While traditional offline marketing (print, media, radio etc) channels will remain important to small to medium businesses, the potential economies and low cost of entry available online, as well as the enormous geographic and demographic reach of the web as a marketing channel mean the web is increasingly the best place to focus your marketing budget.

To compete effectively online you need to get traffic to your site, and unless you are household brand name already that means paying attention to search engines and search engine optimisation (SEO).

Why are search engines important to your business?

The main job of search engines such as Google, which currently serves the vast majority (over 94%) of searches in Australia,  is to index and serve up the most relevant results to searches for particular search terms on the World Wide Web.  The search engines determine how high in the results to rank a web page according to a combination of many factors, most important of which are:

Popularity – how many links are there to the web page from other relevant web pages, and particularly how popular those referring web pages are themselves as a measure of relevance/quality; and

Content – how relevant is the site’s content in terms of the keywords contained in the search term, how often the keywords appear in web page title, headers and elsewhere on the page, how frequently the content is updated and so on.

Your web site is there for a reason, to promote your business in the most effective way possible to the most number of potential customers as possible. To get the most number of potential customers to your site you need to ensure that it ranks as highly as possible in searches for your particular keywords.  Web sites placing on the first page of Google tend to get far more traffic than  lower ranking sites.  In fact the vast majority of traffic is referred mainly from just the top few results.  So to make sure your web site is paying its way and doing good for your business, you need to pay attention to SEO.

Making sure your web site is designed with SEO in mind means paying careful attention to site design, keyword selection and building links from other popular / authoritative sites. Google provides some great guidance on how to best optimise your site and make it as search engine and user friendly as possible at Webmaster Tools (https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/ ).

Given the complexity of SEO and web analytics, engaging an SEO specialist is a good idea for many business operators to consider so as to get the best results from your web site, as the professionals can get the best results in the quickest amount of time.  Note though that there is no silver bullet or quick fix to getting top ranking on Google, so be prepared to invest in your site and business with a minimum commitment of 3 – 6 months to start to build real momentum.

Coda Associates can advise on your SEO requirements, audit your existing site for SEO problems and improvements, or refer you to our specialist SEO partners to review your site and suggest n effective SEO campaign for your business.  Contact us today to find out more.