This is a question I get asked often by clients. Is SEO really worth the time and expense? My answer is nearly always “Yes it most certainly is.” But as with any marketing strategy it also does depend on your business and target market.
If in doubt, the question you need to ask yourself is “Are my prospective clients or customers searching for what I provide via Google search results?” If they are, then you need to pay very close attention to the SEO on your website. Because if you don’t, you will be losing business to your competitors on a daily basis.
Lets take a step back and just go over what SEO is. Search Engine Optimisation, or SEO, is the process of taking all the necessary steps to ensure your website is found and understood by the search engines (Eg. Google, Yahoo, Bing.)
The search engines, known as robots, spiders, crawlers or bots, will crawl your site and “read” the content including but not limited to headings, text and meta descriptions. It will then decide what keywords best describe your content for each page of your website.
According to Internet Live Stats there is over 3 billion searches made per day on Google. With this many users you want to make sure you are taking advantage of this huge market. And if you choose the right keywords to rank your website for, you will be attracting visitors to your website that are ready to purchase what you are offering.
More than 80% of customers now check online reviews prior to making a purchase decision, and this percentage is only going to increase. Do you want them to be able to locate your business, or not? Without SEO in place, people will have a very hard time finding you and will instead find your competitors.
But be aware, there is some things you should not do when trying to optimise your website for better search engine rankings. Do not fall into the trap of getting someone to do your SEO that has sent you a spammy email promising you the world. You need to do your research and if you are going to pay someone to do your SEO, you need to understand exactly what they are doing on your behalf. If you don’t, and they use tactics that are against Google’s best practices, you could end up with a penalty that will prevent you from ever showing up in Google search results.
My advice for anyone wanting to improve their search engine rankings of their website is to first of all, have at least a basic understanding of SEO and how it works. And make sure you are acquiring that knowledge from someone that has a proven track record in the industry. With this understanding, you can then go ahead and optimise your website yourself or pay someone to do it for you. If you are paying someone to do it for you, use the knowledge you have acquired to ask questions on how they will do your SEO, and monitor the progress at least once a month.
SEO is an ongoing process. You can’t just set it and then expect to maintain your rankings.
You must keep working on your optimisation to keep one step ahead of your competitors. Your business definitely needs to have an ongoing SEO strategy in place that works in conjunction with your other online marketing strategies.