No one knows Chinedu sells original Levis Jeans, so when in need to do some online clothes shopping, they will search for “Levis Jeans for sale in Nigeria” or “Levis jeans” or “buy jeans online in Nigeria.” As far as the search engines are concerned, Chinedu and his site do not exist because he hasn’t optimized her site to this level. Users will be directed to the site that have capitalized on the generic search terms (or keywords), and the site that appears in the search results will gain the customers even though, theoretically, the company might be on the other side of the world. Chinedu may well have the most appropriate offering, but if users can’t find him, his site may as well not be there.
There is no doubt that Google is one of the top players, if not the top player in the internet industry worldwide. Google at the moment virtually owns the internet and if anybody is seriously thinking about a successful online business, then they better pay attention to Google. To be more precise every website should have the goal to be #1 on Google with keywords concerning their industry.
Remember the last time someone gave you a URL and you forgot about it? Your probably went on the Google Search Engine and typed what your remembered; Then Voila! Google automatically retrieves what you are looking for in their search results. Now, among all the website visits conducted worldwide, over 90% of it begins with a search engine. As a matter of fact in Nigeria, Google is the favoured search engine with 90% of Nigerians using Google for searching the internet. Google has achieved so much dominance in the web space that it has become synonymous with internet searching and web surfing.
As a web marketing consultant I have met with companies with websites that want exposure on Google. For example a client who sells software solutions comes to me saying, “I want it such that when someone types software solutions in Google, my company should show up in the first page of the search results”. In case you were wondering with a good SEO consultant, that is totally possible, but there is no magic button or instant cure. In order to compete in the search engines, it takes time, persistence and a well-thought out SEO strategy that favours YOUR industry.
While you are looking for instant gratification, Google is more interested in building a long-term relationship with you. I know this goes against the popular stories about overnight success stories of web companies and sites gaining massive popularity when their domain names were only registered three months ago. When you commit to Google, it responds in kind building a strong relationship that lasts.
The average internet user is getting clever and keeps undoing the work of web advertisers. These users have started noticing that the search results at the top of the page and the right hand side are paid links. Paid links means that it was put there because someone is willing to invest in advertising. You would think they would appreciate all the effort and cost it has taken you to reach them? Well you are very wrong. Many people will unconsciously not click through them, preferring the organic search results.
The sites that get clicked are the ones who have invested in long-term SEO and provided valuable content, not sites that spend money on online advertising. Now you know that, don’t you want to appear at the top of those organic search results too? The major questions an SEO analyst can answer for you are:
- What phrases are your customers using to find you
- What phrases should be leading them to you ?
- What can you do to capitalize on this
I will leave you with two more research statistics:
- Thirty-three percent of Internet users perceive a company in the top search engine rankings to be a major brand.
- Research suggests that only 7 percent of Web sites employ any search engine optimization whatsoever.
Get this right and you’re on your way to online fortune.