Search Engine Optimisation on Non-Optimised Sites

Boosting a Non-Optimised Website

Search Engine Optimisation (conceptual image)

Search Engine Optimisation is usually NOT applied to the tens of thousands of websites that are unleashed annually. The other thing they have in common is a desire to successfully draw in visitors and achieve a positive outcome. Be it more readers, increased sales or bookings etc. But without Search Engine Optimisation, their prospects are very, very dim indeed…

Website development/design and SEO services are related but distinctly different aspects of a website’s life cycle. Most designers place most of their emphasis on the form of the site. Their intent is to produce an aesthetically pleasing website that encapsulates the client’s business, brand and services. And which will gain a visitor’s interest long enough to clinch a deal. Very few designers implement SEO as an integral part of the web development project, it’s usually not a part of their brief.

The New Zealand search engine optimisation landscape has undergone some dramatic and painful revamping since early 2012. The full ramifications of that are far from clearly understood by many of the participants in the game.

Almost every incremental step that would once have been used to some advantage has not just been negated. It’s now a possible reason for over-optimisation penalties to be applied…

Effective SEO implementation requires significant additional effort and expenditure. That incremental cost factor explains why many site owners choose not to implement search engine optimisation at the outset. They invariably find it is required later on, as website traffic falls well short of preconceived goals.

Business SEO packages can increase web-based sales and effectively promote services. The outcome is that potential new clients can locate your website in a search online. The very first contact between the service provider and service seeker is often via a major search engine (Google, Bing or Yahoo) or a local business directory listing.

Those in need of products or services prospective search using a specific/relevant keyword search phrase. The websites that appear in the first 1-2 pages of SERPs (search engine results pages) have the best chance of making a connection to the searcher. For any search where your website does not appear in the Top 30 (first three pages) results? You are unlikely to get that searcher onto your site. It’s an unfortunate fact that a mere 10% of searchers will go to or past the 3rd page of search engine results.

Where a reasonable match is not found within a couple of pages, the searcher will often amend their search phrase. Or opt to explore one or other of the so-called “sponsored listings.”  For a site owner trying to get noticed, paid search placement grows ever more expensive. If it is possible to improve your site’s rankings and avoid paying for placement, there is a lot of money to be saved.

What Search Engine Optimisation Does

Search Engine Optimisation is about identifying and then eliminating any facets of the site that could hold the site’s performance back. Aspects such as;

  • Thin content
  • Content duplication and excessive common content
  • Poor navigation
  • Lack of social media elements
  • Slow page load times
  • Incompatibility with mobile-responsive display standards
  • Low-quality links

All these contribute to poor rankings. SEO has previously been described as “part art and part science.” In 2023, it is definitely about E-E-A-T which means Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. High-quality Topic-based helpful content, user experience, and page load speed are key factors!

There are two main aspects to SEO;

1 – Organic:

The first is where we improve your “organic” or natural search results. Achieving higher rankings by optimising and increasing the relevancy of your site to a specific search query. This is done by carefully analysing your site’s “theme” and ensuring that it is easy for the search engines to accurately categorise and index it. This requires the ability to concisely and accurately describe precisely what the site is about, using correct keywords and phrases.

The keywords and phrases are positioned in the strategic on-page and off-page locations where search engines expect to find such descriptive elements. These elements may include meta-tags such as Titles, Headings, Image Alt texts, page & image file names and body text.

Organic search engine rankings are regarded as the ultimate because they are “free” once the initial work is done. Better still, searchers regard these “natural” high rankings more favourably than the sponsored listings type described next.

2 – PPC:

The second aspect of SEO is pay-per-click. This is where your site appears in the “sponsored listing” section of the search engine’s results page. Also, in Adsense advertising panels on many individual websites. This requires you first to develop a list of relevant keywords or phrases. Then, you write advertising copy by way of titles and descriptions to be displayed to a searcher who uses the keywords or phrases you’ve chosen.

If a searcher clicks on your “Sponsored Listings” in order to visit your website? You pay for that click as per the “maximum bid” threshold that you indicated you are prepared to pay. The cost goes from cents for low volume/least popular terms, to multiple dollars $ for very competitive keyword phrases. You will see PPC in action on any search. Usually 2-3 listings at the top of the page above the organic rankings, and additional listings down the right of the page. We also provide Google Adwords campaign management services.

PPC or Organic – Which is Best?

For many businesses, a combination of organic and PPC search engine optimisation works best. This is especially true if you sell a wide variety of items. Under those circumstances, it can be difficult to target all possible permutations of keywords and phrases within pages on the site. However, using Google Adwords or Yahoo Search Marketing, it is possible to target hundreds of keywords and phrases. The usual editorial criteria are that you can only use terms which are relevant to the content on your site.  Listings are validated by the PPC editorial staff prior to allowing them to go live online.

Both organic and PPC options are good at delivering “qualified” traffic to your site. E.g. these are visitors who actively searched for the specific product or service, found a link to your site and clicked on it.

These days there is a great deal of competition amongst millions of websites for rankings on the search engines. If you do not ensure your site is properly optimised for your specific theme, product and service, then it is doomed to mediocrity.

The consequences of NOT optimising your site are;

  • Most people will only find you by accident, or by paid advertising on Google et al
  • You don’t get “qualified” traffic – visitors who want what you sell
  • And you miss out on sales of products and services and your competitors get them!!

However, the “return on investment” for SEO is usually very good indeed!

A properly optimised site will see prompt and measurable increases in search engine traffic. This is usually accompanied by an increase in enquiries and sales. We can provide you with a no-obligation SEO Audit to assess the issues on your site. One of our affordable SEO packages is sure to meet your needs and budget.


Page last updated on Wednesday, October 11, 2023 by the author Ben Kemp