Is a website for my business a cost or an investment?
If you view your website as a cost then you have not realized the potential that a great website has to generate sales or enquiries for your business. The first step in creating a website that will work for you and your business is research. It is important that you establish whether there is traffic available for your service or product on the Internet.
How can I establish that there is traffic available?
A fantastic free tool that is available to everyone is the Google External Keyword tool. This tool is incredibly handy – it will show you the average number of searches every month for a specific keyword phrase. It is important that when you begin to research your keywords that you put yourself in the mind of the user and try to use the search criteria that they would enter to find your products or services.
When you have entered a keyword, you need to define which countries you wish to include data from. If you are U.K.-based make sure you only have the U.K. selected. The search criteria can be further refined to local or regional searches simply by including the town or county after the search phrase. Carrying out some preliminary keyword research will help to identify the traffic available to be captured from the Internet and establish whether a good website will be a worthwhile investment for your business.
How does a website capture Internet traffic?
There are many ways to capture traffic from the Internet, but the simplest and most commonly-used technique is to be in the No. 1 position in the search engines for a specific search phrase. The website in the top spot for a specific phrase can expect to receive up to 50 percent of the available search traffic.
How do I get my website to be number one for a specific phrase?
Search engines use a complex algorithm to rank websites for specific search phrases. The golden rule to remember is that search engines want to return the best result for the user in relation to the search criteria entered.
Subsequently websites that are well designed, containing fresh and relevant content will rank much higher than those that don’t. Ensuring that your website is as optimized as possible for your specific keywords will be beneficial to your ranking in search.
I have optimized on-site as much as possible but I’m still not getting the ranking I want!
If you are still not achieving the ranking you want, it may be time to get in contact with a search engine optimization specialist. SEO specialists can help with a number of aspects to improve your onsite work, content creation as well as offsite works and an ongoing strategy to improve your websites ranking in the search engines.
How long will it take to get the top spot in Google, Yahoo or Bing?
All of the search engines rank a little differently so you may get results in one quicker than the other. Don’t expect your rankings to climb overnight. The more competitive a market, the more difficult it is to achieve a result. For local SEO phrases, I would expect a result inside of three months. For regional phrases, around six months and competitive national phrases about one year. These are only guides. You may find your SEO works prove to be effective very quickly – it really depends on the quality of your competition and how much work they have already carried out. For example if a competitor has been working on SEO for his website for the past three years, you can’t expect to jump in front on him inside three or four months.
It takes time but it’s worth it!
A website is fast is becoming one of the most effective marketing tools any business can have compared with traditional forms of marketing, which use a much broader approach. The traditional marketing concept is that the consumer will see your businesses advert and contact you to discuss your product or service. This is somewhat of a ‘pot-luck’ approach and it can be difficult to judge the return on investment. Although choosing specific publications or more niche advertising sources can refine target demographics, it can still be difficult to achieve success.
Internet advertising turns this approach on its head. The consumer is searching for you rather you trying to find them. You just have to make sure they can find you when they search in the search engines.
About the author: Dave Jones has been interested in web design and search engine optimization (SEO) for a number of years. For further information head over to http://cambraydesign.co.uk/