I receive emails quite often from people saying they “need SEO for their website” and I always find it interesting that when I ask them why they need it, they actually aren’t sure. This happens when people throw around terms like “SEO”, “SEM” and such. I’ve heard people say, “If you have a website you have to have SEO done” countless times and it worries me at how quickly people are convinced without even understand what SEO is. Ok, so let’s have a look at what SEO is then shall we?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is defined in dictionaries along these lines: the process of improving the visibility of a website or a web page in search engines via the “natural” or un-paid (“organic” or “algorithmic”) search results. This definition is correct, but it’s hardly easily to understand. I like to define SEO as the process of attracting as much traffic from search engines as possible. I further this definition by explaining that one of the areas covered in SEO is the process of ranking a website as high in the search engines as possible. By “ranking”, what I am referring to is seeing your website as close to the top of the search engine results as possible. Let’s look at an example: Jonny is a plumber who operates in Cape Town, Jonny would like his website to appear right at the top of Google when someone Google’s for “Cape Town plumber” – The process of getting his website to the top is what I mean by “rank”. SEO is not limited to the ranking, this is just part of it and anyone who says SEO is only about that is incredibly wrong. You do not have to rank at the top for certain words to experience the power of SEO – Again, the definition states that SEO “is the process of improving visibility of a website in search engines search results”.
Let me not confuse you, you do need to rank in order to receive traffic to your website, but you don’t need to rank for the specific keywords which you think are best. For example, the words “Cape Town plumber” might be highly competitive, in other words, a large number of sites might be competing to rank for these words and therefore jumping onto the band wagon later than your competitors might mean many months and lots of expense to start ranking higher. So, what you do is target less competitive words, but words which will still lead to attracting traffic to your website through search engines. For example, “Cape Town Rondebosch plumber” might be a lot less competitive and far easier to rank for. “Cape Town plumber” might get searched for more often, but you might only capture a small percentage of this traffic, whereas ranking more easily for “Cape Town Rondebosch plumber” or the likes, you would have a good chance of capturing a larger percentage of traffic, thus evening things out – difference being that “Cape Town Rondebosch plumber” would most likely result in less expense being incurred. The tricky part is knowing which words to choose and that’s when it makes sense to hire an SEO.
SEO is a big topic, it takes years to master the tricks of the trade and because Google updates it algorithms daily, you have to stay on top of the game daily. If you’re serious about getting more traffic to your website and you’ve read a little about SEO and are interested in exploring it, then you’re ready to chat to an SEO.
Here are a 5 quick points to note when trying to hire an SEO:
- Any SEO who guarantee’s ”a page one rank” is lying.
- Any SEO who tells you it will only take a couple months is probably lying too, SEO is a process, it normally takes 6 to 12 months to rank well for words, unless they’re hugely uncompetitive.
- SEO does not involve paying for clicks – that’s Cost Per Click (CPC) or Pay Per Click (PPA) marketing, which falls under Search Engine Marketing (SEM), which is a topic for another day.
- Any SEO will need to thoroughly look at your website before they can tell you anything about SEO for your website.
- Don’t believe an SEO who tells you that you will need to buy links!
I’m going to stop there for now, and hope that you’ve learnt something from this. If you want SEO done on your website and you’d like me to assist you with it, you’re welcome to contact me by using my contact form.