The proliferation of the information superhighway over the past three decades has been nothing short of a revolution. From the early days of noisy dial-up modems, to the appearance of a little company called Google, to the advent of e-commerce and payment gateways, the fourth industrial revolution has taken place in the blink of an eye. Quite unbelievably, it only seems to be speeding up. Which is why every online business needs a competent SEO agency.
Organic Search Engine Results are Still King
In fact, a competent SEO agency may be more important for a business’s online presence and lead generation than social media and paid search engine advertising combined. Generalisations like the latter are exactly that, generalisations, and don’t apply to all businesses or organisations. Reputable research, however, using a sample size of several thousand domains and tens of billions of sessions, found that 53% of all referred (i.e. indirect) traffic to a webpage came from organic search engine results. This is beyond astonishing; it should be scary.
Organic Results Equals Revenue
Why scary? Because it means that if you aren’t ranking well for the keywords or key phrases most suited to your business, you could be losing out on a truly significant number of customers. And here, of course, customers equal revenue. The conclusion one can draw is plain to see: investing in search engine optimisation by means of an experienced and knowledgeable SEO agency makes business sense. Indeed, it may be just as fundamental to the success of an online business as all other forms of online advertising taken together.
To get a bit deeper into the topic, it may be useful to take a brief moment to revise what a search engine is, and what it does.
How a Search Engine Thinks
There are an estimated 1.9 billion websites out there. The number of pages for each website varies from just a few to thousands, making the amount of information accessible via the Internet simply gargantuan. The job of a search engine (SE) is to access every webpage available, analyse its information, assess its quality, and then index it in a giant database. When a user then types in a keyword or key phrase, the SE refers to its database and returns a selection of pages that it “thinks” will be most useful to the user.
One way to imagine it is that an SE like Google sends outs “bots” or “spiders” that “crawl” the web. When the bots land on a page, they send information back to the database which then indexes the page. Once done, the bot will use the hyperlinks on the page to “crawl” to more pages, and then repeat the process.
How Google (and all SEs, for that matter) assess the quality and relevance of a page for a certain keyword or phrase is a tightly guarded secret. Technically versed SEO agencies and professionals, however, do have useful and accurate insight into the algorithms that an SE like Google uses. Of course, Google keeps agencies on their toes by periodically tweaking their algorithms or implementing substantial updates.
Where an SEO Agency Comes In
Despite these occasional curveballs, all SEs have the same goal – to get their users the best information they possibly can; or perhaps more specifically, to get their users exactly what they’re looking for. This makes perfect sense: the better an SE is at getting a user the correct information, the more the user will return to the search engine. SEO professionals and service providers understand this principle well and know that their job is letting a search engine like Google know what a webpage is all about.
What Search Engine Optimisation Can and Can’t Do
An SEO agency will, therefore, be implementing best practices to ensure that Google understands what information the page contains, what keywords/phrases a user would use when looking for it, and that the page is of a high quality and would be useful to the user.
This last part is the trickiest, and SEO agencies have the least control over it. With that said, just because they have the least control over this last criterion, it certainly doesn’t mean that measures can’t be taken to give a page the best possible chances at success.
The takeaway from the above paragraph is this: SEO agencies cannot guarantee success. What they can do, is use the techniques and technical details that they have garnered over years of experience to place a client’s website in the most favourable position, all things considered.
This may sound like a conservative promise, and it is. SEO agencies that promise the world may be running schemes that directly contradict Google guidelines, putting their clients’ sites at risk for penalties – some, of which, could be severe.
Get in touch with iLEAD et al
To ensure that your search engine optimisation is in the right hands and on the right track, get in touch with an experienced SEO provider like iLEAD et al. We’re always keen to help South African businesses expand their online presence – the best way possible.