SEO

So you’re looking for an SEO agency with the promise of getting your website on the first page of Google.

Getting in front of your potential customers who are searching for your products/services is a wonderful thing, and you might be tempted to think that with these “Guaranteed SEO Packages”, you can rank on the first page and dominate your competitors. We are sorry to burst your bubble, but the real world of SEO is not as simple as you think.

SMEs like yourself have been lied to and cheated by SEO companies more than we can ever remember. Very few companies recoup their SEO investment. How do we know this? Simply from our years of being in the industry, information obtained from industry insiders, and having seeing the work done by unethical SEO agencies ourselves.

The 3 Dirty Truths that SEO Companies Don’t Want You To Know

Dirty Truth #1: Nobody can really guarantee results

Why? Because the only person who controls the search rankings is Google. Anyone who says they can guarantee rankings might as well start a different business and get their websites ranked up the first page every single time and make millions.

All these guarantee sales pitches are rubbish, and is simply a desperate tactic agencies use to get your money quickly. If you see an SEO agency who guarantees results, please run away. I personally know of digital agencies who faced lawsuits because they guaranteed results and did not deliver. Clients were angry and sued the agency. And this leads me to my next point…

Dirty Truth #2: Proper SEO does not come cheap

In order to execute a proper SEO campaign, one that can bring you long-lasting results, an agency must do a lot of things. These things are:

  • Writing high quality content on a regular basis 
  • Getting high quality backlinks to point to your website
  • Having an active social media presence (yes, social media and SEO are linked)
  • Fixing your website structure and design to be more SEO-friendly
  • Optimizing your website load speed (the faster the better)

and many more. Doing all these things require A LOT of effort. There is no way a proper SEO company can do all these work for $500 – $1000 per month. They would be making a huge loss at this price point.

So the only way to do SEO at this price point is to take short cuts. What they do is use blackhat methods (methods that try to cheat Google and game the system) that might get you banned from Google, or help you rank for easy-to-rank keywords that nobody is searching for.

For example, if you sell furniture, you can easily get the top spot on Google for a keyword like “antique furniture shop singapore ang mo kio”. But this long obscure keyword doesn’t even have any searches on Google. That means no one is searching for this keyword. Take a look at the screenshot:

no one is searching for your keyword on google

This data is pulled from Google Keyword Planner. It is a free tool that provided by Google that shows you the number of searches per month for your keywords. So yes, you got your keyword to the top, but that keyword literally gets you ZERO new customers because nobody is typing in those long useless terms.

Ranking for these obscure, no-searches keywords are super easy, and doesn’t require much effort on the SEO agency’s part. That’s how they keep the cost of your SEO packages low. If you want to rank for the most popular keywords, keywords that many people are searching for, then be prepared to pay around $1,200 – $2,500 per month, depending on the number of keywords you’re trying to rank and the competition you face.

Dirty Truth #3: Most SMEs are not suited to do SEO

Just take a look the search engine rankings yourself for any industry. Google favors brands over normal small-sized SMEs. Say you’re in the retail business. Brands like Zalora, Osim, Fortytwo, Zara, CottonOn and etc. They usually occupy the top spot for most keywords. This is because consumers trust big brands more than SMEs.

And Google’s mission is to provide it’s users with the most relevant and useful search experience; and these bigger brands are usually able to provide the most relevant results that the mass consumer market is looking for. This means that unless you become some sort of a brand name in your industry, you are fighting a long, uphill battle to reach the top.

Medium-big sized companies have full time writers, social media team, and in-house SEO experts executing proper SEO techniques for them every single day.

Do you think you have the budget to compete as a smaller sized SME? The likely answer is no. Having said that, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do SEO. Not all SEO companies are bad. In fact, there are many great SEO companies out there who do honest, legitimate SEO work that can truly help your company grow.

But make no mistake, they will not be your cheapest option because of the high quality work they do. You can do SEO if you have a decent budget and the ability to wait a longer time for sales to come in.

In other words, you should view SEO as a long term investment that will only start to pay off many months down the road, especially if you’re in a competitive industry. And besides, for SEO in competitive industries (i.e. finance, education, retail, health and beauty), there is no guarantee if you can ever reach the top spot (or first page) unless you truly have a big budget.

In a nutshell, is SEO right for your company?

If your company falls under any of these categories, don’t think about doing SEO:

  • startup
  • small business with limited funds who are in the finance/education/retail/health and beauty industry
  • need sales fast
  • need to test your idea

If your company falls in any of the above categories, then SEO will not be the solution for you. And please erase the idea that SEO is free traffic. It is not. It is a heavy investment that will only pay off later.

So if you want to grow your sales fast in a more affordable way, what’s a better alternative?

If you look along the digital marketing spectrum, you have Google Adwords, Facebook and Instagram, LinkedIn (for B2B), Youtube, and etc. The most cost-effective way to grow your company’s sales from our experience, is Facebook marketing.

With click prices as low as $0.05 per click (compared to a few dollars per click on Google), Facebook poses an extremely huge opportunity for SMEs to reach out to their target customers, BUT only if you know how to use it effectively. The screenshot below is a campaign that we did for one of our clients who runs a baking business. We got $0.05 per click (agencies usually get $0.25 – $0.45 per click) on the ad. On the first month, this client got 48 sales from their Facebook marketing campaign alone, with a $1,000 ad spend.

Imagine if they were to use Google Adwords to advertise for their baking class. How much would it cost them to acquire 48 sales? Let’s take a look at Google Keyword Planner’s data.

google clicks for baking

These are some of the keywords for baking classes. The suggested bid column shows the average price you have to pay per click for each of the keywords on Google. Let’s take the average click to be $1.50.

For every 100 clicks, client has to pay $150. The average conversion rate for a landing page is 2.35%. That means, for every 100 clicks, client will get 2.35 customers.

To get 48 customers, there needs to be 2,042 clicks to the landing page. 2,042 clicks X $1.50 = $3,063. Client would have to pay a whopping $3,063 for 48 sales from Google, compared to just $1,000 for 48 sales from Facebook marketing. Obviously Facebook marketing is the more cost effective option.

And that has been the case for most of our clients. They get immense ROI from the Facebook marketing campaigns that we run for them. At Canny Digital, we have been successfully helping SMES generate as much as $2,500,000 in sales from Facebook marketing campaigns.

Want to know how we do it?

I invite you to attend our flagship course that shows you how: www.canny.com.sg/seminar

Think that SEO (search engine optimization) is complicated and don’t know where to start? Then this article is for you. It’ll give you a good overview of what SEO is.

SEO essentially is a service to boost your website up the rankings on keywords that you want to rank for. For example, if you run a dental clinic, you might wanna go for keywords like “dentist singapore, “best dentist in singapore” etc.

How do you know what keywords to go for? You decide based on 2 factors:

  1. Search volume – you want keywords that have high search volume. There’s no point in ranking for keywords with little or no search volume. How do you find the search volume of keywords? There are some good tools out there, but the most basic (it’s enough for most people) and free tool is Google Keyword Planner
  2. Buyer intent – compare the these two keywords: “what do dentists do” and “best dentist in Singapore”. Which do you think have a higher buyer intent? Obviously the keyword “best dentist in Singapore”. People who search for this keyword are more likely to be looking for a good dentist that they can trust with polishing/washing their teeth or for some dental surgery. These people are more likely to buy from the websites that they visit from the first page of Google compared to people searching for “what do dentists do”. These people are more likely researching the profession of dentists, the career prospects, how much they earn etc.

Okay, so that’s a brief explanation of how to choose keywords for your SEO campaign.

SEO basically consists of 2 components:

  1. On page
  2. Off page

On Page SEO

Like what the name suggests, is whatever happens on the web page. This is about how relevant your website is to Google. Google have bots that crawl your website to determine the relevancy of your site.

Google determines the relevancy of your website based on various factors:

  1. Content – the content you put on your website. The title, headings, meta tags (meta title, meta description, meta keywords), bolded words, alt tags for media files (i.e. pictures and videos).
  2. Domain age – how old your domain is. The older your domain, the more trustworthy your site is, and hence more relevant to whatever you have on your site. Google doesn’t really like new websites. Everyday, there’s thousands or even millions of new websites popping up. Many of these websites are just created by solopreneurs, your average Joe etc. Google don’t trust that these sites provide relevant and accurate information for their users
  3. Site load speed – how fast your web page loads (each web page will have different loading times. Because some web pages have more media content than the others, hence causing a longer loading time)
  4. Number of social shares – the more social shares your content garner, obviously the more relevant it is for that keyword term/phrase
  5. Time on site – how much time visitors spend on your website. You can optimize your site for those factors mentioned above. Whereas for this factor – time on site – you got to write exceptionally high quality content so that visitors stay and read. If visitors come and go in a very short time, this is telling Google that your content is not relevant to what users are searching for. Remember, Google’s main purpose is to provide highly relevant search results for it’s users. That’s Google’s strength, and that’s how they dethrone Yahoo. Yahoo doesn’t have complicated algorithms to provide very relevant results to its users, unlike Google.
  6. Number of pages visitors click to on your website – once a visitor lands on one of your articles, does he/she read another article? And another? The more he/she reads, the better it is. That’s why when you read sites like Mashable, in the middle of the content, they will have a related post link that they encourage you to read. Having that link in the middle of the article will make visitors interested and click on it. See the example below

seo example

  • Site structure – is your URL structure SEO friendly?

Is it like www.xavier.com/blog/post1, or is it more like www.xavier.com/blog/how-to-do-seo-singapore-business.

By site structure, it can also mean this. Let’s say your website is a Sports news site. Is your URL structure more like www.sportsnews.com/post=1, www.sportsnews.com/123, or is it more like

  1. www.sportsnews.com/football/manchester-united-just-signed-ronaldo
  2. www.sportsnews.com/rugby/all-black-just-won-the-world-cup
  3. www.sportsnews.com/tennis/rafael-nadal-knocked-out-of-wimbledon-first-roundthe

second URL structure is alot clearer for Google to understand what your website is about. When Google Bot comes and crawl your site, it’ll know that your website is about 3 things: Football, Rugby, Tennis. Knowing that, you’ll have a higher chance of ranking for football, tennis, and rugby related keywords on Google.

Whereas for the first URL structure. It’s messy. And doesn’t really tell Google anything. Many traditional websites have unfriendly URL structure.

So, as you can deduce from the On Page SEO factors that, the higher the quality of your content, the better. The more relevant your content will be, the more shareable your content, the more social shares you’ll get, the more links you’ll get from other websites, the longer people will stay – all these will increase your SEO rankings.

Off Page SEO

The second component of SEO is Off Page SEO. This means what happens outside of your website. So On Page SEO is about how relevant your website is to Google. Off Page SEO is about how much of an authority you are in the eyes of Google.

How to increase authority? Get more links (hyperlinks) from other websites/social media platforms. When one website links to your website, in the eyes of Google, that means that website is casting one vote for you, for that keyword. Take a look at the screenshot below.

linkbuilding example

You see the red link, Paper Bags? Clicking on that link will lead you to, let’s say, paperbag.com.

That means, having an anchor text, in this case, “paper bags”, linking to your website, in the eyes of Google, that means one vote for you as an authority in the field of “Paper Bags”.

That means, if you get 1000 links with the anchor text “paper bags” pointing to your website, there’s a high chance that when I Google “paper bags”, I’ll find you at the top few spot of Google.

So that’s a brief summary of what SEO is about. If you want to read more in depth articles on SEO, you can read these 2 guides:

Read those 2 articles, and you’re more or less ready to do SEO for your website.

 

SEO for SAAS (Software As A Service) is not as easy and straight-forward as you might think. There are unique challenges associated to doing SEO for an SAAS business. Doing SEO for SAAS is totally different from doing SEO for traditional markets like consumer products, traditional software products, and even for B2B businesses. But before we talk about the technical aspects, let’s talk about what’s going on behind the scenes, how to look at the big picture and so on.

Understanding SEO and How to Measure Results

First thing. What we want to achieve with SEO is not rankings. Being ranked first on Google doesn’t mean anything. We want conversions, as many as possible. The way to achieve conversions is described by this equation: Total search volume * Your share * Average conversion rate For example: 10,000 searches per month * 20% share * 3% clickthrough rate = 60 conversions If you have a total of 10,000 searches per month for all your keywords, and you currently have 20% share of the traffic, with an average clickthrough rate of 3% (this means 3% of the traffic that comes to your site will convert into something that makes sense for your business – i.e. phone enquiries, contact form fill ups), you’ll get 60 new conversions every month for your SEO activity.

saas seo

For the searches per month, which in this case is 10,000, you can’t do much about it in the short term. In the long term, you can educate the market, build up the awareness for your sort of thing and hence increase the search volume. But short term wise, we treat this is a fixed number. The 20% share here, is the main number here that we could increase by doing SEO. This is the reason why we do SEO, to increase the percentage share of the traffic that comes to our website from the keyword volume.

As for the conversion rate, if you’re doing SEO correctly, targeting the right keywords (not all keywords with high search volume are good) and the right people, you should be able to have a decent conversion rate. How you increase this part is by optimising your website design and content, saying relevant things, having your main call-to-action buttons prominent on the site, and split testing between different aspects of your website (this is called conversion rate optimisation, which is for another time). And then at the end of the equation, you end up with your conversions. This can be your free trial sign ups, number of purchases for your product, number of phone enquiries etc depending on whatever your businesses is interested in now.

Total Search Volume

How to define search volume?

  • how many people are searching for things relevant to your business?
  • the answer is total search volume (TSV) in your market. This is measured in total number of searches per month for all your keywords. You can use Google’s free keyword tool to find your TSV.
  • your TSV limits the maximum potential for your SEO campaign.

Now here’s the thing about SEO for SAAS businesses. For the SAAS/technology market, the TSV is typically smaller than your total market because:

  1. Most of the people are not searching for your subject. They might be using other offline channels to search for your kind of product/service. Or they might be using other online channels like LinkedIn, Techcrunch etc.
  2. If your business is a new field, there might not be many people searching for keywords that are relevant to your business, and hence, SEO might not be suitable for you.
  3. You might just be a small player in the market. There are the IBMs and Oracles of the world. You might not have much chance of winning the keywords competition

Your Share of Searches

Now we move on to the next part of the equation. Typically, if you’re ranked number one on Google, you can expect about 20-35% of the clicks. If you’re second, you can expect around 10-15% of the click. If you’re third, around 7%. The lower you are, less percentage of the share you’ll get. In most cases, you want to be in the top 3, otherwise, it might not be worth your while to do SEO. To increase your share of the market through Google organic searches, you have to do SEO. There are various factors that affect your SEO rank. Take a look at Moz’s blog for a list of factors that affect your SEO score. Having gone through the elements of the equation, let’s talk about how SEO for SAAS businesses is different from SEO for normal businesses. Below is a table that summarises the differences.

SEO for SAAS
Consumer Products SAAS Products
1-5 Keywords 50-150 Keywords
High search volume

  • cheap laptops: 100,000 searches per month
  • portable speakers: 123,000/month
  • leather bags: 410,000/month
Low search volume

  • Customer A: 112 keywords, TSV: 21,000/month
  • Customer B: 50 keywords, TSV: 7,000/month
  • Customer C: 73 keywords, TSV: 13,000/month
Highly competitive organic results Organic results are not so competitive
High chance of intent to buy Low chance of intent to buy

 

In mainstream consumer product businesses, typically you only have 1-5 keywords for each product. But for an SAAS product, you have between 50-150 keywords. To do SEO for that number of keywords is not practical. That is not to say you can’t, you just have to find the highly converting keywords and do SEO for those. Mainstream consumer products like laptops, portable speakers etc have higher search volume per keyword. However, for an SAAS product, you can have about 100 keywords for each product yet the TSV is only in the tens of thousands range as you can see from the above examples. The upside to doing SEO for SAAS products/services is that the keywords are not as competitive to rank compared to mainstream products/services. But SAAS related keywords have a low chance of intent to buy.

Think about it. People who are searching for cheap laptops, there’s a high chance that they are looking for a laptop with a reasonable price. To summarise the unique challenges of SEO for SAAS businesses:

  1. Many keywords, many niches, complex campaigns. You’ll run out of money soon if you target all the keywords in your SEO campaign.
  2. You need to focus on conversion rate optimization. Targeted traffic is more difficult to come by, and when they come by, you have to make sure they convert into customers. The only way is to test and increase the conversion of your website.
  3. A big plus is that keywords are often not competitive.

 

If you are at the stage where you are thinking about how to hire the right type of search engine optimization [SEO] agency, then you may already be convinced by how important SEO is for your online market positioning. There are various types of SEO agencies. This is perhaps one of the first things you need to understand as a potential SEO client. Even though SEO is only the beginning of your business’s overall online marketing strategy, organic search optimization is not a ‘one size fits all’, by far.

Hence the conundrum of how you go about selecting the right one for you. Organic or ‘natural’ SEO refers to the means you use to obtain a naturally high placement in the organic search engine results pages [SERPs]. Some of these include using keyword analysis, publishing relevant contents, and improving link popularity. It’s also important to understand that just because your search engine is optimized, it may not necessarily attract visitors [do not forget it merely gets your ranking up on the SERPs], and even if you do, the visitors may not necessarily convert [into sales or business leads].

So knowing that, you still want to focus on choosing the right type of SEO agency to begin with. Here’s a list of the common questions people usually ask about SEO agencies and what they do.

1. What analysis do SEO agencies use to determine what keywords to focus on?

They should obviously have some sort of research programme or keyword analysis. This is a crucial element in the process of SEO. If it’s reasonable, you may want them to show you what kind of approach and methodology they adopt.

2. Will the SEO agency be writing your content?

Where the discrete selection of keywords is involved, you have to ask how much influence they have on the writing of your content. It will be good if the SEO agency has people who specialize in SEO copywriting. It’s the art of writing copies that would rank well in SERPs.

3. Will the SEO agency also analyse your competitors?

A good SEO agency should be able to pick out your competitors, and determine what sites in your area are performing well and why. If they can do that, they will know how to target your main competitors online.

4. What is the scope of analysis?

This is a very general question. A good SEO agency will be able to include a wide scope of analysis, including your web design, ease of navigation, coding, content and incoming links. They will be able to provide you with recommendations on improving other areas of your website that either affects your SERPs placement or even the online visitor’s experience on using the website’s interface. Website coding, your content, and the incoming/outgoing links DO have some degree of bearing on where your website place in SERPs.

5. What is their Focus?

Does the SEO firm specializes in working only with your area of business, or is it a generalist agency that works with a heterogeneous client base. Depending on the business area you compete in, how specialized and established the business industry is, you may want to lean towards one over the other. If you work in a well-established industry where there is a high level of similarity between your competitors and you, then you may want to go with a specialist firm that focuses mainly on your industry. Of course, there are exceptions, as always. Your business may be so specialized that you are not able to find an SEO agency that specializes in your area. In that case, you will have to engage a generalist SEO agency.

6. What is their level of service?

One way to think of the vast amount of SEO agencies is to segment by their cost/service level. The two are used interchangeably assuming some sort of correlation between service and cost. Like many things, you tend to get what you pay for, but that does not mean that you need to get the best one. You may want need car, but you are not going to go out and buy a Lamborghini Roadster. If you’re starting a small local business for example, and wish to target mainly the local demographic [at least for now], then there is no need for you to go out and hire the best [and costliest] SEO agency to get the results you want.

An entry level firm however, may provide fewer services, and even choose to automate most of them. This is not an issue if your industry has low competition and it can achieve SEO success. If the SEO process is more challenging however, you can still have the option of upgrading to a higher end SEO agency that can customize the strategy and execution for you as needed. After all, you have a budget to think about.

Once you home in on one or two potential SEO agencies that you want to actually engage, you can start to ask specific questions.

  1. Ask For Their References – Don’t just look at their website, or even their website’s SERPs ranking. Ask them how about previous projects, the approach they take, how they solved problems, and their line of thinking. Get them to show you their client list [if possible]. It’s important that they can do more than just the technical side of SEO, that they also have an intuition for marketing, and understand what it’s like to be a consumer.
  1. Similarly, ask for samples of successful SERPs ranking of their SEO projects for clients, in the major search engines, such as Google, Bing or Yahoo.
  1. How long they have been in the SEO business, and what experience they have in online marketing in Singapore?
  1. How will they be charging you? How many pages will they be optimizing for the price that you/they have quoted?
  1. Will they continue to monitor and maintain your website after the initial phase, if so, how will they do that?
  1. What kind of feedback and report you will receive to measure the success of the SEO project?
  1. Do they have any strategies beyond SEO? Do they offer things like traffic generation, or conversion rate optimization?

Remember again that SEO does not guarantee more visitors [traffic], nor does it guarantee an automatic increase in sales or leads [conversion]. These questions are only a guide on what to ask, and they need not be exhaustive. Feel free to come up with questions for your potential SEO agency in order to help you decide on the correct match.

Identify and Engage Your Potential Match

Signing up with an incompetent SEO agency can do your business considerably more harm than you may expect. If you’re not familiar with SEO and its basics, then identifying the right SEO agency can be a very challenging task indeed. Having a bad SEO agency may not only fail to improve your SERPs standings significantly, it can make your site’s standing go down. There are no doubt conflicts about the advice on choosing your right SEO agency, but asking the above questions can go a long way in eliminating the confusion. A simple recommendation is to rely on networking or word of mouth. Maybe your entrepreneurial partners, your business associates, or friends can help you out with their own past experience with SEO agencies. With information, it should be easy to tell what kind of agency they are.

Challenges aside, SEO is still one of the most important elements of online marketing right now, and in the future. If you understand your own business and industry well, and the different types of SEO agencies out there, you will be much closer to SEO success.

 

Imagine you’re a librarian, but instead of books in a library, you need to have knowledge of books all over the world so that when your patrons ask for it, you can give them the information they need. This system requires a lot of information; knowledge not just of the information stored in every book, but also how the books are related to one another. This is not an easy job.

Search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing are the virtual librarians of the internet. Search engines have an algorithm that churns all that informational noise into useful search results for users like you, and your consumers. A high ranking in your search engine results page [SERPs] means a high visibility. So what’s SEO, and why is it important? “If I cannot find it on the first page of the search result, it does not exist”. We have heard this line more than once. You do not want your website to be lost in the sea of white noise among your peers.

When you own a [business] website, search result matters. The key to high rankings in SERPs is to make sure your website has the right combination of qualities; this is called search engine optimization [SEO]. You can think of it in this way; choosing a great store location in a mall is a crucial for the success of most retail businesses. That is, being easy to find consumers, and staying in the sight of your consumers is critical. It is really no different on the World Wide Web. This article is aimed at small start-up companies that have their main content well below, say, 50 pages, and for those who hope to rank only for a small handful of related terms. The goal here is to provide you with the basics of SEO, and then to provide pointers for some more information.

First Do a Domain Background Check

One tip right at the beginning is to perform a background check on your chosen domain name. If it was previously owned by a spammer domain, then your new website is not going to rank very well. Submit a request through Webmaster Tools to look at the keywords listed for your site and see if there are any unwanted words there.

Decide on Your Domain Name

Your domain name preference matters. For example, do you want a ‘www.mybusinessblog.com’ or do you want to exclude the ‘www’ so that your domain name is ‘mybusinessblog.com’? Many large corporations such as Facebook and Google actually keep the former version which uses a 301 direct. The 301 is a safer choice over the 302 is because a 301 is a permanent redirect and it signals to applications like search engines to actually transfer all those indexing properties from the source to the target. A 302 redirect means that the move is temporary. Search engines need to figure out whether to keep the old page, or replace it with the one found at the new location. If the wrong type of redirect has been set up, search engines may become confused, resulting in a loss of traffic. Fortunately, Google recognizes that many people use 302 when they really mean 301, and they are not bound by any law to take people literally.

Verify ownership in Webmaster Tools

This is not really compulsory, but it’s a useful add-on. Verifying ownership in Webmaster Tools will enable email forwarding. Email forwarding means that you will receive email notifications whenever Google has messages for you. Like when Google thinks you may have been hacked, or when they think your site is hosting malware, or Googlebots are having difficulties web crawling your site for indexing, or when they find a large number of unreachable URLs. So any of those messages will get forwarded to Webmaster Tools, and if you have indeed enabled email forwarding, the messages will be forwarded directly to the inbox that you check every day.

Make a Smart Decision on Your Choice of Words

When it comes to your actual internet ad copy, or the information you have on each page, it is great to include relevant keywords that are natural in your text. For example, companies might refer to themselves as a company that sells athletic footwear, but that is not what people use when they search for ‘athletic footwear’. It is more likely that the natural thing that comes to mind is the phrase ‘running shoes’ or just ‘sport shoes’. These are the keywords that people will actually search for. Of course this means that some knowledge of your target consumers is required. What language is predominant, what are their interests and background, and so on. One way is to use Adword Keyword Tool. Every Page that you have should include a:

  1. Unique topic
  2. Unique title
  3. Unique meta description for the snippet in the search result
  4. Descriptive anchor text for every link on your website.

A unique topic of course helps you in terms of search content saturation, and so does having a unique title. The title is important as it is usually summary of your ad copy and is displayed in search results. The goal of the snippet and the title is to best represent each result and explain how it relates to your potential consumer’s query. This is again not a compulsory, but it is good practice to have descriptive anchor text for every link, whether you are linking internally or externally to another site. For example, instead of a link that says ‘For more information on delivery policy, click here’, a better way is to say ‘For more information, please read our delivery policies’.

Potential Pitfalls in Your SEO

Do not hire rogue or shady SEO companies that ‘guarantees’ rankings. In information economics, there is the saying that if something is too good to be true, then it usually is. Another potential pitfall to avoid is in the participation of link schemes or buying of links to improve your page ranking. Google has algorithms that take these into account, and put more weightage in the SERPs ranking on credible links. As far as crawling and indexing is concerned, a fancy website may look great, but it should not be so fancy that text are ‘unindexable’. Page load time is also another thing you may want to consider, even if you are just starting your business. It is useful to know that Akamai Technologies has done a study that finds that 2 seconds is the consumer ‘acceptability’ threshold for e-commerce sites. In general, the longer your page takes to load, the more likely users can click away.

In Summary

The E-business industry has been growing and maturing for some time now. Growth however can be unpredictable, and this implies that you as an online business, whether a B2C or a B2B business, needs to stay flexible and agile. This is especially so when critical success factors are often hidden in obscurity on the web. As an internet marketing strategy, SEO allows you to consider how search engines work, what people search for, and the actual keywords and search terms entered into search engines so as to give your website as high an online visibility as possible. It’s a process that allows you to stay competitive, while remaining agile to the online market changes. Social media marketing can be another avenue of users coming through, rather than just search, and this can really diversify your approach and allows you to get visitors from multiple sources. Check out the link on Building a Facebook Fan base [link].

 

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