As the web grows across the world, more and more people are getting websites, making it ever more difficult to make your website shine through the crowd. Prospective customers may not remember your web address or even your company name even if you tell them. Additionally, the whole purpose of having a website is to bring your product or service to a wider audience than you can otherwise market. Getting you to the top of that list is what Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is all about.
Those that purchase online are “skimmers” –that is, they simply go to their favorite search engine and type in a word or phrase related to their desired product or service, and usually only look as far as the first few items on the list. If you’re really lucky, they’ll look all the way to the bottom of the first page. So where do you want to be? That’s right –way up there near the top. The closer to the top of that search engine list you get, the more people will see your website.
The realities of modern lifestyles and economics have lent themselves to an ever-increasing number of people seeking the convenience, variety and consumer-friendly environment that is provided by making purchases online from the comfort of their own homes, as opposed to the drive time, long lines and other hassles associated with traditional shopping approaches. As more people become internet consumers every day, the importance of creating a solid web presence is vital for your business to thrive in the 21st Century.
SEO vs. IT
A common misconception is that IT (information technology) training equates to the ability to create successful websites. This is not necessarily the case. SEO training must be undertaken as a subject in and of itself, as the I.T. field is far too generalized and geared toward the technicalities of the internet to provide the kinds of marketing tricks and skills needed to create a truly successful web presence. I.T. is definitely useful, but without the necessary marketing skills, many end up working with a half-empty toolbox when it comes to the internet.
For these reasons, those proficient in the SEO field are in an ever-increasing demand. Think about it –if you can make a website make more money, what website owner in their right mind wouldn’t search you out? A competent SEO expert is one of the hottest commodities in the online world of commerce, and always has opportunities to succeed. If you can make a customer’s website climb through to the high end of the Google rankings, you will have more opportunities than you can handle!
SEO vs. Pay Per Click
If you want to increase the traffic to your website, there are basically two ways to go; you can utilize search engine optimization (SEO) or Pay Per Click (PPC). PPC can yield results, but you have to find a way to get people to the advertisements on your site in order for them to click them in the first place. If you load your page down with a ton of advertisements due to a lack of traffic, it will take longer to load, be less attractive to visitors, and you will actually lose traffic (and revenue) in the long run. It is much better to focus your strategies around SEO to get high-volume “organic” traffic so that you can have the freedom to employ tasteful use of PPC ads that compliment your web content.
Why Do SEO Strategies Fail?
SEO is as much art as science. There are many factors involved in an effective SEO strategy. However, there are three major reasons why SEO strategies fall short.
Poorly-Defined Target Audience –Often, the most well-laid SEO plans crash and burn because no effort was made to determine what kinds of people would most likely search for the content on the website.
Lack of Proper Benchmarking –How well does your site compare with similar sites across the web? Is traffic increasing relative to them? Any proper maintenance of a successful website involves constant review of its place on the World Wide Web in relation to the competition, so that any downward trends can be caught before they’re out of control and you’re at the bottom of the heap.
Neglected Content Development –If you aren’t providing new, fresh information on your site, there is no reason why anyone would continue to visit. Your website should have new, original content that is engaging and targeted to the specific audience(s) you are cultivating through your SEO strategy.