The image above is a fairly rubbish image I agree, but it does show clearly where people eyes are tracked when using a computer screen whilst doing a search on Google. This “heat” map shows where users looked at the page after a search result appeared. You can see the “hot spots”. Clearly being near the top is important.
SEO can help with your organic listings but Google Adwords advertising is above you, even if you are number 1 in the organic result.
SEO is relevant and achievable, but it is not easy.
So, although Adwords is certainly becoming very popular, and more trusted than when it first started, there are still things you can do to help your website achive higher rankings for the search terms you wish for.
I will firstly provide four golden rules about the subject of SEO, (search engine optimisation) that everyone needs to know. I will state them as negatives. I.e. what SEO is NOT.
I’m talking about “natural”, or “organic” results here, not the paid for advertising such as Adwords as I refer to above.
When you search for a product or service through Google you will be presented with three result areas. The very top three are paid for adverts within Google itself, with the advertisers being charged when you click on their advert. How much they pay depends on how much they have had to bid for the word or phrase you used in your search. You can read more about Google Adwords in another article HERE (opens new window)
Here I am discussing “organic” results. The results that are listed just under the top four on the main body of the page. The place where everyone wants to be as theoretically the website has earned the right to be there for the phrase you used. In Googles’ opinion of course.
To see a website that is (at the moment) at the top of the tree. Type into Google: “Estate Agents in Wombourne”
You should get this result:
That is an organic result – i.e. Google thinks it is the most relevant website in relation to the search phrase. And that is without paying Google a penny!
Or another one: Try typing in “search engine online promotion”
Yes, that is our website, in fact it is this website. Just showing off a bit there. Apologies.
Back to my points (or golden rules if you prefer) about Search Engine Optimisation or SEO as it has come to be called.
Effective SEO is not CHEAP.
Effective work on promoting a website takes time. Time is money. The skills are learned over time and good SEO takes skill, technical knowledge, lateral thinking and a lot of experience on the subject.
SEO is NOT fast
It can take months to get any results from this activity. and to be honest I think its probably right that it does. The results that Google wants to give are supposed to be the best it can do, so fair enough, it takes time. Don’t be put off by this. The results are definitely worth the effort.
Any work done on SEO is NOT guaranteed. There is no way anyone can manipulate the complex algorithms used by the big search engines to their own benefit. Frankly there is no need to try as if you’re spotted your website will either be blocked or so far down the list as not to be relevant. So don’t believe silly promises, you could be risking your company’s reputation.
SEO is NOT a one time operation
In the ways in which search engines work, their predilection to shake up their database on regular occasions and the fact that your competition is also working on their web search results means that you have to keep doing it, as frequently as required.
When I talk about SEO to clients or groups of businesses I use the “plate spinning” analogy. To get the best from the search engines you have to do many different activities, all at once. So you set your plates spinning and keep them spinning effectively. The plates can be labelled; web page updates, website structure updates, news updates and more and more updates. You can see the “update” theme here coming through.
Further labels could read; statistical monitoring, meta tag research and implementation, competitor research, website speed monitoring, building “back” links to your website. Generic domain name effectiveness. Looking at effective page titles and descriptions. The list goes on and on.
Frankly if your not updating your website on (at least) a monthly basis you’re not giving a chance at being attractive to search engines. If you can’t update your website easily, talk to your provider. There are numerous ways of updating a website. Get a good CMS (Content Management System) installed. Use a Blog to do it, like this one! I am updating this entry via my phone! There is no excuse for businesses to have a website that is out of date. Not now, when there are lots of ways of doing it, many of them very cost effective.
So the SEO message I am peddling is this.
Don’t expect quick and easy results.
It’s not rocket science but you wouldn’t want ME working on the engine of your car, you would want an expert. Pay for good advice and don’t skimp.
Remember that good Google listings ARE achievable, it’s a fact. But like everything in life, you have to put the effort in to get the results.
About the author.
Shaun Carvill has 23 years experience of promoting websites. Yes he IS that old! He is the MD of Clickingmad Ltd, a website design, website development and website promotion agency. Since 2000, Clickingmad have become known as one the most capable and experienced of digital agencies in the region.
Our customer base is varied and includes companies large and small and in nearly all sectors. Get in touch if you want some free expert advice.