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Beware of SEO Sharks

Beware of SEO Sharks

With so many businesses desperate to be found by their customers on the Internet, an industry has developed surrounding something called SEO or Search Engine Optimisation.  Unfortunately, it’s an industry that’s rapidly becoming akin to the used car sales industry of the 1970s.

You should beware of SEO companies that attempt to blind you with meta tag science and lock you into long term contracts.

So what is SEO?

SEO or Search Engine Optimisation is the term given to the processes required to help your website be listed and ranked within the search engine results of Google and the like.  

Why should I beware of SEO companies?

First of all, not all SEO companies are bad but there are some basic things that your website needs in order to be found on Google and given the right tools, the vast majority of these can be achieved very easily by anyone.

Most of the SEO features that your webpage requires can be set up by the person creating or managing your website and an ongoing “SEO Plan” may not be the best use of your advertising dollars.

What SEO can I do myself?

There are some very simple things that each page of your website should have.  If your website has a good content management system, you should be able to edit these yourself:

Page Title – Make sure that each page on your website has an effective page title that relates to a keyword or phrase that someone might use to search for that page.

Meta Keywords and Description – Each web page on your site has a hidden list of keywords and a description that the search engines will use to identify what your web page is about.  Search engines will use this information to help rank your website in its results so think about these carefully and find the appropriate keywords to include in them.  Again, your website’s content management system should allow you the ability to edit these.  If you’re not sure, ask your web developer for help.

Page Links – links from one web page to another are an important way helping your visitors navigate to other related material but the search engines also uses these links to identify related content and track visitor behaviour.  Links between pages within your own website are important but having external, relevant websites link to your pages is even more so.  You can create external links to your website by posting status updates with links to your website on social media outlets such as Facebook or Twitter.  Beware, however, using “link farms” purely for the purpose of SEO can hurt – not help – your search engine rankings so use only legitimate links where appropriate. 

Write Fresh Content Regularly –  This is our favourite method of improving your website’s search engine position.  Google loves fresh, new content and the best content for your website should only come from you or the people in your business.  Beware of SEO companies that offer “SEO content writing”.  Often these services are outsourced to overseas SEO companies that know nothing about your business and recycle the same irrelevant content.  

Your visitors will be put off by such inane content and a high bounce rate (the speed with which a visitor leaves your website) can be damaging to your results.  Nobody knows your business like you and your staff so get them involved to help write meaningful, interesting content about what your business is doing and do it regularly.  You don’t have to write a war and peace novel but a couple of paragraphs on your blog every few days can do wonders to improve your search engine results and website traffic.

A More targeted approach – SEO versus PPC

Bang for buck, it is our opinion that PPC or Pay Per Click advertising will yield far better results in your search engine marketing.  PPC is a far more targeted approach to search engine marketing and, unlike SEO, you can account for every dollar spent and see exactly how many targeted visitors came to your website from your PPC campaign.

How PPC works

Through their PPC product called Adwords, Google allows you to create text based adverts that show up among the search results.  The system allows you to determine what keywords trigger your ad to show in the search results and place a bid for each keyword or phrase that you choose.  You can set a daily budget and you only pay up to a maximum of what you’ve bid for that keyword and only when a visitor clicks on your ad to come to your website.  Clicks can cost as little as 10 cents and all clicks are recorded in a report that shows you what keyword or phrase a visitor used to come to your website.

You can setup your own google Adwords campaign or ask Brandicoot for help.  We quite often have $75 vouchers sent to us from google that can be used to set up your Adwords campaign to pay for some of your new visitors to your website.

Call us for help

If you’re in any doubt, don’t sign a contract.  Give Andrew, Simon or Chris a call on 08 9721 1558 and let us demystify the SEO smoke and mirrors for you.