Big brands have been utilising Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) for years to generate more targeted traffic to their websites but many small to medium sized business are still in the dark over this modern marketing strategy. Whether you’ve heard of SEO or not it’s likely that you will have some questions about what it actually involves so we’ve put together this essential guide to help you out.
Increased Relevant Traffic
One of the most popular reasons companies invest in SEO is that it can significantly increase the amount of visitors to your website. That’s great but SEO actually goes one further and increases the amount of relevant and targeted visits to your website.
This means users who are actively searching for the product and/or service that you sell. This is pretty revolutionary when you consider that traditional marketing targets a passive audience i.e. it interrupts us when we are watching TV or listening to the radio to try and sell us something that we aren’t actively looking for.
Not A Cost, But An Investment
When it’s done right (and we pride ourselves on doing it right) SEO is not a cost but an investment for your business. Once your rankings improve and climb to page 1 of Google they will be there to stay for some time and that will result in a constant stream of relevant traffic, which you can convert into a steady flow of new customers.
If you have invested in a new website then not implementing an SEO strategy is like setting up a shop in the middle of the desert and wondering where all of your customers are. So consider SEO as an continuation to the investment you have made on your website, not an additional luxury.
Accountability & Clear ROI
What sets SEO apart from traditional marketing strategies is that you can clearly measure and analyse its impact on your business. Tools such as Google Analytics and Google Search Console provide in depth data tracking the source of every visit to your website and what actions each user made once they arrived.
With traditional marketing it’s difficult to measure if it was a success or not, for example gauging whether a newspaper or billboard advert drove more people to your shop involves a lot of guesswork. With SEO there is nowhere to hide, all of the results are there for you to see and there is no doubting what led the traffic to your website.
It’s Cost Effective
Now we get to the important bit. Traditional marketing is very expensive, so much so that often it simply isn’t an option for some small businesses and start-ups. The great thing about SEO is that you can spend as much or as little as your budget allows and still generate results. That’s because you are targeting the right audience, those ready to make a purchase and therefore you can see results much more quickly with a lot less investment. With its long lasting results and measurable impact SEO has to be the most cost effective form of marketing there is.
It Will Make Your Website Better
When you engage in SEO not only will it have the benefits that we have already outlined, it will also make your website better. For SEO to work your entire team will need to be committed to making your website the very best search result within your niche. It’s really that simple but putting that goal into practice is the tricky part. Usability and great content are both vital for any SEO strategy to yield results. Therefore your website will automatically improve as a result of your campaign.
After the initial optimisation of your website to make it relevant for your targeted keywords you will need to naturally earn links for it’s rankings to improve. To achieve this you will need to become a trusted source of information within your niche and that’s where your content strategy comes in. Getting the traffic to your website is only half the battle, once they are there you still need to convert them into customers and so your website needs to be as user friendly as possible otherwise they may leave and click on a competitor whose website is easier to navigate.
It’s The Modern Way
Today’s consumers are very different animals to those of 20 years ago. We use the Internet for everything, shopping, communicating, booking holidays, paying bills… the list goes on. Online shopping and inquiries are gaining an increasingly large piece of the market share and it’s important that your brand doesn’t get left behind.
Modern consumers place a huge amount of trust in Google and if your website is ranking on page 1 then that creates a huge sense of credibility for your brand in the eyes of potential customers. Don’t get me wrong there is still a definite place for traditional marketing but if you want your brand to be successful then you also need to embrace digital marketing strategies.
Outperform Your Competitors
If you’re not investing in SEO you can be sure that your competitors are that doesn’t just mean those in the same town as you. When it comes to online your competitors could be based anywhere in the UK, Europe or even the world and if they are dominating the search engine results for your industry then they are tapping into a huge online market that you are missing out on. SEO not only helps you to keep up with these competitors but when implemented in the right way it can allow you to overtake them and stay ahead in the years to come.