Monday, January 09, 2012

SEOh No....

There's a lot written and said about Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). I know a number of companies who pay substantial monthly fees to raise their position in the search engines (OK, the search engine). But is it money well spent? I think it's arguable.

It seems to me, and it's certainly my experience, that customers arrive on a site after hearing about it from someone else, not from a Google search. It may be word of mouth, a link in an email or article, or a chat on a social network. Recommendation is a powerful driver of traffic.

I think it also depends on the nature of your business. Speakers, for example, charge thousands of pounds for a single speech. It's unlikely that anyone will contract a speaker they've found through a web search. People want recommendations and referrals, or will go to a broker (a speaker bureau).

In addition, a high rank in a search engine can be achieved without employing SEO companies at all. Regular blogging, coupled with frequent use of sites like YouTube and Blogger will all boost your ranking (whether or not you think it's important).

There are some very good SEO companies around, who will explain exactly what they can do, and advise you whether you need it or not. It may be a good investment. But if someone promises they can put you on the front page of Google for any search term you specify, turn around and run away.

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