A new website is often perceived as a cash cow for businesses. They launch their new website and expect everyone to love it including Google. When not much happens despair sets in and the reality of the online world and marketing a website becomes very real.
I have seen a lot of business owners, who after 1 or 2 months, with little or no traffic to their website, become very stressed and worried about the direction of their business. The issue is that their expectations of online success, post website design, is often unrealistic. Expectations run high, but the reality is that building a client base and establishing a web presence on Google takes at least 6 months, if not more. The patient entrepreneurs get this and are prepared to wait and invest the time and money necessary. The unrealistic web owners, who demand to be on page 1 of Google in less than 3 months, eventually pay the ultimate price of a web penalty.
Getting a great search engine ranking is not as easy as it looks. There are far too many SEO and website companies online, who would love to take your money and not really do anything for the service. Understanding what’s involved and what SEO is comprised of, will help business owners demystify this clouded and often misunderstood technique.
OK, let's start at the very beginning…
So what are search engine rankings?
When you are looking for a product, service or a term on search engines and I will be specific here when I say Google, they throw up results. On the far right hand side and on the top 3 displayed results on the front page you will see paid adverts or what is commonly referred to as adwords. Underneath these you might find some local listings in the form of maps and below these are the organic listings or search results. This is where you want your website to be and the higher up you are on these results, the more traffic you are going to get and the better off your business will be. Therefore search engine rankings are a vital component to the survival of your business and this is why companies like Hopping Mad Designs exist. To get your website a better position online. Its all very simple. The higher up you are on the page, the better off you will be. Finding the right SEO company is a massive challenge, and this is why you really need to know the difference between ‘white hat’ and ‘black hat’.
Did you know that ‘Black Hat SEO’ is a certain death for your website…
Many SEO companies you find on Google are offering cheap SEO prices with outrageous and outlandish guarantees. Their core business is to lie directly to you just to get your money. They generally have no clue about SEO and have no idea about getting great search engine rankings. Many of these cheap providers practice ‘black hat’ SEO, which will kill your website. This is 100% certain. Black hat is the name we industry insiders give to SEO companies that perform dubious, problematic and fishy SEO. The do this cause they are not getting paid much to begin with and will look at every manageable way to cut corners and make as much money as they can from you. These practices are unethical and once Google indexes their work (that relates to your website), you will be the one that suffers the penalty. There are many horrible SEO practices such as: keyword stuffing, blog comments, directory submissions, the list is endless and continues to be abused. These practices were popular and common years ago, but today they are just ‘spammy’ and illegal according to Google. If you are in doubt of this check what Matt Cutt’s has to say about all this – he is head of Googles quality control and has clearly outlined what is deemed white and black hat.
So think twice if you think that you can get to page 1 of Google by using a cheap company. These guys are not out for your best intentions. They are there to completely rip you off and hide behind a set of very strong terms and conditions. Some of these companies will even harass you at work by telemarketing you from India, promising the world for less than $100 per month. Rule of thumb here
Points to note: Your Site Might Be Seen As Spammy if…
- You quickly get a LOT of inbound links to your website in a short period of time – these links are also coming from non authoritative websites.
- You have duplicate content on various pages of your website – you might have copied these accidentally or unaware of how it got there, but this is of little concern to Google.
- This one is the most common form of black hat is keyword spamming. Let’s say you are trying to rank for your main keyword. Lets say you are a electrician in Sydney and you want to come up on page 1 for ‘electricians Sydney’. If you are a black hatter you will just focus on optimising this 1 keyword phrase. You will back link it from as many websites as you can and over time this will trigger an alert within Google’s very sensitive algorithm. OUTCOME = penalty!
Why ‘White Hat SEO’ is the best for your business.
White Hat SEO, is really the best way to go and is totally search engine compliant. There are no dodgy back links, copied content or over optimised pages. If you are able to find a company that is white hat friendly then stick with them. They will be trying to get you to write original content and look at ways to optimise your website so that it complies with the strict guidelines as set out by Google. White hat SEO is all about making your website and online marketing look as organic as possible. The more natural and organic it is, the better your search engine ranking. It’s not rocket science, but it does involve many man hors and this is where the costs come in.
How to get proper organic online website traffic
If you have launched your website and want to see immediate traffic, you may like to use more traditional forms of marketing like radio, newspapers or magazines. On top of this an Adwords campaign is a good start to get visible on Google. All this is expensive but if you want immediate results then you better have deep pockets. This is all done in conjunction with your SEO campaign, so all this can be simmering away in the background for 3-6 months till your SEO kicks in. Even then be prepared to battle it out as getting to page 1 is half the battle. The other half is staying there and keeping your competition away.
Remember that Patience is the Key To Success.
If you want to take anything away from this blog then the 1 thing is – BE PATIENT!
If your website is important to you then you need to do everything you can to protect it and your good name. Having is banned from Google is a disaster, but if you want to do SEO the right way you can avoid all these hiccups, mishaps and disasters.