The New Zealand economy is often described as being one of the most entrepreneurial and technological savvy nations in the developed world, with approximately 80% of the population or 3,360,000 million active Internet users[i].
The emergence of websites such as Trade Me highlight the enormous reach and the economic potential that can be derived from Internet related businesses. Therefore, it is becoming increasingly important for Kiwi companies to have a good, useable, customer friendly website. However, the problem with just creating a website and putting it on the Internet is that often potential customers cannot find your website, or worse still are directed to a competitor's website while looking for yours. The solution to this problem is known as Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), 'A diverse set of activities to increase the number of desirable visitors to your website via Search Engines'.
Most Internet users looking for goods or services begin their online search via a Search Engine, most notably through the most popular search engine; Google. In order to rank highly, appear on the first page or even top of the search results, a carefully planned and executed SEO campaign must be undertaken.
An SEO campaign can be undertaken internally, by assigning the task to someone already working in the company, by employing someone expressly to do this as a full time job, or by outsourcing to an SEO company. The problem with undertaking the task internally, is that unless you already have an in-house expert, the process can be extremely time consuming and complicated; a rudimentary level of HTML (Hypertext Markup Language, the coding used to build a website) is necessary as well as the crucial knowledge of the do's and don'ts of the industry; one wrong move could detrimentally affect your ranking or even have you de-listed altogether. The other method would be to outsource and employ an SEO company to do the work for you.
The problem with choosing an SEO company to undertake a campaign on your behalf is that there is a huge disparity in both cost and ability, many New Zealand SEO companies are actually web design companies that have seen the demand for SEO and have therefore just 'tagged' the service onto their website, with little or no knowledge of the actual process employed. Richard Conway, managing director of Pure SEO, an Auckland based budget conscious Search Engine Optimisation company says that "Choosing the correct SEO company is crucial, anyone that promises you overnight success or the top position in Google is either lying to you, or trying to deceive you". Richard has worked in SEO in the UK where the industry is very competitive, he says "SEO is in its infancy in New Zealand, therefore it is far easier to get good rankings and a competitive advantage in a far shorter space of time than it would in the UK or America, where the majority of companies have already implemented SEO campaigns."
Obviously in the current economic climate increased profits and reduced costs are of the utmost importance, therefore choosing a budget conscious SEO company is crucial. Costs range from between $60-250 per hour with standard charges being in the region of $100-150 per hour. Pure SEO understand that money is currently tight and have therefore reduced costs and overheads to a bare minimum, without compromising on quality of service. Pure SEO currently charge $60 per hour for their optimisation and offer regular reporting with both quantifiable and statistical data.