SEO can be a mystery for many business owners, especially with so many spam emails saying we can get you to the top of Google search results. You may think it's just another tactic with no real push, making it hard to know how it drives value and how to use it as an effective marketing tool.
In this SEO business guide we will cover:
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It involves using specific onsite and offsite (we are talking about your website as being onsite and then external sites as offsite) actions to increase the quantity and quality of the traffic to your website. With SEO, this traffic comes from search engines rather than other sources like paid ads. It basically boils down to an individual looking something up in Google, seeing information about your website listed in the search results and clicking on it. The trick is getting your webpage listed high enough in the search engine rankings for someone to click on it and this is where the work of SEO is involved.
Did you know that 68% of online experiences begin with a search engine? That means if your business is not coming up in search results, you’re missing out on a lot of potential visitors and business coming your way.
68% of online experiences begin with a search engine
It is also a cost-effective way to market and increase your presence online. Once a piece of content is written and properly optimised, it might be found over and over again. It can also support your product or service pages in being found through an online search. Or help your homepage to get discovered.
So what do you do?
An SEO strategy is part of your long-term marketing strategy. It is something that is ongoing and cumulative. Your goal is to build helpful content that will build awareness and help your future clients or customers at various stages of their buying journey.
What you ultimately want to build is content that turns visitors into leads and this can be done through visitors finding your content online and through those visitors interacting with your content and taking the next step of their buying journey.
One of the real benefits of SEO over paid advertising, for example, is that it’s cumulative. SEO is an ongoing digital marketing strategy but can snowball as more and more of what you create and put online gets found by a variety of searchers.
Another benefit is that as you invest consistently into content, your website gets larger and more authoritative. This means Google sees you as an expert and authority in your area and will rank you in the search engines higher because of that. Just like you want to listen to an expert in health or policy when listening to a radio interview, Google wants to bring its searchers high-quality experts to provide information.
A common misconception about search engine rankings is that people can just pay to be listed first. While businesses can pay for experts in marketing, content and SEO, they can’t pay for that top spot, unless it’s an ad.
You need to have a way for Google to discover your website. This means Google can access and send robots to crawl your website. This part is technical and is likely done by your web developer when your website gets set up. An SEO team can check for this as well as a regular SEO audit (a must for any ongoing improvements, to make sure your website ticks all the boxes).
The next thing you need to have is relevant and high-quality content for the topics that you want to be known for. This means if you’re a veterinarian, you might have content on the most nutritious dog food. Or if you’re a plumber, you might have a list of 5 things not to put down the drain.
You need to have authority and this is done by having other high-quality websites link to you.
The best way to see results from an SEO campaign is to have clear goals or benchmarks that you want to reach. Part of this depends on your business, industry and its current online presence.
Here are some things to consider:
Now that you have an idea of what SEO is and how it’s possible to get more leads and more customers through the door by using it, it’s time to implement. What this looks like will depend on your business's needs and goals and also the time and expertise you have available.
Businesses use SEO all the time but it’s generally not without planning, foresight and strategy. Can you see a way for your business to use SEO to further your business goals? Find more customers? Get more leads?
If you’d like help, we can help assist you in creating your SEO strategy, getting your content and service pages ranking in search engines and bringing in new leads to your business. Contact us to learn more.