As we explained in a previous entry, it is very important for a company to have a great website to serve as one of the main interfaces between your company and your customers. If you’re not a well-known company, customers will access to your website by two ways: word-of-mouth and search engines (such as Google).  While word-of-mouth depends a lot on you and your product, search engine results, though seemingly complex, are easy to manipulate for specialized companies, and give your company a great boost. Indeed, a study from eMarketer has shown that the click-through rate for Google results for US-based searches decreases drastically the further down you go on a page (see the chart below).

First let’s explain what exactly SEO is. Search engines use an algorithm to “rank” all the websites they reference. Of course, search engines want their users to get relevant websites: if you type “Italian restaurant NYC” on Google, you don’t expect (and don’t want) to see the website of a Thai restaurant in London in the first page of results. Search engine algorithms are based mostly on content. The algorithm will try to use your website content to predict how relevant it is for a keyword on a search. SEO companies know how those algorithms work and can help you achieve high rankings on search engines. However, there are two kinds of SEO companies which operate differently and have different results: our goal here is to help you decide which side to choose.

Most SEO companies will use ‘organic SEO’, which means that they will work on the content of a website to improve the search engine rankings. Usually, algorithms are built so search engines recognize how many times a website has a certain keyword in it, and will rank websites from these results. For instance, we added a lot of ‘digital agency’ in our own website in order to be highly ranked by Google when someone searches for the phrase ‘digital agency.’ Other SEO companies will use what we call ‘artificial SEO’: they will find loopholes in the algorithms and manipulate these loopholes to put a website atop of the rankings. While it’s not illegal, it’s widely considered to be unethical, and also inefficient. ‘Artificial SEO’ will put your website high in the Google rankings, but only for a short while, until the search engine detects and corrects the loophole. Then what will your SEO company do? ‘Artificial SEO’ is also misleading to customers: once they’re directed to your website and don’t find what they’re looking for, they won’t return. The risks aren’t worth the benefits.

 

SEO can be very valuable to your company, but you need to make sure you’re using it right. That’s why you have to trust your SEO company!