Investing in SEO? Things to Remember
When trying to understand SEO, one of the biggest difficulties is that it’s both practical and theoretical. As a search engine optimizer, it’s my prerogative to come up with strategies and tactics that I know by experience have proven to work. “But how well will SEO work for MY business,” is the question online marketing agencies hear all too often. Because search engine algorithms are constantly changing, it’s difficult to predict exact results, which is why business owners are rightfully skeptical.
The greatest obstacle regarding SEO is the issue of “risk versus reward.” The risk in this case would be the cost of service (whether hiring in-house or an agency,) which for a small business especially could be the difference between profiting or not if the website isn’t optimized and managed correctly. The reward in this case would be an increase in exposure to potential clients who are in or entering the purchasing phase. It’s important for businesses to understand that if they are willing to hold off on immediate return, over time they’ll see their ROI grow. If SEO experts try to convince you that there are alternatives to shortcut this process, a red flag should be raised, because doing SEO well takes time.
While rankings are often a business owner’s first priority, it’s crucial to understand the significance of having a solid online presence as well. Improving rankings is obviously an important goal of SEO, but building a platform for customers to interact with is just as essential. This encourages consumers to engage with your brand, and as a result build brand awareness. You want potential customers to find your site both informative and engaging, which can help drive traffic and conversions. There are many ways of doing this – through A/B Testing, building out content on a blog, or interacting with your customer base via social media with the ultimate goal of driving them back to your site. Another priority is to make sure that your brand is mentioned in other reputable locations around the web, which will again help boost organic traffic to your site. By ensuring that the information you present on your site and the way you interact with potential and current customers is as robust as possible, your brand (and, as a result, your rankings) will continue to grow and improve.
From an online marketing agency/SEO Analyst standpoint, I’ve found – as one might expect – that communication is key. The clients that we work with vary drastically in their knowledge of SEO, and I want all clients to feel as comfortable as possible through the process. By setting up that strong foundation from the beginning (and learning just how proficient they are with SEO,) the more confident everyone is in continuing the relationship over time. For the SEO Analyst, this means making sure all terminology and strategies implemented are clear and straightforward for the client. For the client, this means clearly explaining key business goals – whether that’s Average Cost Per Customer, goals for ROI, or even just the general conversion goals for the site.
- Risk vs. Reward – With SEO, patience is key to get stellar results in the long run.
- Rankings and Online Presence – BOTH are important – so don’t only focus on search engine rankings. Build your brand!
- Communication – All parties involved must have clear goals laid out, why they’re important, and how they want to get there.