How can you best take advantage of the growth of online sales?
Why is search engine optimisation important to your business?
Why not just spend your money on advertising instead?
How can SpiderWriting SEO help?
To understand the answers to these questions you need to look at the way online selling works.
The Rise of the Internet
The internet has revolutionised the way people buy goods and services in a way that would have been unthinkable a few years ago. Conventional retailers are increasingly finding that online buying is a major competitor as people have less and less time to go searching through shops for the goods they want to buy. It is estimated that in December 2005 online sales in the UK were £5 billion - by 2008 the figure was £26.5 billion in the first 6 months of the year! That's 17% of the total retail spend and it's still rising fast
However, businessmen who have come up through the conventional channels of retail or mail order don't always immediately understand the power of the internet as a marketplace or how to best tap into it.
Unlike the High St, where you just need to have a physical presence for people to know that you are there and walk into your store, on the internet you're invisible unless people know your address. If you're in both bricks-and-mortar and internet then you can always use some of the same advertising media to sell both aspects of your business - relying on your existing brand awareness to kickstart the internet side - but if you are only on the net then you need some way to be found. Conventional advertising - newspapers, magazines, TV - is expensive and because it's disconnected from the on-line experience it's unlikely to give much in the way of results as people quickly forget the message and the web address. This is where internet marketing and search engine optimisation come in.
Search Engines and Directories
Search engines index the internet and allow us to find things by typing phrases into a search box. Directories list the sites on the internet by subject. It's a bit like the index pages of a book only an awful lot more complicated! The internet is a very very big place. Lets see just how big with an example.
Searching for something to buy
If someone is online and decides they want to buy something then they will go looking for a website that sells it. Perhaps they already know a brand name in that business sector but brand loyalty is a factor that is receding in importance particularly online, and they are much more likely to want to get a direct listing of possible sites to visit. They are likely to turn to search engines or directories, and because the former are both quicker to use and more exciting, it is the search engines that are usually going to be their first port of call.
So let's say that you've just set up a website selling MP3 players. What's the chances that you'll be found by a potential customer? A quick check tells me that if they are searching in Google using the words "MP3 players" then there are rather a lot of competitors
72,900,000 sites world wide and 18,400,000 in the UK alone (Oct 2009 figures).
Even if we only count those that have "MP3 players" in the title of the documents concerned there are still 5,180,000 in the UK.
Not looking hopeful is it? The chances are that the potential customer will look at the first few sites listed in the search engine and either find what they're looking for or get bored and give up. If they are really persistent they may look at the second page of results. To have a good chance of being noticed you need to be on that first page of search results. So what can we do about it?
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the process of adapting your site to give it the best chance of achieving the highest possible ranking in the most important search engines when a user searches on words or phrases that your pages are relevant for.
SpiderWriting Search Engine Optimisation can help you achieve this in an "ethical" manner that will give you lasting benefits.
In this site we'll explain the background to the subject so you feel comfortable discussing it and can ask the right questions for your business. We'll look at:
- the differences between search engines and directories
- who are the main search engines and how they differ
- who are the main directories
- which search engines are useful in international situations
- ethical seo - how the optimisation process should be handled
- unethical seo techniques (Black Hat) - how to avoid annoying the spiders
and we'll show you how we'll handle your website to get the best possible results.