When we want something be it a product, service or information, we ask Google, Bing or another search engine for help. Few of us venture beyond the first pages result, so if you want to be found, that is where you need to be. The results page shows free (organic) and paid for places, both are limited so getting there can be a challenge!
How Search works
Google and other search engine providers continuously crawl website pages evaluating them for quality and to see what they are about. When a search is made, their algorithms compare the search term with the information in their database and list the top scoring pages in the organic results. The match, the webpage quality and other factors are taken into account.
Paid entries work similarly but with an additional factor, the bid value, the price you have agreed to pay for a keyword term. A good match with a low bid can rank higher than a poorer match with a higher bid and vice versa.
The more general the search term, the harder it is to be found. For example, your chance of being on page one for the search “accountants london,” is much lower than for “accountants hendon.” An organic place on page one, unless budgets are unlimited cannot be guaranteed.
A high search result ranking is not a right! Success requires continuous effort as rankings are not for life. Investment levels should be carefully considered. Planning, experience and tenacity are the recipe for results
Search Engine Optimisation
SEO involves constructing, analysing and tweaking a website to get a high placement in search engine results. In the ideal world, you buy your website and get it optimised to get it on the first page of search engines and stay there!
SEO involves constructing, analysing and tweaking a website to get a high placement in search engine results. In the ideal world, you buy your website and get it optimised to get it on the first page of search engines and stay there! In the real world, it can be a bit more (or a lot more) difficult.
- Your competitors may update their website and after their SEO process knock you off the first page
- Google and others change their logic and rules (they do it regularly) which results in you dropping down the ratings
- Updates unwittingly result in a lower rating
Maintaining a high position requires ongoing attention, SEO is a specialist area of website design, practitioners analyse the website keeping in mind of the latest search engine requirements and then make adjustments as needed.
Pay Per Click
An alternative way of getting on the first page of Google or other search engines, is to pay for it!
With Google’s Adwords, for example, keywords present in searches act as a trigger for entries for your company to appear.
- PPC achieves results much faster than SEO. The cost is dependent on the popularity of the keyword.
- PPC is available across all search engines and social media platforms.
- PPC is a key source of income for Google and others, the overall pricing model is complex, with the all-important “price per click,” based on the popularity of the keyword.
The cost can look attractively low and maximum budgets can be set but care needs to be taken. Adwords et al have their place but are not an advertising panacea. They are reactive only and unless you can afford the prized keywords or you operate in a highly specialised area with few competitors they may not be cost effective.