Website Optimisation – what does it mean?

Now here’s a tricky one!  “What the heck is meant by website ‘optimisation’?”  

How many times have we heard website owners ask that question!  They want to know what they are getting for their money … yet optimisers guard their ‘secrets’ very carefully. 

Again, we won’t go into detail here – there are books and articles readily available on the subject, if you have the desire and the time to find and read them.  That’s just the start of the process!   Many of us could build a house – given the right information and training – but would we bother, or just call in the experts and let them get on with using their knowledge, tools and experience?  Suffice it to say that optimisation is about making your site as friendly as possible to the search engines … but achieving it may not be that simple, so expert help is usually required!

There is quite a lot to optimisation … BUT optimisation may not be necessary for your site.  It will not do any harm to have a site optimised, but perhaps you should ask yourself how much good it will do … and is the expense worth it?  Just one example we’ve come across is an excellent site, looking for new members.  When they came to us about 6 years ago they had already paid 2 different ‘optimisers’ around £1,500 each and yet the number of new members on the site had not improved.

The problem was that their site was in a very competitive new market with an already-established leader receiving great free PR and even though their site had many advantages over the leading site and others, it simply wasn’t being ranked highly enough because it had very few visitors (2 new members a week).  It did not feature on the front page of search-engine results – or in the top 10 pages!  And their competitor site had become all the rage due to the free PR.So, we simply set up a very targeted campaign on Pay-Per-Click and pulled in an average of 80 new members each week to start with.  That grew quite quickly to 1,000 per month … and it grew and grew.   One of our client websites gets up to 7,000 visits per day via pay-per-click but on suspending their advertising for the summer period (it is a seasonal business) visits plummeted to 500-800 per day.  More specialised businesses get much fewer hits via PPC but it makes up a large percentage of their business and can be far more productive than simply having an ‘optimised’ site.  Optimisation can be important, but might not be worth the cost compared to PPC.We will undertake website optimisation for you and we may recommend it in our reports, but unless it is a pretty unique site in a small market you may be better off allocating your money to a Pay-Per-Click (/PPC/index.html) budget and other advertising.  EVERYONE wants their site to appear on the front page of Google under the free search results!  So, if they all ‘optimise’ their sites where will yours appear?  Try some tests using the normal search terms for your products/services and see how many Google results appear.  Please see more information about Pay-Per-Click – it may be more expensive but it might well bring better results.  A reallocated budget to the right advertising medium can pay dividends.  Or, contact us if you would like us to take a look at your site for optimisation.

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