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Ways In Which The SEO Industry Is Changing

Jan 23, 2008
The world of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is a fast paced market field that is constantly evolving. Put simply SEO is the process of generating increased volume of traffic to a website through 'natural' or organic methods. This differs from SEM (Search Engine Marketing) which relies upon sponsored links and online advertising campaigns to increase visitor numbers.

Fundamentally SEO is about improving website relevance so search engines place it higher in their rankings for specific search terms. This can be done through changing the content of the site so the site's information is more search engine friendly; SEO also uses coding improvements to increase a site's relevance.

The SEO industry however is changing, in the past optimisation has purely focussed upon gaining top search engine rankings. Today the business is shifting so site hits are not the ultimate goal; SEO companies must now provide an all round service that improves a websites usability and hence, improve the conversion rate of hits to sales. That is not to say that achieving rankings is totally useless, a recent report has stated that the top ten positions receive 78percent more traffic than those in positions 11 through to 30.

Conversions are increasingly becoming the marker for success in SEO, although traffic brings more people to your business' website, this does not necessarily relate directly to sales. This why site usability is increasingly becoming a large piece of the SEO puzzle; if a company can improve its visitor to sales conversion rate it means more sales for less work.

The reason usability is becoming increasingly important is due a rethink in SEO strategy. Going back to old fashioned marketing strategies such as customer recommendation is increasingly becoming the norm. If a website provides an efficient and stress free user service, the customer is more likely to recommend or re-use this site and subsequently bring more sales for the company.

Despite the software used by SEO companies to realise success, it is often difficult to gain an exact picture of how SEO is improving business. Companies who utilise SEO often want definitive results for what there investment is getting them, unfortunately it is difficult to predict how successful and SEO campaign will be. This can be seen as a reason behind the increased importance of conversion rates, as hard sales offer direct results.

Balancing search rankings and usability of a site is the Holy Grail of SEO. A recent study has shown that after a month of SEO, those sites on page one of Google will experience a jump in conversion rates of 42percent. This however cannot be achieved unless all the facets of SEO are utilised, picking the right search terms to focus on is also a fundamental part of this.

SEO is not just about buying traffic, the ability to build an online presence is vital. Good SEO companies will not purely improve your site rankings but help create a site full of relevant content that is presented in a format that is easy to use for the consumer. These services are in some ways self fulfilling, as relevant content and incoming links will also serve as traffic generators.

There is no doubt the world of SEO is in a constant state of change, the focus of marketing efforts shifts from time to time but a general formula can be applied - for the moment. Primarily, generating more traffic is a prerequisite to gaining an improved conversion rate. Equally important is providing a service that has the consumer's experience as its principal focus. If these two rules are adhered to, there is no reason that an SEO campaign should fail.
About the Author
Internet marketing expert Thomas Pretty studies how the SEO industry is in a constant state of change. To find out more please visit http://www.highposition.net/
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