August 27th 2013
Google is king in today’s digital age, but catching this fickle monarch’s ever-wondering eye is no easy task. We spoke to Michael Dornan, CEO of Hong Kong SEO, the city’s number-one search engine optimisation company according to topseos.hk. In this in-depth Q&A, Michael explains the methods and myths behind achieving that perfect page ranking.
It may seem like a simple question, but there is a lot of confusion in the industry surrounding what exactly SEO companies do and why businesses need them. There is an assumption that SEO companies are essentially there to try and bypass search engine rules and get you to the top of a search page as quickly as possible.
However, this is not the approach that will be taken by a reputable SEO company. They will in fact be working within the guidelines to get your business to the top of search pages on your merits and hard work. Following, understanding and abiding by the rules is actually easier than it sounds, while breaking them could see you punished without fully understanding why.
An SEO company will employ a number of methods in order to enhance your page ranking, the most important of which is keyword research into your industry and competitors. Around 90% of a campaign’s success is built on proper keyword research.
The company should also carry out on-page SEO optimisation, such as changing your content, titles and descriptions, as well as off-page optimisation such as blog outreach, link reinforcement and social content. A good SEO optimisation company should provide a solid plan of marketing activities, as well as in-depth reporting and analytics of results. As you can see, quite a lot of work!
How long will SEO take?
I get this question all the time. There are many factors to consider here, as it really depends on your industry and competition, the quality of your website and how it is setup, and the keywords we choose. Typically, once we have optimised your website and chosen a mixture of high and medium competitive keywords, this will allow us to work and deliver results in 3-6 months.
Some keywords will rank quicker than others, which explains why we do not just pick a list of the most competitive keywords. While we would get results eventually, the benefits would take time to kick in. In short, ranking is important, but only with the right keywords that drive quality and relevant traffic. It’s not just about hits to your site, it’s about you converting those hits into profit.
Does SEO really work?
Yes, the industry would not survive if SEO companies could not deliver results for their clients. SEO is not about tricks and shortcuts, although many SEO companies believe that is the ‘game’. Many clients/companies feel there is some magic behind what an SEO company does, but a good SEO company is not trying to find loopholes in Google or other search engines’ processes and rules.
Doing so will only result in short term success and longer term punishment as the likes of Google will eventually find the loophole and your website will suffer. A good honest SEO company will simply follow the rules in a professional manner but follow them so precisely that they will get the results you need over time; you will not be punished and they will be sustainable.
Why does SEO seem so expensive?
SEO can be cheap, but you will usually find the cheaper the service, the less reliable the results. I must say SEO is not necessarily difficult once you understand the process. It actually makes a lot of sense, but the relatively high cost usually comes from maintaining quality and the time and resources it takes to execute a good SEO strategy.
Will I have to keep paying for SEO after I achieve a good ranking?
Again, this depends on your industry and competitors, but assuming you have competition, SEO should be factored into your marketing and digital strategy for the long term. Unfortunately, the internet is a very competitive place and if you do not maintain your SEO you will find your rankings slip away. If they do not slip away due to your competitors also investing in SEO, they may slip away due to a lack of activity on your site or as Google and other search engines update their algorithms.
Can SEO companies guarantee page 1 ranking?
I recently wrote a blogabout this very issue. As the blog states , “The truth is, no-one can guarantee #1 ranking on Google, and as Google information states, ‘beware of any SEO’s who claim to be able to do so’” If Google – the company who essentially created the SEO industry – is warning us, there must be something to it!