Searchmetrics CEO Dr Horst Joepen
More and more companies are getting serious about search engine optimisation (SEO), the seemingly dark art of tweaking web pages to generate maximum search engine friendliness and ultimately, maximum traffic.
That's according to Dr Horst Joepen, CEO of enterprise search analytics software specialist, Searchmetrics. Talking to CBR as his Berlin-headquartered firm opened its first UK office, Joepen said more and more companies are realising the importance of SEO, and in turn many are looking to automated tools such as those provided by his firm to speed the process.
"Companies like Lufthansa and Siemens are realising that they may have an impressive HQ and a nice-looking website, but also understand that they need their websites to work much harder for them," said Joepen.
How can I make my website more search engine friendly?
Searchmetrics' technology works using a network of agents that discover which search terms relevant to a particular company are driving the most traffic to it and its competitors on the web. Companies can use this knowledge base to improve their web pages to be more search friendly.
In addition, Searchmetrics analyses every page on a company's web site for its 'search friendliness', analysing over 100 parameters that are likely to affect how well pages rank in Google and other searches.
"Using these two approaches we are able to analyse on-page factors and collate that with off-page factors," said Joepen.
But don't more and more large organisations have a dedicated person or team responsible for SEO-optimising their websites? "This technology can be used by those teams to make their lives easier," is Joepen's response. "SEO agencies thought this was going to be a threat to their business, but now we have 56 agencies in Germany and one in the UK providing their service with the help of Searchmetrics."
"It frees them up to spend more of their time helping companies rather than scripting and providing external data," Joepen said. "So it turns out agencies can win more business with this technology. It's a sign of the SEO industry growing up, of maturing."
As well as opening offices in the US and UK, Searchmetrics recently announced integration between the Searchmetrics Suite and Adobe Omniture Site Catalyst. Searchmetrics' software as a service (SaaS) solution enables clients to record and analyze large amounts of data concerning website rankings, search keywords and evolving competitor groups. By integrating with Omniture organisations can use their web analysis and search analytics solutions together for the first time, the firms claimed.
Joepen claimed the company has around 500 users of the 'lite' version of its Suite and over 200 for the 'enterprise' version. Pricing is based on the number of domains being monitored for a company and the number of keywords or phrases that it wants analysed. The go-to-market strategy is primarily to sell through those agencies, which account for 70 per cent of the firm's business, while it sells direct to the other 30 per cent.
Joepen conceded that while his technology can give companies valuable information on how to make their sites more SEO-friendly, "The bad news is that [SEO] is hard work. We can give companies far more direction, but it's hard to get it done, which is why most companies still rely on agencies to help them do it."
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