Last year we wrote a blog on how to rank in Google, which included some easy steps for DIY SEO. Despite the availability of free resources, we find that many people still feel intimidated by SEO, and are either too nervous to do it themselves or don’t want to spend money towards an expert doing it for them.
If you’ve started your own business or have any idea about what it’s like to run a company, you’ll know that every penny counts. From overhead expenses and staff salaries, to taxes and surprise costs, it’s hard to part with hard earned cash and put it towards something like SEO, which can seem abstract.
But thanks to the invention of the internet and the digital boom that followed, the online arena now offers vast sales potential for companies that take advantage of it. This means that your website and its SEO are two pillars on which the success of your business can rise and fall. Doing it right is kind of a big deal - here’s why.
Five Reasons Why a Pro Should Do Your SEO
1 - Brand Visibility
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a complicated-sounding term for a very simple concept. In a nutshell, it is the art of optimising your website so that search engines (like Google) can find it.
This is done by conducting research into what the key search terms in your field are, and then carefully constructing your web copy to include these terms. If this is done properly, Google’s robots are able to index your website for the correct and relevant search terms, which means that users looking for your product or services are able to find your website quickly.
If users search for items, click on your website listing and then spend time on your website, Google sees this as a positive user experience. This meets Google’s mandate, which it rewards with higher rankings on its Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
Decent SEO will help you rank on page one of Google, not to mention shine the spotlight on that expensive website you have, and thus increase your brand visibility. Win.
2 - Brand Credibility
Many users intuitively feel that brands that rank in the top five on page one of the SERPs are more trustworthy; in fact 33% of searches end in a click on page one, and the first five results account for 67.60% of all clicks.
Think about when you are searching online – how often do you scroll to the bottom or click to page two? Probably seldom. This means that if people see your website in the top five listings, they are more likely to trust that you are what they are looking for, click on your website and (hopefully) do business with you.
3 - It’ll Save you Money
SEO that helps you rank organically is like free advertising. Potential and existing customers can find you easily without you having to spend large amounts of precious cash on ad campaigns.
For some reason, South African business owners tend to skimp on their marketing budgets, especially when it comes to web, believing that a product will just speak for itself. Unfortunately this is not the case, as 81% of customers now do product research online before committing on a purchase.
If you have no online presence you may as well not exist as far as the consumer is concerned. SEO has the best ROIs in advertising; it’s like a gift that keeps on giving. Therefore it not only needs a prime spot in your marketing budget, but it should be considered an investment.
If you have great SEO and rank on Google (or Bing...anybody out there...?) you can cut your other ad spend down drastically because people can see you on the highway they use every day – the World Wide Web! Take that to your accountant!
4 - It’s a Skill
While creating SEO-based web copy may seem like a task anyone can do, it’s actually a skill that requires experience and a knack for writing, as well as research and careful planning, in order to be effective.
This is largely due to the fact that Google regularly changes the algorithm it uses to crawl and index websites, which keeps even the most seasoned SEO expert on their toes. Google does this so that no-one can trick the system into ranking unfairly.
One cannot simply write a whole lot of nonsense and pad web content with keywords – Google’s robots will pick this up and see it as a cheat. Your web copy should be engaging for readers as well as feed the ‘bots good SEO. If you hire someone to do your SEO, make sure that they can write for humans and that they have a solid understanding of how to weave relevant keywords into your web copy.
Remember, not all web developers are equal; make sure the person you hire knows what they are doing. We’ve written a blog on the right questions to ask.
5 - Your Competitors are Doing It
Imagine you and your competitor share the same product, only you deliver door-to-door for free and also offer a 30 day money-back guarantee.
In many ways your business has more value-add for the customer. So what? Who is going to know about it unless you have a rocking website that is ranking on page one of Google?
If your competitor is sitting on page one because he spent money on good SEO and you’re sitting on page two because your got your cousin-who-is-also-writing-a-novel to do yours, you are sending tons of customers straight to your competitor. Fail.
So what’s the takeaway? Getting a pro to do your SEO is an investment that will bear fruit long after your website has gone live. Consider using an agency that specialises in SEO or upskilling yourself or your team so that you have an expert in-house.
About the Writer
Kate West is the Training Manager at Shift ONE Digital. Along with her passion for online media and education, she is fascinated by how users interact with the technology around them and why they make the choices they do. She wears many hats at Shift ONE, but focuses on the business’ training offerings. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Science and experience in Digital Marketing, Social Media, IT Training, Public Relations, and Editorial. She loves piña coladas and getting caught in the rain