October 31, 2010

Understanding Search Engine Positioning

search engine postiioning, man with a magnifying glass
Search engine positioning is essentially designing a better website than those which already are at the top of search results.

It is very difficult for anyone to buy a product or hire a service when they have no knowledge or experience on the use, applications and benefits of this new product or service in which they are interested, and people could easily make the mistake of getting something not useful or not exactly what they need.

Hiring a search engine positioning service is a clear example of this thesis. Each person has a very different idea of what it takes to position a website in search engines. Some think that it is through a fee, others believe they must file certain keywords in search engines and other large group is the idea that it is necessary to insert a series of meta tags on pages of the site, although most people just associate it with "something" that is needed to be done.

All these theories have nothing to do with the procedure that should really be followed to position a website in search engines, because positioning is a complex process that aims to optimize the site to meet the design standards required by the search engines. This process takes place in two stages: design and promotion. The design phase begins with a review of the product and target market, competition analysis and the establishment of a positioning strategy and recommendations on the content of the site, which should be translated into changes in the code. This phase is commonly known as optimization. Once published the new site, starts the promotion phase, first with a validation process of the website in search engines, which can take one to three months, followed by a maturation stage during which the website begins to be visited and referenced by other sites, to finally meet its world ranking after a year.

Search engine positioning is a continuous cyclical activity, since from the results of a first campaign there may be a need to launch a second process of website optimization.

As you can see, it is not simply selecting a series of phrases and integrate them to the website. Positioning is much more than that. Perhaps by a homology with reality show-type programs that have been showing on TV lately, we can more easily understand the difficulty of a website positioning. Imagine you are a singing contest in which 10,000 people are interested in bidding but there are only 30 places available. To participate, it's not enough to have a good voice, but you will have to show everyone that you sing better than the 30 people who already got their passes for the contest.

Positioning means precisely to do a better job than these companies, institutions or organizations whose websites appear at the top of search results. It is not enough to design a good website, you have to produce a better one than those positioned at the top.

There are no shortcuts to achieve good search engine rankings. It can only be achieved through a professional job done by a positioning specialist and that is the reason that the promotion of a website is the most expensive part of an online marketing project.

It has been very difficult for old school entrepreneurs to understand that a website alone is not sufficient to promote a product or service online. Business promotion is done through visits (traffic) and to achieve the desired level of traffic is necessary that the website can be easily found through search engines, either by natural positioning in results pages or through paid advertising like Google AdWords.

Search engine positioning is a complex process, much more complicated and expensive than people imagine, but once achieved, the economic benefits in promotion and brand positioning will make your project become quite lucrative or at least profitable enough for this kind of campaigns.

About the Blog Author: Timpa has the mission of providing all entrepreneurs, whether experiencied or not in online business strategies, with the right information to help them manage their businesses online in the best, most time-effective and cost-effective, smarter way.


Key West SEO said...

I find that most of my SEO customers do not know that there are things that they can do to get their websites to the top of the search engines, I explain it like this" adding seo to your website is like adding a title, table of contents, and chapters to your book so that Google knows what shelf to put it on." Otherwise your book is just going to be laying on the sale table.

Timpa said...

@Key West SEO That's a good analogy, you put it perfectly.