Our main job is building websites these days, with a focus on search optimisation. i.e. Ensuring that when people go looking for your business, you’re found on page one of Google, Yahoo or Bing.
With each new client, I normally look at their competition websites, to get an idea what it is going to take to get them up to page one. What I’m finding is both encouraging from my client’s viewpoint, and also somewhat disturbing from an industry perspective. I’d long thought NZ was way behind in our website building skills, but my research has clearly shown how bad we are at building websites that get found online.
In 98% of the websites we investigate, there is ZERO search optimisation done. The website build has been treated purely as a visual, graphic exercise.
Even many sites built by respected suppliers like Zeald, that from a visual perspective look fantastic, there’s been no attempt to make it ‘search friendly’ or to improve their online presence and profile.
Now admittedly in some of these instances, the business client may have ‘opted out’ of having the needed SEO work done, as it is an option and can get costly. ($2000-$5000 extra). However if you’re building any website, where a part of the reason is to attract new clients doing a search, having a site built without SEO work is like buying a new car, but then not having the money to put petrol into it. Why bother? A website should be much more than a ‘branding exercise’ to wow existing clients.
AdWords to the rescue
So, what are these companies doing that have these [often costly] websites that generate little traffic or new business? They’re buying up Google AdWords to get sales leads. It’s the instant way to get on page one. In some markets, this strategy may in fact be cheaper than reworking the original website and optimising it for organic search.
The reason page one listing is important is that it’s only the top 4 or 5 listings that get 99% of the clicks, and resulting sales. To give you an idea of the number of prospects, Google AdWords tools tell us how many people search using particular words each month, in each country. For example, we know that within New Zealand, there’s over 10,000 searches per month around the term WOF or warrant of fitness. Similarly for hairdressers. Dentist searches are closer to 40,000 per month across NZ. Handy if you’re looking for new clients.
The other neat thing with AdWords, is that you don’t even need to have a website built. You could just include your phone number, setup a free website somewhere, a Google places/maps listing, or better still, send them to your Facebook page!
The other big benefit of using AdWords, is that these ads can also appear on thousands of other websites that have signed up to display and get money for showing Google ads (Adsense). Here Google will tend to place them on websites that are relevant to the products you sell.
i.e. If there’s someone writing about BMW cars, and you’re a car dealer selling BMWs, then it’s likely your Google ad will appear on this site, and only within your own country too, even those within a major NZ city or district. It reminds us that Google is also a ‘local’ search engine. Additionally, the ad could also show up on relevant pages of Youtube.com which has truckloads of daily visitors. Those that visit Youtube will have seen a rise in GoogleAds over the last year.
But the problem with Google AdWords, which we are a strong advocate of, is that many people ignore them, filtering out anything that looks like an advertisement. Some even have ad filtering software running in their browsers, that block Google and other ads, even on the Google search page. They only see the organic listings.
This means you really need both Google AdWords as well as a well optimised website which shows up high in the organic search. And you need the site mobile optimised, (like Google and Facebook sites) since more and more people are using their mobile phones these days. Most of those expensive, ‘graphically-inspired’ websites take ages to load on a mobile device and users will click away…
What we’re doing with most clients, is not even attempt to fix or rebuild there existing website to make it both Google and Mobile friendly. It’s often far quicker, easier and 50% cheaper to build them a new search-optimised website or blogsite from scratch on a new domain using the proven ‘Google and mobile friendly’ WordPress platform,
What’s your score?
How good/bad is your existing website from a marketing and search perspective? You can find out in 30 seconds by going to www.websitegrader.com. A score of 80+ is the goal to have any real chance of getting to page one of Google in the long term. Anything under 50 and you essentially don’t exist online.
Give us a call. ph 022 630 1625 or email zn.oc.gnitekramlatigidnull@nivek