Having a good search engine strategy can be extremely important for some businesses and not so much for others.
It can take a lot of constant work to rank highly on the search engines depending on how popular, or competitive, your keywords are.
Paid advertising may be an option for you. This will place your listing on a search results page depending on how you have set your ad spend.
The search engines operate on what is known as a CCP (cost per click) and you pay whatever that keyword is priced at when a user clicks on your ad.
The price of keywords and search terms are dependent on how popular they are. If you are in a niche which is extremely competitive and there are many businesses going after the same keywords, then that keyword can become very expensive.
Conversely, you could be paying a few cents per click if you are occupying a tighter niche.
Your bid on a keyword will dictate where it is placed within the search results. If you are willing to pay the highest amount, your ad will be on the top of the page. If you are the 5th highest, you may be number five or on page two depending on how each search engine arranges its rankings.
SEO or Search Engine Optimisation is how your webpage (or sales page) is optimised to rank within the search engines.
A good SEO strategy and/or paid ads (paid traffic) can be a great marketing strategy for businesses when customers know exactly what they are looking for.
There are some common misconceptions about how search engines create their rankings, which we shall go over here:
- Nobody really knows for sure how search engines rank websites. This is not information that they make freely available to the general public. They do however give pointers, and by trial and error marketers can often work out what is having an effect for the positive or negative. The search engines also regularly change their algorithms too.
- The main focus of the search engine is delivering relevant results back to its user. Therefore, they prefer constantly updated content; articles, videos etc. It is for this reason that content marketing is usually a part of a good SEO strategy.
- It is web pages that are ranked individually, not entire websites. Although the more pages that are ranked well would help the site overall.
- Webpages are ranked on whatever the user is searching for through search terms or keywords which are typed into the search box. For example, if a user is looking for a ‘spiritual retreat in Bali’, you would need to rank for that sentence, or at least the keywords, ’retreat’, ‘Bali’.
We have met many clients who have told us that “my website is number one in Google”, when asked what they are typing into the search box to have their website display at number one the reply is often their own domain name “mywebsitesite.com”. The search engines does not function like this in the real world – you need to rank for search terms and not your domain name.
- Although kept secret by the search engines, it is commonly known that over 200 factors are taken into account, including how long the domain name has been registered, the quality and amount of backlinks (other websites relevant to your niche having direct links to your website) and how relevant your copy is written.
- SEO is not a set-and-forget exercise but something that is constantly changing. Unless you have an extremely strong presence, just because
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- Your site is ranking well one day doesn’t mean it will be ranking the same the next. Good SEO needs constant tweaking and work. To rank in the ‘top spot’, at the very top of the first page of results can be extremely hard to achieve for a new website with competitive keywords. Be realistic about your expectations, especially when your webpages are new. For every place higher you move up the rankings, your SEO needs to be better than your competitors who has to subsequently move downwards for you to take their place, and most of these webpages may have been working on their own SEO strategy for years.