Entrepreneurs and business owners have a lot of tasks to juggle, making it important to prioritize. It’s easy to wonder whether there is long-term value in Search Engine Optimization (SEO), or whether the time is better spent on other tasks.
It may seem that product development, customer service, or sales are more vital to the success of your business. While they are key, SEO is also a key investment in your business. It may seem daunting, frustrating, or at times downright impossible, particularly in the short-term, but an SEO strategy will pay off.
You don’t have to be a digital marketing expert to understand the long-term value of SEO to your business. We’re here to help you understand and implement an SEO campaign.
What is SEO?
Simply defined, SEO is a means by which to increase traffic to your website, by increasing its visibility in web searches.
SEO drives more traffic to your site, without paying for advertisements. This is done by increasing the number of times your site shows up in a search for your product or service, and by increasing were on the list your site ranks in those searches.
After all, it makes sense that if your business appears in the first or second spot following a user’s search, that there’s a better chance of the user clicking on that result and clicking through to your site. Once there, that user hopefully becomes a paying customer.
Let’s use an example. Let’s say you own a jewellery business, either a bricks and mortar store, an online store, or you provide both options. When a user types in “quality jewellery,” “buy jewellery online,” or “jewellery (insert the location of your store)” you want to be at the top of the page of results that appears.
So SEO is basically improving the unpaid results of your site being found during an online search. This is also known as organic traffic, as it arrives at your site “naturally,” without the aid of paid advertisements. Organic traffic also includes people following links from other locations, and from social media platforms.
How Can SEO Bring Value To My Business?
At first, it may be frustrating to spend your time on SEO without seeming to get much in return, especially in the early stages.
But there is long-term value in SEO, and in fact, it has become a necessary part of staying competitive in the business environment.
Even for businesses that may not sell a product or service online, like a restaurant, SEO is a key part of “being found” when customers are searching for what they want.
That’s because SEO can provide the following 3 facets of long-term value for your business:
1. SEO can deliver better returns than advertising
It’s true that you can invest in advertising campaigns that can drive traffic to your site. But when measuring the returns on a pay-per-click advertising campaign, for instance, vs. organic traffic, usually the organic traffic is more economical.
Sure, it will take you time and effort, but the cost of an advertising campaign continues for as long as you want to keep appearing in front of users. SEO can become part of your business routine. Your time is worth money, but with SEO, that time is a long-term investment in your business.
2. SEO has better long-term value than advertising
It’s also true that paid advertising can bring you quicker results: purchase ads and they’re seen by users. SEO can take longer to deliver the same results, as you need to work to move up the rankings.
But people don’t always trust ads, so SEO may deliver a different type of potential customer to your site. Perhaps those who arrive will be more open to making a purchase because they found the site via their own “research,” which they trust more than advertising.
As well, instead of continuing to pay for advertising, an SEO strategy can continue to bring increasing returns. Your SEO rankings will build on themselves, and as you move up the search engine rankings, the gains become exponential. You have to continue to work to stay relevant to search engines, but it becomes part of doing business, instead of spending money on ads.
3. SEO drives new revenue
SEO is an indirect factor in the success of your business, as it can create new revenue opportunities. This is done by bringing in new traffic to your website.
It can also build your brand by making your business name more recognizable. Even if customers don’t make a purchase on the first visit, they know about you and may return to find out more, or to make a purchase.
And by spending some time ensuring your website meets their needs once they arrive – which is part of your SEO efforts – you can eventually convert them into paying customers.
What Do I Need To Do To Create Value in SEO?
You can outsource the work of SEO but it is something that you can learn and manage on your own.
To rank higher in searches, your business needs to be relevant to search engines. First and foremost, that means quality content that establishes your business as a leader in your field.
In the example of the jewellery business, that means quality content on your “About”
page, but it can also mean a quality blog that has regular posts that include your keyword.
Here are some examples:
- How to know if you’re buying good quality jewellery
- How to keep your silver jewellery clean
- Do people still buy watches?
- What is the latest trend in jewellery in (insert year)?
These are just a few simple examples, and obviously, your content is dependent on your business. But think about it from the perspective of a customer, as well as a search engine. Content that’s in-depth, content that answers the questions of a user, content that’s helpful….these are all examples of what will rank your page high in results, and bring users to your site.
If you do have a physical store, be sure to include your city, location, and have the same address and phone number on every page where it’s listed, as well as on your social media platforms.
Using your keywords on your website pages, as well as in blog posts, is one important component of SEO.
It’s also important to have links to your site. Generate contacts that allow you to add links from their site to yours, such as a business directory, a tourism site, or other reputable businesses related to yours. In the same way, adding links from your site to other relevant sites will help.
In our example, your jewellery store could align with a local clothing store, creating links to and from each other’s business websites, to the mutual benefit of both businesses.
You also need to be sure your site is mobile-friendly, and the pages load quickly. And, it has to be easy for users to find what they need once they arrive at your site. These are all factors that help your website rank higher in search engines.
Can I Do SEO Myself?
Don’t wait to start on an SEO strategy. Your business can’t wait for you to hire someone to do this work for you. It’s best to start implementing an SEO strategy as soon as you launch your business. Otherwise, start it as soon as possible.
While it’s going to take time, it’s worth your efforts. You’ll be generating free leads, growing a customer base, and creating revenue growth for your business.
The sooner you get started on SEO, the sooner you will achieve results.
You know your business, and you know your industry, so you have the ability to do the SEO for your site!
Running a business is exciting, but there are many aspects to ensuring its success.
SEO can deliver long-term value to your business, but it’s important to remember all the other priorities as well.
You need to be sure you have quality products or services, that your website can handle the traffic that you hope to generate, and that the customer can find what they need when they arrive.
Combine quality products, an excellent website and a top-notch SEO strategy, and you’re sure to be celebrating long-term success.