Websites Web Marketing
There are multiple reasons why your website won't appear on the first page of Google, and so there are just as many techniques to get it there, some are free, some cheap, some expensive, some once-off, some on-going, and for this reason, there are entire companies dedicated purely to website marketing. We are not one of these companies, but do offer certain website marketing services...
More on Web Marketing
Most companies that offer SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) are really only offering you what a good web designer should have done in the beginning. Correct implementation of Title tags, meta data, H1 tags, alt attributes, webcrawler-friendly navigation etc are all simple SEO concepts, but also evidence of good web design. If we build a website, we do it properly, and that means that simple SEO is included at no extra cost.
Also known as 'Search Engine Submissions', this entails manually submitting copious amounts of forms to various International, local, and, where possible, industry-specific website directories for the sole purpose of letting them know your site exists and what it's about. The directories that choose to include your site in their listings provide you with two advantages.
- The first and foremost advantage is a valuable one-way link, which in the eyes of Google is seen as a vote of confidence.
- The second advantage is the potential of picking up customers directly from these directories.
This is a once-off service. Many SEO companies will want to make this a monthly service so that you have to pay every month, but, if done correctly, it only needs to happen once, and repeatedly submitting your site to the same directories over and over will result in your site being banned from some of these.
Another thing worth reiterating is that we complete each submission form manually. For the past 15 years or so there has been software available that allows you to input your website's details, hit 'go' and watch it auto-submit the website to hundreds of directories. These programmes may seem like a nice short cut but they fill in forms sloppily - directories often change their search fields and the software is not kept up to date which results in incorrectly filled in fields. This, at best, will get your submission ignored, and at worst, banned. Most decent directories have now also implemented various kinds of anti-bot technology to block these programmes, rendering the software useless.
So if someone approaches you and says they can submit your site to 'hundreds' or 'thousands' of directories, they are likely using one of these programmes and the success rate is slim to none. We don't submit to 'hundreds' or 'thousands' of directories, but the directories that we choose are worth submitting to, and we take time to ensure that we are applying for your website to be listed under the most appropriate category and that all the info is correctly filled in. Additionally, we provide Google and Bing with an xml sitemap so that your pages are indexed quicker.
Advanced Web Marketing
For most companies, the above techniques coupled with a bit of patience is sufficient. If, however, your market sector is very competitive, you may need to do more in order to increase your website's visibility. As mentioned at the top of the page, there are entire companies dedicated to search engine research, optimisation and marketing. We are not one of these companies - our primary focus is on producing a good quality website with a solid foundation.
Here are two services you would consider a dedicated SEO company for:
1. Research and Content Creation
A good dedicated SEO/marketing company will research your market sector to determine the best keywords and phrases for your website to target. These will be phrases that have a high search rate and low competition - meaning lots of people search for a particular phrase, but not many websites are gearing their content around that phrase.The company will then embark on rewriting your content to target said phrase and in some cases, generate new content, sometimes on your own site, and other times on external sites that link through to your site.
They will then monitor the results of their efforts via analytics and make adjustments to their created content according to the data they receive.
We at Coza Web Design are creatives, not analysts which is why we don't offer this service ourselves, but we do understand how it works and can assist you in determining whether a dedicated SEO company is reputable or not. If you don't know where to find one of these companies, you could start your search here: SEO and Marketing Specialists. If you want to contact one of these dedicated SEO companies, I urge you to bring any offers from these companies to us before agreeing to any terms. In this way, we can determine if the company is simply going to try and sell you that which has already been done, or if they have something worthwhile to offer you. Please note that this free analysis is only available to our own clients.
2. Google AdWords
Google AdWords is Google's Advertising System. This basically works in the following way - you set an advertising budget, for example R2000/month, and choose search phrases that you think potential customers might use. Then if someone searches using that phrase, your website listing will appear as an advert above all the normal listings. If someone clicks on the advert, Google deducts a certain amount of money from your budget. The exact cost of each click is dependent on how high the competition is for that phrase, or in other words - how many of your competitors have also chosen that phrase.
Technically an AdWords campaign is not part of SEO because it does not entail optimising your website, but rather optimising the advert. So this is a service that not all SEO companies offer. It is seen as a last resort because ideally you want your website to feature organically on the first page of Google rather than paying copious amounts to be appear as an advert above the legitimate listings, but sometimes it is necessary.Adwords campaigns are not something we offer because as mentioned we are creatives rather than analysts, but we can assist in creating landing pages for your Adwords campaigns. These are specifically designed web pages that specific adverts link to. Usually these pages will feature the same phrase that was used in the advert text and a call to action.
Again, there are entire companies whose sole function is to help you determine the best phrases to target and if you find that you are spending a lot of money on advertising but not getting an adequate return on investment, it will be wise to contact a company dedicated to AdWords services to help you. If you don't know where to find one of these companies, you could start your search here: SEO and Marketing Specialists. If you would like advice on any offers you get from these companies, we would be happy to assist you in determining whether they are likely to be reputable or not. Please note that this free analysis is only available to our own clients.