This is a common question with all new Websites. It is also probably one of the most complex and time-consuming parts of a website.
If we take a scenario as the best way to explain how the search engines work and how to get to the top spots with our chosen keywords.
Let’s take ‘Web Design’; a highly competitive market. Ideally your site wants to be position 1-3 or position 7. However, there are 100 competitors all wanting the same spot.
So how does a search engine decide on who goes where? Well, it used to be simple but now users are expecting accurate search results. Remember a few years ago you would search for a keyword and a site with absolutely no relevance would appear with a single page selling some sexual content.
The search engines said this had to stop. Spammers were taking these top spots over legitimate companies. So Google rolled out a series of rules which has changed the whole SEO process.
So back to the Web Design scenario… you have 100 companies all wanting the same thing.
Google has said the following: ‘A site with high quality content which is relevant to the market the company is in. With a high volume of traffic which is linked to other websites of high quality content. The site is regularly updated and that the content if it were medical would solve the illness through the advice. Sounds simple, or is it?
Next, the content must be original, non-duplicated and must not have too many links or over-use of keywords and the site has to be built correctly. It must be quick to load and be Mobile friendly i.e. the site loads onto a Smartphone quickly.
So with this in mind any site stuffed with links and keywords instantly deteriorate.
So the 100 companies bidding (that’s effectively what you’re doing) for the top spots suddenly whittle down to 20 companies. This then means Google is looking at the next set of rules. Let’s simplify this:
Site A: Active on Social Media – Yes
50 pages of well written content – Yes
Structured Correctly – Yes
Mobile Version of Site – Yes
Low Volume of Traffic - X
1000+ links to PRO websites - X
Site B: 30 pages of well written content – Yes
Mobile friendly – Yes
Structured Correctly – Yes
50 links between PR3 – PR9 websites – Yes
Low Volume of Traffic – X
Site C: 10 pages of Content – X
Not Active on Social Media – X
100 links to any site purchased – X
Not Mobile Read – X
Not Updated Regularly – X
So Site C would not be doing very well on SEO. Site A has a lot of links but they’re not rated by Google. Site B hits the basics and would be the highest position.
How much does this cost?
If we took Site B and it had 500 links instead of 50, how many days would it take you to build the relationship with the sites you want to link with? Let’s say 10 days full time. The average SEO expert is on £35 an hour. Say they work 10 hours a day. This equals £3500 in man hours. But hold on! That’s a lot!
But is it?
If you increased sales through the site by increasing traffic and in turn increasing enquiries = sales by 10-15% does that warrant the expenditure?
Of course it does! However, it doesn’t necessarily mean this is what it is going to cost, but it gives you an idea.
You’re probably thinking Oh! I’ve been offered a link-building service for $100 for 1000 links – I will do this! WRONG! Google will look at a site and determine if a site has rapidly increased its links. Google knows that if you suddenly get 1000 links over 7 days that it is almost impossible to do this. So they will downgrade your rank instantly.
Google also can tell if content has been written by a machine for SEO purposes. This is a black hat method used by spammers.
So confused! Well this is one of the aims of Google; keep the industry guessing, forcing serious companies to properly market their websites, giving the user the best experience possible.
So some tips:
- Use a professional copywriter to write high quality content
- Actively use social media to share your links
- Organically get links to relevant sites to your industry but make sure their PR ranking is high
- Regularly update your content
- Be patient
- Find expert guest writers within your field to help your sites’ authority
- SEO is going to cost £££ but the ROI should increase over time