Been wondering whether it's worth spending more time on SEO? [ SEO is Search Engine Optimisation, which could otherwise be known as "the important (and zero budget marketing) way of making sure you're ranking where you should be in Google"?]
According to a new 2011 Australia Institute survey, 46% of respondents said the order in which search results appear "always" or "sometimes" influences their purchasing decisions, and only 15% said they look past the first page of results.
The survey questioned 1,084 people in July 2011. It also found:
- 37% did not know search engines displayed paid advertising,
- 34% did not know search rankings would change based on what engine they use and
42% believed that relevance was more important than paid advertising.
So, that should really answer your question. It's still very important - perhaps more than ever - to be on the first page of Google. You need to consider SEO.
Before you panic, you can probably make this happen (if you're not in the world's most competitive space) by doing just a few things consistently:
- Write useful and meaningful web copy, which is great for your audience but great for Google too. Make sure you includes the key words and phrases you think (or know -if you're tracking it) people will use to find you. So if you're a Melbourne graphic designer, make sure you use this phrase all over your website - and not just in copy, but in links, headlines, page titles, et. Google rewards relevance.
- Get other sites to link to you and link to other sites. The first is more important.
- Keep updating content on your site over time - don't set and forget. Google likes freshness.
This is enough to get you started. There are people out there that know a lot - and share a lot - of information about SEO. So once you've got your head around the basics, go out and educate yourself. This is a zero budget marketing tool you can't afford not to be using.
Report Source: "How Market Concentration Threatens Internet Diversity", Australia Institute, 2011
This blog is written by Kimberly Palmer, Brazen Productions