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FAQs :: Why do I need SEO?

People often ask me, but why do I need SEO?

Because the search engines said so. That’s the sad truth of it. Without SEO your site wont rank on the search engines, which means no-one will find you, meaning your site is about as much use as a chocolate tea-pot.

So, what does ranking on the search engines do for you?

Brand Visibility

By just appearing on the SERPs (before anyone actually clicks) people start to see you name associated with the search term they used. If they are early in the buying process this may just be enough to sow the seed. The more terms you rank for, the more frequently your visitors will see your name and the more you are connected to that business area.


Not quite the same thing as above, through optimisation you can appear for selected phrases, tags lines, and of course you brand name You can build pages that reflect a particular campaign message for particular terms.

Increased relevant visitors to your site

Note I use the phrase ‘relevant visitors’. I’ll talk more about the difference between visitors and relevant visitors elsewhere, but the difference is key. With good optimisation you are going to get more of the right people on the website, at the moment that they are looking for information, and at the very moment they are ready to engage.

Exposure to customers at different stages of the buying process

You can optimise for terms that reflect different areas of the buying process. If you sell umbrellas, you may think you only want visitors who search for ‘buy umbrella’ or ‘cheap umbrella’. But what about those people that don’t yet know that it’s an umbrella they need? What about those people searching for ‘how do I keep my hair dry when it’s raining?’. And what about those people that are convinced they want a completely different product, let’s say they are actually looking for a “hooded rain coat” but we present them with our “10 reasons your hooded rain coat is so last year” guide. Actually, we have an opportunity to influence people at all stages, with careful planning and preparation.

Of course, in a real life example we’re going to way up the cost/benefit of writing a whitepaper on hooded raincoats when you sell umbrellas. But you get the idea.

Exposure on a wide range of search terms

Similar to the above, although not the same. As you start to build up authority and content you’ll find a natural progression in the opportunities that open up. We can analyse these to find even more high ROI areas to exploit. We can of course engineer these to move in the right direction for your business goals. With more visibility comes more relevant visitors, with more relevant visitors you’ll gain more authority. With more authority, you’ll get greater exposure and opportunities, and so they positive cycle perpetuates.

A cost effective marketing channel

SEO isn’t justjust effective in the above areas, it’s also a really cost effective marketing. SEO has a great ROI compared to other marketing activities because you’re driving relevant visitors over an extended period of time.

Long term vision

SEO offers a long term strategy to bring in customers and leads, vs most online marketing that is time limited.

So, hopefully you can see the plus side to having a great SEO strategy. The next question I’m almost guaranteed to be asked is “so what do you actually do?”.

You’ll have to wait for the next blog post to find out!

FAQ’s :: So, what is this SEO stuff?

First in my series of ‘most asked questions’ has to be this one. When I tell people i do SEO, it’s quite a common response, “What is SEO?” I have actually been asked this question a lot by friends, family and potential clients alike, and answering it isn’t hard for me, this is what I do all day. But giving an audience appropriate answer, now that’s more tricky.

What is SEO

So, what is SEO?

For people outside of online marketing there are generally two preconcetions of ‘What is SEO?’ They are that it is either:

  1.    Some techie, geeky, mathematically certain process or
  2.    That it is a mystical dark art.

It’s neither.

SEO (search engine optimisation) is part art and part science in its application, but, by definition, it is just improving a website the according to the search engines’ own best practices. And whilst they don’t give us the magic formula (now that would take all the fun out of it) they do tell us enough that we can make educated decisions about how we align our strategy. And we have enough experience under our belts to know instinctively how to approach grey areas, and when to say “no-one could possibly know for sure whats the right way to go about it, let’s test it and be the first to find out”.

So SEO (part art, part science, part testing) , involves striving towards those best practices we mentioned. They include (but are not limited to):

The domain

This is your part. How old is it, who and where is it registered to, are there penalisations applied to it?

The pages on your site

How we create pages in the site, how we label the behind the scenes stuff, what we write on page, who writes it, how we present it, what images we use, how it relates to the rest of the site.

The community you are in

Are you keeping good company? If the only sites that talk about you are black hat (dark mystical types) websites, Google will (probably correctly) assume that represents who you are too. However, if have links from (and to) authoritative and reputable sites you build the case that you too, can be trusted.

There are a whole bunch of other factors too, but these are the basic building blocks of SEO.