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Search Engine Optimisation - The hold grail of Internet consulting.


Wed 23 Dec 2009

I am frequently questioned by people about the intricacies of getting on the first page of results for Google or other search engines. "Search Engine Optimisation", or "SEO" is the name given to the art and the industry dedicated to getting the top position.

With out giving away too much commercial knowledge, there are a couple of things that help your cause in this precious game.

Keyword placement.
The keyword phrase you have to pursue are based upon what you think people are Googling to find you. Ie, if you are a builder in Sydney, you would naturally think that people predominantly search for "builders sydney" or "sydney builders" to find one. This is fundamentally it. You can chase as many phrases as you want, and SEO high brows will suggest that you need to be thinking about phrases to chase all the way to the "long tail", but that another time.

Fundamentally, you are looking to mention your chosen keyword phrase between 5-15 times in SEO engineered page. There are various ways to achieve that, even including the choice of domain name for your entire site.

Links to your site.
This is only a basic explanation, but the more links TO your site the better. Google (and other search engines) are constantly looking that the world of web sites and "see" links to your site. Every extra one is an indication to the search engine that your site is worthy of interest by the world... and therefore it increases its respect to you. As I said, this is a basic explanation of importance of links, and people get caught up in their Google "PR" ranking and the relevance importance of the site that is linking to them. There are even people that will go the length of creating other web sites by the number just to link back to the central site.... This is a relatively useful, but time consuming means of getting a result.

Longevity/ Rate of change.
Some Google knowledge suggests that it will be at least 6 months before Google has respect for your site... and this is probably more to do with establishing the links as detailed above to a point where it respects what you have to say / sell. The search engines also look at the date of last change of a web page. Some suggest that a web site should be reloaded monthly just to retain Google's interest.

There are other things to be done in the SEO game, and the rules change from time to time. Google for instance, have just announced their "caffiene" major revision to their "indexing" technology. Amongst the 2010 update for their search engine, they have indicated more relevance to real time search results, with some pretty serious implications for stagnant sites.

In closing, SEO is real important for attracting visitors to your web site. Its part of the mix. Google Adwords, eNewsletters and traditional advertising mediums all count to getting your web site visited and ultimately, getting a business result. The upside is that it is relatively in-expensive, the downside is the hit and miss nature of getting a result. Know that your competitors will also be chasing the same space. Its not about instant results either. SEO can take months of effort to get a result.

SEO is something that can be done yourself at the fundamental level, where as professional "SEO engineers" compound search engine knowledge, deep thinking, and sorcery to get results that may or may not last.

For mine the key is working closely with your Internet consultant - ongoing. SEO must be included in your web development program to ensure that it factors in your success. It is suggested that in the current era around 1/2 of your Internet budget should go toward marketing your site, and SEO is a substantial part of the strategy along with Google Adwords and other campaigning for continuing success.

--------------------
John Nayler is a career IT professional, Internet Consultant for 10 years and proprietor of eCentral. Combining marketing, business result with hi technology his clients receive far more than a web site for their investment, enjoying strategies fully integrated with their business model. His ChannelWhitsunday.com and Deja.vu online video magazines showcase innovative approaches to hi-tech marketing.

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