There has been a bit of a debate lately as to whether the era of search engine optimization is at an end.
With the advent of social networking, and the various ways to drive traffic to your site outside of the search engines, some web entrepreneurs are considering whether their dollars would be better spent elsewhere.
But SEO is not going out that quickly. More people still search the web through traditional search engines than by word of mouth – or would that be by word of keystroke?
Certain venues can of course be marketed effectively through social sites – and don’t think the engines don’t know it! – but the majority of business is still run through Google or one of its competitors, and optimizing your site is still the main tactic to achieve maximum return on investment.
The goal is basic; get your site on the first page of returned search results; preferably in the top ten listings. Keywords, content, linking, reputation – all of these can play a factor in attaining this goal.
Do you need professional help? That is the question you need to ask yourself. Many do-it-yourselfers exist, and some do quite well, but investing in an a search engine optimizer is usually worth the money – if you go with the right one.
Which brings us to the another hot topic – good SEOs versus bad SEOs. Several analysts have been bashing SEOs of late for being vague about their methods. Well, what do you expect? They make their living at it. They’re not going to just tell us everything for free. And yes, there are good and bad SEOs, just like there are good and bad plumbers.
Finding the right SEO for your company is important. Decide what your goals are and set a budget before looking for your expert. They will need to know what your expectations are. If you are just looking for traffic, that is one thing, but if you want increased ROI, that is a more complicated proposition. Jumping your site into the top ten might not be too difficult, but getting consumers to take that final step to becoming a customer is another!
A good way to get what you pay for is to offer an incentive that ties directly with increased profitability. If your traffic increases and your sales don’t keep pace, you haven’t really gained anything, but if your conversions stay relative to your growth, you can afford to reward your expert for a job well done. Such a bonus is an enormous incentive to provide outstanding results!
That is not to say that other methods won’t increase your visibility; quite the contrary. Blogging has become a tool almost anyone can implement with the advent of user friendly start-ups, and social networking is free advertising. This is something you can learn on your own much more easily, and it allows you to keep your ear to the ground and pick up on what people are saying about your product.
Consider a combination of methods to increase traffic to your site and increase page views and conversions. Set a goal – it doesn’t have to be a huge one to start – and a time limit for reaching it. Dedicate time each day for working on your site. The right balance of SEO and networking will pay off in the end