SEO are dependent on lead times and periods of time that google would consider natural for a site to grow in ranking.