Every day I get at least one email from someone offering to “increase my search engine ranking” and many of my customers do too.
Customers contact me and ask if they should subscribe to these services, so, because I send off the same sort of reply so often, I thought I should add it here to my blog.
A Bit of Background First
Search engines, the main one being Google, use keywords to determine how to display results.
The 64 million dollar question to ask is “what are people typing into google when hoping to find my site”.
Let’s use the example of Beeswax Natural Healthand Harmony in Hahndorf (one of my clients)
In optimising this site I worked from the principal that the most likely visitors to the web site will be people who visited Hahndorf and bought or tried the Beeswax products and are looking for them again. So I have optimised that site to perform best on the following searches:
- beeswax hahndorf ( #1 rank in google)
- Beeswax Natural Health & Harmony (#1)
- “hand cream” hahndorf (#2)
- calendula hand cream +hahndorf (#1)
- other exact product names, and so on.
However, suppose they only had an online shop?
Then they might want to get a high Google ranking for “natural skin care”, of which there are over 77 million sites in Google.
In this case they would probably be willing to pay a large portion of their marketing budget for the services of someone who specialises in search engine optimisation. There are many companies who specialise in SEO and charge anywhere from $2,000 up to get you started, but whether you will ever get the results promise is a matter of great debate.
I could go on and on about the SEO myths and problems, but have a read of these links that say it better than I can:
Here is the Big Problem
Everyone who has a website would dearly like it to be the first site that came up in Google for their product, but clearly this is not possible.
Google is really, really smart!
At Google they know full well that people are trying to increase the popularity of their site, and they carefully monitor the new tricks and tactics people use to achieve this objective.
Google work on the principle that they want to stay the number one search engine.
Google know that if they stop delivering the relevant pages the searchers are really looking for, then those searchers will start using other search engines.
So Google always stays one step ahead of the game and ensures that sites that attempt to use sneaky techniques to improve their ranking unfairly, are actually penalised and dropped in the page rankings or even excluded altogether!
The very best advice to get a good Google ranking is to concentrate on the CONTENT of your website. That is what matters most both to the humans who are looking for the product you supply, and to the Google technology.
So please, don’t be fooled by people who tell you that if you pay them a few thousand dollars they can get you the number one rank in Google for your generic area – they can’t. They will however, drag you along for months and months telling you they are waiting for Google to re-index the site becuase it does, after all, take a while.
Also, bear in mind that the sucess of the work these SEO companies do cannot really be quantified.
They may promise that your site traffic will increase by xx%,and it may do, but if it doesn’t translate into sales for you, what is the point?
Every word that appears on your website (the content) is considered a key word, plus there are other invisible key words in you page titles and page names.