The Popularity of Search Engines
Search engines like Google and Yahoo!
have become the backbone of the Internet
as the vast majority of traffic to websites
start with a search.
Many users set these search engines
as their homepage in their browser,
and millions have also downloaded and
use add-ons like the Google Toolbar
for quick access to their search tool.
Many web-enabled cell phones even come
installed with access to Google's search.
So it's obvious why having your website
listed in the search results is of such
great importance. However, simply getting
listed is only the first step. You probably
won't see much traffic if you are listed
on page 32, as users will turn their
attention to the hundreds
of other sites listed above you. Some
estimates say that more than 80% of
all traffic goes to the sites in the
top-10 positions on the first page of
search results. So traffic from anything
under those positions drops dramatically.
Statistics might show that 25,000 people
searched for your product or service
last month - thus, 20,000 of those people
will visit the sites in the top ten.
If a single new customer is worth $200,
it's clear how massively profitable
a high ranking could be.
Search Engine Optimization
Search engines use a sort of quality
score to determine who gets which position.
Surprisingly, this has nothing to do
with the graphical look of the website.
Instead, it's based mostly upon textual
content. They further consider external
factors like other websites linking
Search Engine Optimization is the act
of researching competition, then purposely
modifying a website based on that research
to make it more attractive to search
engines in an attempt to achieve higher
rankings. SEO also includes locating
and managing external factors like other
websites linking back to your site (backlinks),
which further boosts rankings.
A very important note is that SEO is
performed to increase the “natural”
search rankings – the main, standard
results returned. Programs like Pay-Per-Click
and Targeted Traffic Packages work
independently of the natural rankings
as these paid programs present results
to the right or above natural rankings.
Position here depends on how much you're
willing to pay, not the quality of your
Search engines do not charge a penny
for inclusion in their natural rankings.
The natural ranking is solely dependent
upon the quality of the web page. Thus,
inclusion in their natural rankings
is 100% free. However, without SEO,
a site may appear #320 in the natural
rankings, serving little useful purpose.
By paying for SEO services, skilled
designers and managers can increase
that natural ranking.
It's All About Competition
There are only 10 slots available in
the top ten after a surfer searches
on a particular keyword - and everybody
wants them. However, maybe there are
not a lot of people doing exactly what
you do. Thus, achieving high rankings
will be easier. Conversely, there could
be hundreds like you in which case boosting
rankings will be more difficult.
Regardless, each step up in position
(whether it's only from #107 to #85)
is progress, and you'll benefit exponentially
with each increase. So you don't have
to shoot for the stars - any level of
SEO can provide a return on investment.
It's an Ongoing Service
SEO is not a single project or task,
but rather, and ongoing service. A top
ten ranking may be achieved one day
but as other websites and competition
improve the quality of their SEO, they
will displace you. And depending upon
the moves they make, the level of complexity
and effort then required to re-up your
SEO will fluctuate.
And, it can take months to achieve any
initial rankings. Search engines have
been known to put websites they are
considering ranking into a holding box
for a period of time before the site
finally appears in the results. The
SEO manager has no control over this.
Those looking for instant results should
try programs like Pay-Per-Click
and Targeted Traffic Packages.
Thus, true SEO is typically best suited
for businesses with ample means, patience,
an understanding of the process, and
the ability to remain with it for the
LimeDot is available for ongoing SEO
and management. This process is highly
unique to each business type, and there
are large considerations which will
dictate the complexity and cost of the
work to be performed. But with the possible
payoff so great, you owe it to yourself
to consider SEO for your website.
learn more, or for a free evaluation
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