The Internet is a jungle populated by millions of websites with each clamoring for the elusive attention of the click-happy internet users.
It is a dog eat dog world in which brands ruthlessly compete for online visibility via search engines. Unfortunately, the only way to the top is by stepping on the heads of others. Warara Wasara (You snooze you lose)
Online success is enjoyed by those who dominate the top spots on search engine results pages (SERPS). This is the source of the next meal ticket and failure is not forgiven. Those who fall by the way side end up being the most vocal critics of internet marketing.
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I understand their frustrations but not their methods. These companies were sold a dummy by unethical web developers who wrongly assured them that by simply having a website they would have created a money minting machine.
However, nothing is far from the truth than this. Having a website is not an end in itself but the beginning of work. The “build-it-and-they-will-come” approach is just a fallacy.
Nevertheless, websites remain a critical success factor in internet marketing as they connect consumers to brands if the right principles are adhered to.
With over 3.5 billion daily searches on Google alone it is easy to see why. People are actively searching for products and services on a daily basis and those companies with websites that rank high on SERPs are laughing all the way to the bank.
Dominating the search engines’ first pages is therefore a worthy cause. Why? Because people rarely go beyond the first two pages on Google as they often refine their search If they do not find what they want on them. There is a joke that if you want to hide anything you must put it on the third page of Google’s SERPs!
Search engine optimisation (SEO) represents both a science and an art of making a website rank high enough to be competitively visible. It is a process of ensuring that the ranking signals are present in a website so that it appears higher than others on SERPS for a particular keyword that is related to a product or service offered by the company.
The ranking considerations are divided into on-page and off-page factors. On page factors are the technical elements of a website like the presence of a keyword in the right places, the internal linking structure, its loading time, naming of images which must be keyword based, site architecture, freshness of content, usability of the site and the quality of its user experience.
Relevant and engaging content is very key because search engines are all about providing information. Off-site optimisation involves social media integration and creating backlinks that come from other sites and point to the company’s website.
The more backlinks from relevant sites that point to a particular website the higher the ranking power that is assigned to it. For example, a website about cars that has 10 links from other motorcar related websites will have a higher ranking than that one with less or equal number of links but coming from websites about cats and flowers.
Backlinks serve as votes of confidence for a website. Social signals from platforms like Google + and Facebook endorse the site for relevancy.
This is not an exhaustive explanation of SEO considerations as it requires a full blog post to do so.
However, it is important to note that no site can rank higher than others on search engines if there is no SEO done on it. Companies and other organisations should look into this if they are to enjoy a positive return on their website investments.