Check your market position — do you need SEO ASAP
There’s a joke in the tech community that if you ever needed to hide a dead body, the perfect spot would be page two of Google’s search results.
After all, it’s the one place no one ever looks.
Statistics show an overwhelming majority click on one of the top three sites returned in keyword search.
About 30 per cent go for the number one position, 15 per cent the second ranked site and 10 per cent the third, with those in ninth or 10th position only getting a clickthrough rate of about 2 per cent.
Fewer than 2 per cent chose a link at the bottom of page on and only about 5 per cent venture past that first page.
Ranking high on page one can make an enormous difference to your business. Which is why the field of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is big business.
However, SEO is not a silver bullet, cautions Andrew Doyle, owner of Joondalup’s Doyle Digital. “It’s certainly a massive factor for a lot of businesses, but there are some that don’t get a lot of value out of it, for example your local café or restaurant.”
But for SMEs that have high online search volumes – services or products people commonly look for online, such as dentists, doctors and tradies – the rewards can be enormous.
While most SME owners are aware of the importance of page ranking and SEO, there’s still a lack of understanding about how it works, Doyle says.
“And I think that leaves a lot of SMEs open to paying through their noses for services that they don’t really understand.”
Doyle advises business owners to do some basic research on how SEO works. Be clear on what you will get for your money if you hire an expert to manage SEO.
“Also, it would really help business owners if they knew how many people were searching for them, and their competitors because if you’re in a really low-competition market, you can do some really basic optimisation and get it ranking almost immediately.” High-competition markets can take 12-months or more to begin ranking.
Techniques used to boost page rankings are quite logical, Doyle says. The Google algorithm is designed to provide users with websites that are the most authoritative, popular and relevant to their key search words.
Among the things search engines look at when ranking your site are how much original content you have, how many positive reviews and mentions of your brand name there are online and how many other significant websites link to yours.
For owners keen to know more, Doyle suggests reading the iconic Beginners Guide to SEO.