For small businesses in particular, Google represents the number one source of audience, and, therefore, revenues. Getting good results on search engines without having to pay huge amounts for the traffic is critical for companies to make the most of the digital domain, but there is a lack of understanding on how to make this happen.
Vivek Bhargava, CEO, Communicate2, said, “Brands have to understand why they need SEO, by creating a missed opportunity metric. This allows companies to understand the amount of traffic they would have received if they would have had top five rankings for the top 20 most relevant keywords and the money needed to buy that traffic through paid search instead.”
SEO is now a strategic spend and so once after realizing the importance of the practice, there are a number of steps which can be taken to ensure quality traffic coming to your site.
Bhargava said, “Before planning SEO, there are two things you have to keep in mind. First, it’s now about web presence, not website, so optimisation must be planned for beyond the website. Second, you have to be the most contextually relevant content for that keyword. If you are, then Google will rank you.”
“SEO is about three things, accessibility, content and authority,” he added.
Chetan Asher, CEO, Tonic Media, advises, “Ensure your site code is clean, don’t use too many unwanted scripts. Ensure meta tags are in place and site is not image heavy. Search engines like clean codes, so ensure you follow the best coding standards.” Unless these measures are in place, your site might not be accessible from the maximum number of devices, and might not rate as well with Google as a result.
Regularly updated sites rank higher on Google, and the quality of content will lead to more people linking to you and further raising your ranking. Asher feels that this is the most important element of SEO. He said, “First and foremost, update your site regularly. Keep the content fresh; add a blog to your website and post interesting content. Search engines like updated websites.”
The more links that your website has, the better its rank will be. This is the central dictum of SEO. Forums, directories and blogs are great for generating traffic and for improving the rankings that your site receives. Asher said, “Submit your website to directories, if you have a blog submit the posts on various blog directories and network with other blogs. Get as many sites to link back to your website. More the number of websites linking back to your website the better.”
And how important are these changes to any business?
Bhargava feels that SEO can deliver a competitive advantage and deliver better RoI than any other media investment. He gives a few examples of this. He said, “Communicate2 now provides Strategic SEO consulting to Mahindra.com, Newscorp, Star TV, Channel [v] (seven sites of Newscorp), TCS, DSP Blackrock and others. In many cases we have been able to deliver 500 per cent of incremental traffic within nine months of working together.”