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?
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!