Internet Sales Statistics
by Mike Barry CEO
Fort Collins Web Works LLC
When you spend the time and money to create a website you want to make sure your customers will find it. There are many ways to help customers find your website, place ads in the traditional media, place ads online, include your URL on all your sales materials, but the most popular way to bring customers to your website is through online searches .
The most popular search engine is Google, so that is the search engine that we concentrate on. If you optimize your website for Google it will work well with most other search engines too. You want links to your website at or near the top of the list of your customers' search results, but so does everyone else, and Google has to decide whose sites rank highest.
Google wants to remain the most popular search engine, so it ranks websites that serve Google's customers needs best to be highest in the search results. They keep their ranking algorithms secret because they don't want companies to optimize websites for the algorithms. Google explains what they want to see in their "Webmaster Guidelines". Basically, your website should be easy to navigate, load quickly, provide valuable content to your users, and don't try to trick the search engines.
SEO experts differ on how to optimize a website for search engines.
Some experts think the most important way to convince search engines that your website is valuable is to get as more incoming links to your website from more important websites. The best evidence they give is to search for the phrase "click here" in Google. The top ranked website is Adobe Reader's download page which doesn't even include the phrase "click here", but many websites that offer content in Adobe's PDF format also include a link to the Adobe Reader's download page, often with the link text "Click here to download Adobe Reader". These experts will optimize your website by increasing the number and quality of your incoming links.
Other experts think that adding more content and better quality content is the best way to optimize your website for search engines, which sounds more like what Google says is important. Wikipedia is an enormous website that is full of valuable information, and you will often find Wikipedia in the first page of results when you search. Maybe Wikipedia ranks so well because it has so much quality content, and maybe it ranks so well because so many other websites have linked to it. These experts will recommend optimizing your website for search engines by adding more quality content and not worry about building incoming links. They assume that other websites will link to you if you provide the quality content.
There is another group of SEO experts that concentrate on tricking the search engines, sometimes called "black hat techniques". Often they can increase your ranking in the search engines quickly, but you can lose your ranking just as quickly when the search engines find out about their tricks and update their ranking algorithms. Sometimes the search engines even ban sites that they catch using tricks.
We believe the best way to optimize your website for search engines is a combination of adding more quality content to build a solid basis for your search engine ranking, and to build more links from more important websites to improve your search engine ranking as quickly as possible.