What is SEO?
THE vast majority of businesses have heard of search engine optimisation (SEO), link building, meta tags, alt tags and copywriting, and are bombarded on almost a weekly basis by emails and junk mail offering these services.
These unsolicited emails do very little except generate a fear of being ripped off when looking for web services. This is no surprise considering the companies behind the spam emails do not even research the recipients before they send them out. So even Google receive emails with a title “Your website does not rank well on Google”.
Do you understand SEO?
The reality is that very few businesses fully understand the process and the benefits of a good SEO campaign and for good reason. SEO is an ever-changing complex process and in this digital age it moves faster than any other industry. For that reason a search engine expert must commit to a life of continuous learning to ensure they achieve the desired results of a campaign. Beware of any company who offer set packages with so many links per month. The reason for this is that SEO is always evolving and therefore to achieve the pre-defined goals the campaign needs to be flexible.
Why do search engines change the goal posts?
When Google, previously BackRub, was first created back in 1996 there were roughly 10 million pages on the internet. Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin decided that they needed some way to help people find relevant information quickly and devised an algorithm to do just that. The original algorithm was based on the links to a page from another page on the internet. Essentially, these links acted as votes for a web page and Google gave it a ranking. Of course this was soon figured out and links were being swapped online to improve ranking. For this reason, to achieve their goal of providing the user with the most relevant information Google must continue to adapt their algorithm.
Search is changing
With more people online and an estimated 20,000 new pages created in the time it takes you to read this article the major search engines face a constant battle to provide users with relevant results. For example, Google is putting huge relevance on new media content and using the social networks along with other stats to define the page rank. Users are no longer typing in one word searches for a product or service, but are now asking Google questions and typing in an average of four words per search.
How to choose an SEO supplier?
When looking for an SEO supplier get them in for a no-obligation chat first. Make sure they do not want to sell you a pre-defined package without researching your company and target market.
Any reputable company should have case studies and testimonials to show you the results they have achieved in the past. Finally, remember SEO is only one tool in the internet marketing toolbox and for the best results you should be considering a full internet marketing strategy.
:: Paul King is director of WSI, Northumberland Business Park, Cramlington, tel 0191 300 1420 or visit www.totalwsisolutions.co.uk