Over the past few weeks I’ve spent a lot of time visiting small business offices and conducting audits on their SEO optimisation and their internet marketing efforts. The point of the exercise is seeing how vulnerable they are to competitors or where the weakness’s are in their on line strategy, and believe me, there are a lot of them.
One area that comes up more often than any other, is SEO, or search engine optimisation, and how a business can generate a better page ranking within their local region when searching on Google, Yahoo or Bing. I’m asked this question more often than any other, and I thought I would share some interesting research and information with you on this subject.
Lets look at the US market first, and then come back to how business approach’s this in Australia, PCMS Consulting an SEO company in the US, has released a comprehensive study on the role of SEO as a marketing tool in small business.
It may come as no surpise to find that most business owners surveyed felt that an effective SEO optimisation strategy was important to their on line presence, yet could not convince the decision makers within the companies to allocate traditional marketing funds to promote their web sites with new generation SEO optimisation services.
According to the report, companies are overwhelmingly neglecting SEO optimisation and thus missing out on a considerable opportunity to boost their profits and drive traffic in today’s economic conditions.
Most searchers use keywords to conduct a search and not a brand name, therefore, even the most established companies need to optimize their websites to maintain their market position. Establishing the most searched for keywords that relate to your industry is vital to your web site performing well on the web.
When you analyse the search trends or keywords relevant to your business on Google you’ll see the the popularity of each keyword.
There are lot of factors that you need to consider in optimising your web site, and these should include link building, which is often overlooked by businesses, but is now a vital element in gaining higher search engine rankings.
High quality links need to be formed to benefit the most from linking, and just as important is the creation of “Deep Linking”, links that point to sub pages within your web site, search engines are likely to rank these pages higher when they have high quality external links pointing to them. Creating good organic search results should be part of your strategy along with using paid SEO.
So how much of this can you control yourself? Write great content, a lot of SEO optimisation falls within writing great content and building authoritative back links to that content within your web site.
Sites that are image heavy and text light,don’t have headings and subheadings or site maps that search engines can’t crawl won’t fair well.
If you write frequent relevant content that incorporates keywords and phrases that searchers are looking for, your site will be found. This is where blogging and social media can help in the creation of good keyword rich copy and the building of back links to that content.
SEO optimisation of your web site and it’s positioning in search engine results, is vital for you to compete in business today, because more traditional forms of marketing are no longer effective in driving leads, for example, in a recent Commonwealth bank survey, they found that 75% of people did not use Yellow pages in 2008, 58% didn’t use it the year before and 80% of consumers use the Internet to research purchases.
The other consideration is that Generation X&Y do not read newspapers,don’t use Yellow pages and most of their social interactions and shopping research is done on the Internet.
There’s lot to understand about keyword rich copy, back link and reciprocal link building and web site optimisation, but one point to remember, is that 99% of your competition don’t know what their doing.
Click here to visit our Google+ page.