Web 2.0 Expo: Why is SEO Important?

Chris “Silver” Smith of NetConcepts explains why ignoring search engine optimization means that you’re “leaving money on the table”

Search Engine FriendsThis week I’m at O’Reilly’s Web 2.0 Expo in NYC. Today in a workshop called SEO 101, Chris “Silver” Smith, Lead Strategist at NetConcepts discussed the primal question: Why is SEO important?

It really shouldn’t need to be said that SEO is important. If you’ve been listening to what anyone in the industry is saying, now including Smith, you know:

  • SEO is 6 times more effective than a banner ads
  • SEO delivers qualified leads
  • 80% of internet user sessions begin at search engines
  • 55% of online purchases are made on sites found through search engine listings

Smith called Google listings “your personal sales force” and noted that if you’re not doing SEO, you’re “leaving money on the table”. Here is the great chart he gave to show “how to calculate the missed opportunity cost of not ranking well for products and services that you offer”:

How to calculate the missed opportunity of SEO

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Smith called SEO “a moving target”. In the world of search engine optimization, a lot is changing. From personalized results, to image and video results.

Fortunately, says Smith, the tried–and-true tactics still work. Google still loves:

  1. Topically relevant links from important sites
  2. Anchor text
  3. Keyword-rich title tags
  4. Keyword-rich content
  5. Internal hierarchical linking structure

Smith noted that “the whole is greater than the sum of the parts”. In other words, you might not get ranked on every keyword that you put forth. The point is to do the best you can.

“The rightkeywords are: relevant to your business and popular with searchers” Smith noted.

Smith talked about the difference between taking initiative in search engine optimization and not. Using generic two-word keywords that are common in your industry are not likely going to get you on page one in Google, especially if you have many competitors.

Choosing niche keywords that are relevant to your audience is key. “What are they typing into search engines to find your products and services?” Smith told the audience to ask themselves.

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More notes and quotes from the Web 2.0 Expo (and still more to be added so stay tuned):

A (Mostly) Free SEO Toolbox

7 Ways to Get Ranked in Google

Web 2.0 Supply & Demand Metrics

Is Web 2.0 Worth It?

Customer Service is the New Marketing

Why is SEO Important?

7 Reasons Why Search Engines Are Your Friends

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