Does my business need SEO?
In 2018, and for the first time ever, digital ad spending topped $100 billion. Online ad revenue grew 21.8% over the previous year, making it the fastest-growing form of ad media, far outpacing other media forms like radio, tv and print. While digital advertising is clearly leading the pack when it comes to paid ads, the largest segment of web traffic is actually driven by search engines.
With so many consumers using smartphones, computers and tablets to browse for products and services, it is essential to build up a web presence for your business. Whether your business includes an e-commerce model or not, small and mid-sized businesses of all industries benefit from an optimized web presence.
Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, incorporates a range of strategies to increase the amount and quality of your web traffic and provide greater exposure for your brand through organic search engine results. SEO revolves around people: the words they use, the questions they ask and the content they are searching for online. Investing in SEO helps deliver your resources to the target audience that best fits your client base. Don’t leave money on the table by marketing to all consumers at large; instead, connect with consumers looking for you with a smart SEO plan.
The impact of SEO on a growing business
Website traffic increases
When your website is optimized, its traffic will grow. SEO helps increase your web traffic in myriad ways including ensuring that links work properly, images are optimized, keywords are used strategically and headlines are engaging and informative. You can test and monitor all of these aspects and more by using online tools like Ahrefs, Google Search Console and Google Adwords.
Higher visibility for your business
Having a savvy SEO strategy helps your website appear higher up on the search engine results page, or SERP. When your business shows up within the first page of results, you’re more likely to get clicks and visits. In fact, 75% of web users never scroll past the first page of results from their search engine query, demonstrating how vital it is to be on top of your SEO game.
SEO is a great tool for targeting quality leads. By focusing on your client base and using keywords and concepts that they are already looking for, you’ll be able to connect with those already looking to make a purchase in your line of goods or services. SEO makes it easier to get your content in front of the people most likely to become new clients.
IT expert, business leader and motivational speaker Gordon Tredgold is a pioneer in the industry and has helped deliver hundred million dollar projects to business across the globe. He states that “SEO is not an expense but an investment.” SEO works to build web presence organically via search engine results.
By using a thoughtful optimization strategy, you will utilize quality content, well-researched keywords and a navigable website to bring in more customers without spending anything on paid advertisements. Even with the small amount you may pay for services like Ahrefs, Tredgold concedes that the long-term return on investment is much greater than any one-time expenses you may incur to optimize your website.
With a powerful SEO commitment, all of these components work together to lead your business to more clients.
How to optimize your website for search
Hire SEO experts
While you can take a crack at SEO on your own, you also have the option of working with a team of SEO professionals to bring more quality traffic to your website.
Pros of working with SEO experts
SEO work involves a lot of different components, from making sure links are built properly, to monitoring trending keywords, to working out technical issues. Because so many different areas of expertise can be affected, it’s smart to work with a company who specializes in SEO.
When you do your own SEO work, you may limit yourself to your own echo chamber of ideas. Working with a professional SEO team can provide you with the new perspective of a helpful outsider, well-versed in the inner workings of website and search engine optimization. SEO experts can help you get out of your bubble and see the big picture.
Much like professionals in any other industry, SEO experts have the most cutting edge software tools available for their line of work, and when you work with them, your website reaps the benefits. It’s much harder, as an individual or small business owner, to know which tools work best. These digital tools also often carry a huge price tag, so why not utilize a treasure trove that has already been cultivated by the pros?
Cons of working with SEO experts
If you’re looking for a low or no-cost SEO option, then it’s advisable to hire an in-house SEO strategist. Professional SEO experts can charge thousands of dollars per month to ensure that your website is running like a well-oiled machine. Of course, if you have the money to put up, the return on investment is generally worth the cost.
Avoid working with a team of SEO experts if they only offer premade packages or limit their work to organic search results only. The best SEO teams adapt their strategies to fit the needs of each client, and they focus on a range of marketing techniques, including PPC rather than focusing only on nonpaid SEO.
A DIY approach to SEO
On the other hand, you can attempt to overhaul your website’s SEO on your own.
Though you may not have the same level of software and digital tools that professional SEO experts have, you can utilize free tools like Google Search Console to check on your website’s functionality and optimization.
Although SEO experts can provide valuable insight into the world of search engine optimization, you can provide the best insight into your business. You know your customers, and you know your products or services. Therefore, it makes sense that you can devise the most customizable strategy for SEO.
SEO expert teams have often spent years cultivating and building up their collection of industry tools and strategies to bring success to their clients. If you want to utilize the same tools without partnering up with the professionals, you may face exorbitant costs to do so…if you even know where to find these tools.
If you’re a small or mid-size business owner, you probably already have a lot on your plate. Instead of adding yet another role, it may make more sense to let the experts take the reins on this important digital marketing strategy. Professionals have experience in the field and will know more about the ins-and-outs of the industry than you do.
Search Engine Optimization isn’t rocket science. In fact, you can jumpstart your SEO strategy immediately with just a few small changes. Over time, these solutions will help you connect with more website visitors, many of whom will already be a part of your target demographic.
When SEO first emerged as a viable digital concept, marketers and developers pushed the idea of filling the content with as many targeted keywords and phrases as possible. However, in recent years, they have taken note that consumers are looking for quality content that is both engaging and relevant to them. Therefore, it is imperative to maintain up-to-date content on your website that appeals to your audience. And although posting fresh content is important, it’s just as important to continue to update older content as well. While your content should serve a well-defined business role, it needs to be personal if you want to build credibility with your leads.
Building upon the previous component is the effective use of keywords. Keywords can help you connect with those searching for your specific product or service by pushing your website higher on the SERP. However, forcing too many keywords can be off-putting to website visitors. Use keywords in a meaningful way to make the biggest impact.
Your website may be filled with appealing, engaging content, but if your headlines are misleading, confusing or otherwise boring, you may lose out when it comes to website visits and link clicks. Compose brief but informative headlines that are about 50-60 characters total.
Not only should you incorporate internal links to the pages throughout your website, but you should also seek to develop a way to benefit from external links from other related websites. When Google sees that traffic is being sent from other websites to your webpages, the search engine likes you more and rewards you with better SERP placement.
You can make the SEO process even easier by using tools like Ahrefs, Google Search Console, or Google Adwords, all of which help you monitor ways to improve your website optimization and stay competitive with industry rivals. Google Search Console lets you know whether Google is having any issues indexing your website.
The bottom line
Whether you choose to seek professional SEO services or go it alone, the fact remains that a viable SEO strategy is essential for building your brand’s web presence. By incorporating a range of concepts, you can increase both the amount of visitors to your website, as well as the quality of those leads, thus increasing your brand’s visibility and profitability in the process.