Chapter 3: Search Engine Marketing is a Necessity
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) helps users to find out what each page is about and how it might be useful for them personally. One of the most important things about SEO is to make your site easy for man and machine alike to understand.
Why Search Engine Marketing Is Necessary
A Common Argument Against SEO
Search engine marketing is a necessary because your website can be optimised in the best way possible by properly building, formatting and annotating your site so that search engines can easily understand it, therefore making your site visible to search engines. Search engine marketing is a way to increase your visibility in search engine results pages instead of using paid advertising.
There are of course people who raise arguments against SEO because they feel that the system itself should return the most relevant results without restricting sites with certain rules and principles.
Looking at the history of Search Engine Optimisation, you can see that when it started in the 1990s there were manual submission, meta keywords tag and keyword stuffing that were abused in order to rank well.
Around 2004, there was link bombing – buying links for blog comments from spam injectors and inter-linking farms that could be used for traffic. In 2011, the main boost to search engine optimisation was related to social media marketing and vertical search inclusions. Now many of the methods used in the past can actually hurt your SEO.
In conclusion, even though the future is uncertain and there are people that say that SEO is dead or is the equivalent of spam there is definitely still a strong need for it. Websites will continue to fight each other for position in a search engine and those who have the knowledge and experience on how to improve their site will get better traffic and visibility.
At the end of the day it boils down to this. If your chosen keyword phrase lets say is “Designer Kitchens” and you sell designer kitchens and each month 25000 people sit down in front of their computers and type Designer Kitchens into their laptops. You will benefit by being on page 1 in the number 1 position for that phrase because you will get some of that traffic visiting your site and that will lead to an increase in sales.
Search Engines Limitations to Consider
Most search engines fundamentally operate in the same way. Search bots route through links and store metadata on what they find in large databases. They tackle this feat with artificial intelligence. The problem with this is that there are a certain number of limitations that can cause issues. First, there are problems when the bots crawl and index and second, there are problems in matching search queries to content.
As far as indexing and crawling goes, there are five key issues.
- Search engine crawlers are not equipped to deal with the completion of forms, like a login, for example. This presents a problem mainly because any content behind these is hidden.
- Sometimes web sites, specifically those using a content management system, create an exact copy of a page and this is a big issue when search engines are looking for original content.
- There can also be errors in a website crawling directive that completely blocks the search engines altogether.
- If a site has a bad link structure, the search engine crawler can get confused and either not index the entire site or index a small unimportant portion.
- Some content is hard for search engines to analyse. Content like videos, images, and Flash files present problems for the search engines and they largely avoid them.
As far as matching queries to results goes we also see issues.
- Uncommon terms can confuse search engines. For example; writing useful information about ‘food cooling units’ instead of refrigerators can make it hard for search engines to understand the relevance of your site and rank it in searches for refrigerators.
- Language and internationalisation problems can occur, as some people will search for ‘color’ and others will search for ‘colour’, for example.
- Location targeting problems can occur if your site appears to be written for a different local audience than your preferred location.
- Mixed signals can confuse search engines. Consider if your site overall appears to be about farming in Yorkshire but the text on the page is about knitting quilts. This gives you a disadvantage where the search engine is confused and may consider your site or pages less relevant.
However, once a website is created with great content and all these technical problems are out of the way it is all about the metrics. The next thing is to make sure you’re seen, and the more links, shares, and comments your content gets the more you’re able to establish some authority with the search engines.