Much is touted by so-called experts from across the blogosphere and the internet at large that there are a number of specific techniques available to get your website noticed by the search goliaths – such as Google, Yahoo-Bing et al.
I’m not aiming to become one of them; the truth is, no one really knows (other than the search engine developers themselves, of course) how websites are ranked, and what key elements make for a high organic listing on search engine results pages (SERPs). They keep their cards close to their chests here, and their algorithms are top secret.
That said, anecdotal evidence from digital marketers using the highly cost effective and rapidly growing channel of search engine optimisation (SEO) on behalf of clients claim that content is the key.
And if your site features engaging and unique, regularly updated content, your site will be crawled more regularly by the search engines, and you will gain a higher Page Rank, and consequently you will receive more traffic (and hopefully more money, if that’s what you’re looking for).
Other methods such as strategic links with other sites (both inbound and outbound), the use of meta tags, simple site navigation, structure and image alt tags are all said to have their places too, and to be honest, tidying up your site with these methods in mind can’t hurt you.
But what if you want a quick fix? Many companies pay for their search listings with pay-per-click (PPC), and this is a quick way to get your site nearer the top of the SERPs, without needing to re-develop it, or wait for your site to climb the rankings naturally.
PPC means that you won’t pay for people simply just seeing your ad (impressions), but only when they show interest and actually click on it and go through to your landing page.
And this method can actually help by reducing your financial exposure – and that’s good, especially if you’re not completely sure of a particular market sector yet, as it also gives you a clearer picture of what people are searching for, and which of the keywords you’ve picked are performing the best.
Some say that PPC listings can actually boost your site’s relevance for key terms, and therefore improve your natural listings. Personally, I’ve not seen evidence of this, and I have my suspicions that this is purely blogosphere hype.
But if you’re looking for a quick way of improving your site’s visibility and need a cost effective method for researching key words that may improve your natural search rankings, I think you could do a lot worse than launching a PPC campaign.