One of our clients’ most common requests is to get their website to the top of Google.
It’s not surprising – Google is vastly more popular than the other search engines and loads of business can come from their website. Unfortunately getting to the top of Google is much harder than it sounds and an entire industry has grown around getting finding ways to get websites a strong rating in the Google results.
Google keeps its rating algorithm a closely guarded secret and they’re constantly changing it so us Internet companies have to guess the best ways to get their sites to appear in the listings. Whats more, once you’re there you have to work just as hard to stay there which means that the cost of getting a good rating can be quite expensive.
The technique of getting good ratings on search engines is called Search Engine Optimisation and can take on many flavours, from making changes to your own website to adding links to your website from other popular websites. There are many ways of getting a good rating for your website but some of them are frowned upon by Google and if you persist in using them, it can lead to your site being banned from their listing entirely. A disaster for you!
Therefore consider a few things if you do decide to get a company to optimise your site:
- Evaluate the costs involved and whether it’s right for your business. If one sale from your website brings in £3000 then spending £200 a month on SEO would be a good investment. On the other hand, investing £20K in SEO might be more difficult to justify.
- Choose your SEO company wisely and ask them what they will do to promote your site, what techniques they will use and what you can expect for your money
- If a company promises to get your site to the top of Google then walk away – no one can make that promise and if they’re willing to lie to you on that then they’ll be willing to do all sorts of questionable things!
- Finally, it’s easier to optimise a site if you’re creating it from new, so consider employing SEO techniques during the development phase of your project.
There are other alternatives to SEO as well such as paying for advertising (again, using Google Adwords or something similar). We can look at that in a later blog post.