*ring-ring* It’s an SEO offer! If you’ve ever registered a website domain, you’ll probably find all sorts of people calling or emailing to offer you SEO. It seems there is a huge variety of people, outside and inside Australia, who want to offer you SEO services, at all manner of prices. But what exactly is SEO, and should you get just anyone to do it? Is it really worth it? Prepare to jump into the very confusing world of how websites work.
When you do a search on Google, or Yahoo, or (if you really want to) Bing, what you’re searching is not ‘the internet’ per se, but actually an index of it. To make this index Google have robots or ‘crawlers’, virtual-workers, spread out across the internet to read websites. Since they’re not real people, they have to guess whether the website they’re reading is relevant for people looking for similar information. The way they do this is with ‘algorithms’, essentially formulas to weigh up whats on the website its reading. SEO stands for ‘Search Engine Optimisation’ and its the art of making your website more relevant to these algorithms, to boost your ranking on a search engine.
Old-fashioned SEO did this through ‘keyword optimisation’. For example, The Preferred Nerd might target ‘Murray Bridge Computer Repairs’ as keywords. If someone we’re to search for those words, and I have them across my site, it will boost my ranking for those words in particular.
So, do you really want to boost your ranking on Google? Here are some fast facts:
- About 90% of people don’t look at the 2nd page of Google.
- From those left over, 30% click on the first result
- 60% of B2B customers online look at reviews before approaching a business
- Each new online review results in just under 20 views a month added per website
- Google algorithms constantly change and become more complex, trying to get closer to what ‘users want to see’
- Bad SEO can negatively impact your website
Should I get SEO?
So what does all of that mean for you, the small business owner or website operator. Well, to put it bluntly: SEO on its own is not a great investment of your money. Why not?
- Firstly, you often will be competing with people who can spend more money than you to get #1 spot. If you slip from that spot, that’s a huge loss of potential. Also, if you pay the wrong person or do it on the cheap, it can negatively impact your website traffic.
- Good SEO naturally comes from good website practices. If you make your website more relevant to people looking for you, that will boost your rankings. Run a blog, start a gallery. More content, and good content, will boost your ranking.
- A strong brand awareness will always trump keyword optimisation. Again, using my business as an example, there aren’t too many people called The Preferred Nerd. Getting people to search for my name instead of a generic term will greatly boost my ranking AND cut out my competitors. One company, as an example, found that of the $3000/month they spent on SEO, their best performing words were their company name, and a handful of misspellings of it.
- A larger, positive, online footprint, will have nearly as good results. Get good reviews online and in as many places as you can. Encourage your clients to leave reviews on Facebook, Yelp, and other places your clients look.
Does that mean you shouldn’t get SEO? No. You probably should. However, I’d strongly recommend you contact a PR or marketing company first, and have them work SEO into your marketing plan. SEO is part of a package of strengthening your online image. If you have a marketing plan already in place, make sure your SEO implementer understands it and can work with it.
As always, if you’re not sure about doing this yourself, give me a call. If you’re looking for a marketing company in the Murray Bridge region, give Commshake a shot.