Digit Magazine - 3
The First Page (November 2005)
As a business, it may be time to consider search engine optimisation for your site-if you haven't already. Here's how an online payment gateway, CCAvenue, benefited from it
When Do The Results Show Up?
Currently, for a new site, it takes about two months for search engines such as MSN to show results. Yahoo! shows results in about three to six months. Google takes much longer to rank new Web sites-approximately six to eight months. The time taken for results to show up also depends on the indexing cycles of the search engines.
For the CCAvenue site, eBrandz got results in about two to three months for -related keywords such as "payment gateway " and "merchant account ". eBrandz did not stop at that�they also got results for international keywords such as "payment gateway", "merchant account" and "credit card processing".
eBrandz is still optimising the site: the payment gateway industry is very competitive, and the SEO company needs to keep competing to be one up on their client's competitors.
Rich Dividends
After eBrandz (consistently, month after month) top-ranked CCAvenue on all the major search engines, in a span of two years, CCAvenue managed to sign up more than 4,000 e-merchants�and grabbed 85 per cent of the payment gateway services market share.
They did not spend any money on other forms of advertising nor did they open any offices elsewhere in the country. They didn't suddenly go the conventional way and put their feet on the street to do proactive marketing either. They relied only on SEM for visibility, and it has paid off.
Nayak says, "Without any traditional marketing channels in place or extra visibility efforts, Avenues has grown to become the #1 player in South Asia.
This has largely been possible due to the efforts and commitment put in by the eBrandz team."
Vishwas Patel, in fact, goes so far as to say, "We get about five signups every day, and the sole credit goes to the SEO work that has gone into the site." That's testimony enough that SEO works!
We get about five signups every day, and the sole credit goes to the SEO work that has gone into the site Vishwas Patel, CEO, Avenues
Looking At The Future
The online advertising market was pegged at $4 billion at the end of 2004. This figure is expected to jump to close to $30 billion by the end of 2006. With such figures, we might well ask: can any site at all be optimized to reach the top 10 or 20? If everyone decides to use SEO, who will be on the first page?
First off, the advantage of using SEO lies with small organisations. They are usually quicker on their feet�they can take quick decisions if they understand that by making certain changes, SEO can actually help in bring more business. Large corporate sites and Fortune 500 companies are rather unlikely to change their Web sites to gain the SEO advantage. They have a long decision-making process, and by the time they decide on anything, chances are search algorithms will have changed.
Now, Milind Mody, CEO at eBrandz, explains that if all companies in a domain�say payment gateways�decided to hire SEO companies, the job of ranking in the top 10 would become much more difficult. Only experienced (and knowledgeable!) SEO companies will be able to get their clients on the first page of the results. Like we mentioned earlier, it's a question of raw knowledge superiority. We're headed towards a global game that will reward luck less and less and brains more and more.
One related question we haven't asked yet: if SEO is so effective, why doesn't everybody do it? Mody avers, "SEO is effective. Period! The reason not everyone is doing it is because there isn't too much awareness about it.
"This is a very new industry. And it has not even reached half its potential. Many good SEO companies are working for themselves and not accepting any clients: they know how to get traffic online, so they create their own sites and promote them�then sell the business to offline merchants. "SEO companies are the kings of the online world." That makes sense. If you're talking about business in a world where anyone with a glorified typewriter can get on cyberspace, but where attention spans are limited to a minute or a page, it's all about visibility. And if you can get someone else�or yourself�seen, you're king!
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