The importance of SEO

Search engine optimisation, SEO, is one of the vital aspects of any website, but it is often overlooked or neglected. A website may look beautiful, the systems may be flawless, but with no visitors, it is a waste. SEO is the process of getting visitors, traffic and ultimately business to your website, primarily through achieving high rankings for your web site on search terms with high volume.

Studies have shown that Internet searchers are a notoriously impatient bunch. Almost 82% of all searchers do not go beyond the first 30 results. More than 60% don't go beyond the first 10 results. If your website is not in the top ten, you are missing out on over 60% of your potential clients. This can prove to be a very costly exercise. Even if you are happy with the traffic you get to your website, and let's say it's 40%. You can get an extra one and a half times that quantity of visitors and business or more as the result of an effective SEO campaign.

There is always advertising available as an option, but that is substantially less effective and more costly. On Google, 70% of searchers prefer the natural results to advertisements. Say the term your site is optimised for has 100 searches a day, and you are in position 12. You'll only get 40% of your potential visitors. If you're in position 21, you'll get about 25%. Position 31 and you'll get less than 19%. If you are number 1, you'll get 100 of them. If you buy an advertisement, you'll get 30% and you pay for each visitor. The moment you stop paying, you stop getting visitors. An SEO campaign on the other hand lasts for years. Once you are at the top, it takes a lot to move you down the results. As such, SEO is the most cost-effective and efficient method of marketing your website.

You also need your site to rank well for the correct keyword or search phrase. One of my favourite examples comes from research I have conducted into the job industry as part of an SEO campaign. The term “search jobs” has 21 searches a day. The term “job search” has over 6000. Number 1 for “search jobs” will give you 21 visitors. Number 1 for “job search” though will give you 6000. Choosing the right keywords is an important part of any SEO campaign.

How do you target the site towards a specific search phrase or keyword? By having the keyword in the title tag, the description and in the content. It should also be in the anchor text of links pointing to that site. If you are in a reciprocal link exchange, and the link to your job site is the name of your company, that is far less effective at promoting your website than a link saying “job search �" company name.” It's a simple step and seemingly obvious, but many website owners do not do that and their site suffers in it's ranking as a result.

With the right proportion of the key word in relation to your content and sufficient inbound links with the right anchor text, your website can become the number 1 site for that term. There is more to SEO than just that, but those are the 2 essential factors. Without good content, or links, your website will never rank well and will never bring in all the business it could. For more info, check out SEO - Sigil Online

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