All businesses get endless emails offering SEO services.
SEO services is Search Engine Optimisation which just means tweaking your website to try to get a higher ranking on Google and other search engines.
At the radio station we get more than a hundred of these emails each month.
But the SEO people have a difficulty in that Google keep changing the rules for how they determine the ranking of a website and hence where it appears in the search engine results. Google do this to try to stop SEO people cheating the system. Google want the best websites to appear top of the list – not the ones that try to cheat the system.
A recent email from an American Online Marketing business says SEO is dead!
But they have a solution to that – you pay for results rather than the work involved.
At first sight, this might sound like a good deal – you only pay if they get your website high up on Google’s rankings.
But the devil is in the detail.
For example, suppose you sell sofas. If you type Buy a sofa in Google you get about 42 million results. To get to the top of that list on Google for the search phrase “buy a sofa” would cost a fortune.
But if you make your search phrase more specific then it gets easier.
Maybe your sofas are handmade and covered with leather. Now if you optimise your website to attract people searching for ‘buy a sofa handmade leather’ then Google only finds 500,000 results and that would still cost a lot to get to the top of that results set but hugely cheaper than the previous one.
And so on – the more detail in the phrases you’re trying to be the top result for – the easier and hence cheaper it becomes.
Ultimately you can find specific phrases where it is practical to get to the top of the list – but the more specific the search query the less people are going to make that search and hence the fewer actual customers you could possibly get from this.
But the point is that although the SEO business could find phrases that get you to the top of the results – you’re unlikely to get much business from it – hence you pay them for nothing.