In the 1972 film Play It Again Sam, the character Allan Felix played by Woody Allen shares the following tidbit of advice with his co-star Diane Keaton:
“80% of being successful in life is showing up.”
Sounds pretty insightful right? But as the world grows more competitive with each passing day, is it really enough just to show up? I mean, what happens if 10,000 other people also decide to show up? Simply making an appearance won’t necessarily tip the scale in your favor anymore . . . you’ve got to figure out a way to stand out from the crowd as well. So how do you do that?
It used to be that businesses advertised in the yellow pages. Well, now that those bulky tomes have been replaced by search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing, the days of knowing exactly where your business falls on a specific ‘page’ have long since vanished. Internet rankings change almost daily, so while you might find your particular business listed on page one Monday morning, by Tuesday afternoon, you’ve slipped down to the tenth slot. That may not sound like anything to get riled up about, but before weighing in, consider the following slightly unsettling statistics:
- 42% of search users click the top-ranking link. Only 8% click the second-ranking link, and after that, the click-through rate (CTR) continues to drop from there.
- 62% of search users click links on the first page only, with a scant 23% even bothering to move on to the 2nd page of listings.
This is where an understanding of Search Engine Optimization becomes vitally important if you hope to not only survive, but thrive, in the often dangerous and unpredictable void of cyberspace
Search engine optimization is what allows the search engines to acknowledge, catalog, and recommend your website. Without an optimized website you’ll struggle endlessly to draw traffic and will subsequently make far fewer sales and paying clicks in the process. Basically, without proper optimization, you’ll languish in website oblivion forever . . . unseen and unknown.
Fortunately, SEO companies have all sorts of various tactics at their disposal to aid in rescuing any struggling website . . . including yours.
- Cross-linking. There are many types of hyperlinking methods that can be cleverly employed to drive audiences to your site, including reciprocal linking, reference linking, signature linking, back linking, deep linking, in line linking . . . you get the gist.
- Meta Tags/Meta Descriptions. This skillful tactic is a bit more covert, happening deep within the HTML code of your website. Tags highlight specific keywords within your sites content while meta descriptions are usually about 50 words or less, serving to reinforce the targeted terms of that same content. So yeah, it all basically comes down to content . . . lots of good, relevant content updated regularly.
- Original Content. Useful, original, well-written content is quickly becoming one of the most valuable tools in SEO for several reasons: (a) Original content, with chosen keywords used naturally and modestly, is given higher value in search results; (b) Websites that regularly update and add good content to their sites will rank higher in search results than old, stale content that has not been revisited or updated by the writer; (c) The more informational, useful, well-written and otherwise valuable content a website has, the more opportunities to receive inbound links from other sites; and (d) The more content a website has, the more opportunity for deep links which are backlinks that link to internal subsections of your website.
Learning the ins and outs of Search Engine Optimization isn’t rocket science. But just like designing, building, and successfully launching a rocket, unless very precise elements aren’t utilized to their exact proportions, your rocket isn’t leaving the ground, let alone achieving orbit. And with well over 1 trillion (yes, trillion) unique web addresses now in existence and counting, cyberspace is getting very, very crowded.
So the question remains: How are you going to keep on top of all that without learning more about what SEO can do for you and your business?