Internet marketing: Introduction to search engine optimisation (SEO)
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the practice of developing your website so it appears high up in search engines. This topic is one of the most frustrating Internet marketing issues for one reason – it takes time.
Patience is required because search engines, especially Google, deliberately work in a manner that rewards long term growth and no matter how great your website is if it only launched last month you won’t be getting much traffic.
Google doesn’t want new websites with no history at the top of the results. Instead Google rewards website that are well established and grow over a long period of time. Long in Internet years is as little as 12 months.
Consequently my advice will work as a long term SEO plan, so don’t expect big results tomorrow, or even next month. The upside if you keep at it you will evenutally enjoy a steady stream of targeted visitors coming from search engines that you don’t have to pay for. It will also be hard for you to lose your top rankings because you have the advantage of time compared to all the new websites coming online.
Here’s an example:
One of my business websites www.BetterEdit.com enjoys a steady stream of 400 visitors per day and those are targeted visitors, many of whom are looking for what my business offers. I optimised the site for phrases like “essay editing” and “thesis proofreading” and a lot of my traffic comes directly from searches on Google or Yahoo! using those terms.
"Google rewards website that are well established and grow over a long period of time."
I started the site back in 2000 and now it’s one of the oldest and most established sites in the student editing and proofreading industry and is on the first page of results for hundreds of different search phrases. A new site trying to replicate this success would take months, probably years to even get close to my results. That is definitely a competitive advantage.
Want more articles like this? Check out the SEO techniques section.
New website? Optimise for niche phrases
Most website owners have two or three key phrases that they would love to be the first result for in the search engines. This won’t happen for a new website and might never happen for businesses operating in competitive industries. Unless you have little competition online your best hope is to initially chase secondary key phrases, or drill down your key phrases to match your niche exactly.
Take for example the phrase “marketing consultant”. This is a highly competitive term that will be very hard for a new business consultant to rank competitively for in search engines. The solution is to break it down further into phrases that refine the niche.
“small business marketing consultant”
“Sydney marketing consultant”
“chiropractic marketing consultant”
“Sydney chiropractic marketing consultant”
Being the first result for “Sydney chiropractic marketing consultant” could easily be achieved in the first few months of launching a website because there are not many other websites that optimise for that niche phrase.
The traffic coming from secondary search terms won’t be significant but if you choose your niches carefully the traffic will be targeted and therefore much easier to convert into customers. As your website matures you will start to make inroads into the primary keywords that will bring in waves of traffic, but that traffic will likely not be as targeted as your refined niche traffic, so will have poor conversion rates.
My next instalment will give some tips on how to generate keyword phrases and an insight into search engine techniques.
This article is part 5 of a series on Internet Marketing. Below are links to all 8 articles in the series:
Internet Marketing Part 1 – Its use as a business growth strategy
Internet Marketing Part 2 – Creating an effective business website
Internet Marketing Part 3 – Using email autoresponders
Internet Marketing Part 4 – How to use pay-per-click advertising
Internet Marketing Part 5 – Introduction to search engine optimisation (SEO)
Internet Marketing Part 6 – Search engine optimisation part 2
Internet Marketing Part 7 – The basics of blogging for business
Internet Marketing Part 8 – Breaking down technical skills barriers