It’s a real problem, isn’t it? There is tons of buyers you could get to your website if you could just get to the first page results of a truly relevant keyword phrase, and stay there.
The horror stories run a muck. You know the ones I’m referring to. Stories of large companies that have dominated certain searches for years, and then suddenly you can’t even find them on the 5th page.
Then you find absurd claims in very authoritative magazines and news sources telling you a vast majority of websites have search engines as the primary source of traffic. That couldn’t be more wrong, yet if you do things correctly, you can actually be one of the websites that profits from your search engine optimization.
The fact is, only about 9% of traffic on the web for business originates from search engines. The rest comes for multitudes of other sources. I could not begin to name them all. I would need pages and pages to list them.
I’ll give you an example to help frame this for you. Do a search for any item you are looking for. Look on the first page. Is there any result for a news media website? Foxnews, for instance, gets over 700,000 visitors per day. Do you ever see them in a search result except for something like “who killed Osama Bin Laden?” And how many people do you think search news phrases like this? I assure you, not enough to deliver even half of that 700K per day!
The good news is, you don’t need 700K visitors per day to achieve major profitability, unless you only sell $7 Warrior Special Offers. Then I would say, good luck. If you have a developed funnel, it’s likely you only need 35 to 100 highly targeted visitors a day to be profiting significantly, and you can easily achieve this with search engine optimization, and be future-proof.
3 Things You Can Do to Have Future-Proof SEO
First thing, you must design a smart website. You don’t know how many times I cringe when I do a search and for a significant company, and then find them using one of those flash based websites, or an image base with images so large they simply won’t load in less then 3 minutes.
I realize there are some business owners who think this represents their classy image. But your customers don’t care. Ask them, you’ll see. I will also bet my existence on the planet that if you have one of these sites, it isn’t in the search results, and you don’t profit any from search engines, and very little otherwise.
If you need a website, or a website redesign to leverage search engines, it should be considering things like HTML5 and CSS3. Now these terms have that technical ring to them, but here’s why they are important. First off, everyone on the planet is trying to eliminate the reliance on adobe flash – not just Apple. In fact, the Windows 8 (in the non-desktop mode) does not do flash videos. Yes there is a work around, but it doesn’t do it by design.
This is a reason my company uses WordPress. Though WordPress is not yet by design HTML5 ready, it will be because it easily adjusts through the use of plug ins and regular updates. Right now, you still need to be friendly to flash videos. That is how video is delivered on Youtube and most other places, whether Apple likes it or not (no wonder they still only have 10 to 12% of the market). The bottom line is HTML5 will enable video without flash, a major improvement for your website.
The acronym CSS means cascading style sheet. Again, this is a techie thing, but very much worth you knowing this basic information. CSS allows you to remove the code for the appearance of your webpage and separate it so your page is much faster loading. It also eliminates the need to load this same code on every page in your website. The code is contained in a single file called a style sheet.
CSS3, to be simple, is an improvement in how the code is written, and in the functions it can support. It incorporates HTML5 and eliminates what coders would likely call legacy elements of HTML code. It makes it all smarter, smoother and faster.
These two items above, if used, reduce the size of your typical web page file. They also speed up the load times of the elements and make your site good for your customers.
Optimize Your Content for Customer Experience
Search engines are more and more acting like a human. Their “goal” is to evaluate your pages as much like a human would experience them as possible. They don’t do this perfectly, but as the future keeps coming everyday, Google keeps getting better at doing this.
A key element of not getting trashed by Google, Bing or Yahoo is to keep the content experience on your page totally consumer focused. This means that you business owners that put up a website design because you thought it looked cool, but you never considered what your customers would think… well you don’t stand a chance.
Google has, and always will include things like how easily a visitor can navigate your site, and how easily a visitor can find what they are looking for in their evaluation of who should be at the top of the search results. All these different elements add up to hundreds in numbers, so there really is no single SEO tactic or practice ensuring consistent rank for even the most relevant of results.
This is why a business like you should have a few designated pages that have great content, focused on very specific aspects of your business or service. The language should include the vernacular your customers would use, and not be full or your industry jargon. No consumer is impressed if your web page is full of words they would never use.
The search engines work hard to determine if your page has what your customer would like when they arrive at the page. If they are searching for a certain type blue-ray player, did they find it, and did it have the information a consumer would want and understand (not a bunch of technical jargon only 1% of the viewers even care about).
A key element you can monitor for this is bounce rate. If your viewer arrives, and leaves in just seconds (back to where they came from or to another site), your bounce rate is very high, and you are not giving your customers or viewers what they expect. The search engines can see this, and you will be penalized.
It’s impossible to detail and chart everything the search bots see. However, you don’t need to think about this. Just focus on giving your customers what they want and expect, and make the use of the site simple and as fast as possible.
Finally, a bonus. I can’t exit without mentioning links from other sites, to your site. This is what killed a lot of sites in their so-called search engine optimization. Don’t get me wrong, now and into the future, the links are important.
But focusing on any one kind of link, and too many irrelevant links will get you crushed in the results. Here are some bad practices to avoid:
- Link wheels and pyramids directly to your site
- Getting only “do-follow” backlinks
- Getting outrageous numbers of .edu and .org backlinks
- Getting non-related .edu and .org links
- Getting all your backlinks from very similar sources
- Getting all your backlinks from social sites
There’s certainly other backlink tricks to avoid, but these are major ones that self-professed, SEO know-it-alls, who don’t do this for a living tell people to do in forums and the likes, and then end up getting your site kicked out of the top search engine rankings.
The end game is, you don’t need to be a SEO techno-jargon expert to implement procedures to make your website SEO safe for the future. A good SEO company can and should help you design your site smart, and provide the right content. But remember, no one knows your customer better than you. So your input is critical for success. Getting and staying on the first page results is very, very possible if you and your SEO company work together, and keep the customer in mind.