Can you See the Value of your SEO?
Posted on January 27, 2015 at 12:05
You’ve probably come across articles that are saying SEO is as dead as yesterday, right? Or despite all the measures you have taken and all the rabbits you have tried to pull out of the bag, you may not be getting any new customers, irrespective of the high traffic and rankings.
When it gets to this point, you are wired to ask yourself if SEO efforts are actually bearing any fruit. And for those who are not SEO experts or subject doyens, understanding or knowing the value search engine optimisation can bring to your business can be hard.
As such, if it the company bigwigs you are trying to sell this to arguing it is indeed a good idea, you could be facing an uphill battle. So, what argument are you left with now that there is always someone new claiming SEO is dead?
Your answer lies in the approach. High search rankings and website traffic may be a big part of the overall SEO experience and success, but this does not mean it is everything.
Most business owners are left kicking themselves when they see their businesses going down when rankings swing, and unluckily, most often the case it is the doing of uncontrollable, external factors. So, given there are many things not within your control, why throw time and funds on SEO? How can you be sure you are benefiting when traffic and rankings are fluctuating so sharply, and sales figures are not corresponding to the traffic and page views you are witnessing?
To put it mildly, search engine optimisation can offer your company new customers, brand awareness, and a marketing strategy that is flexible enough to keep up with the endless changes in algorithm and the industry. However, all of these gains do take time, and this is hard for many business owners to stomach.
What they expect and want is their rankings to shoot up immediately – which you can say is understandable. Forging a strong brand awareness online and keeping up with the evolving search engines, however, is fundamental to the long-term success of the company. It may not be what many want to hear but that kind of thing will take time.
People in the SEO field want the trust of their clientele, and most importantly, for the clients to actually see the benefits they are offering.
A single year could see Google alter parts of its algorithm multiple times. Couple that with over a dozen major updates in the past two years and the launch of Hummingbird in late 2013 which changed the way the biggest search engine conducts searches entirely, and what you are left with is a very volatile marketplace.
What this means is we need to change strategies and tactics too. Because as much as it is hard to hear for some, the SEO models that were the bomb just a few years ago are growing irrelevant by the day. Don’t interpret this to mean the industry is dead though, just a bit different.
So, what’s the point here? You need to keep abreast of all these changes and updates since 75 percent of searchers don’t bother going beyond the first page, and it should not be lost on you that the big search engines are influencing up to 88 percent of business decisions to do with purchasing.
What you need to do in this age of modern SEO is change tact: understand the algorithm fluctuations and adapt your SEO campaign accordingly. Or better still, you need to understand that SEO goes beyond just building rankings. It’s about ensuring you give the people the content they need whenever they perform a search.
In this regard, what this could entail for the SEO expert is to start by auditing the website first, then move on to other things which include:
- Improving ‘crawlability’ and ‘indexability’
- Content production and promotion
- Social media optimisation
- Target persona development and consumer research
- Ongoing website audits
- Making sure the website stays within the established best practices of the search engines
In short, SEO is not about search engines only; it’s not about manipulating or tricking them; all it is is about building better websites.
Build Brand Awareness
Building better websites and catering to customer needs could mean, in the context of SEO:
- Developing a unique selling point
- Promoting useful, relevant content
- Increasing online community interaction
Don’t forget that your brand is an extremely valuable asset, and as you build your reputation online, this is how you will transform those casual visitors into paying customers.
Tailor your SEO strategy to your company’s long-term goals, and you will get value for your time and money. It will take time honestly, and despite the hills and plateaus your rankings are dragged through, your SEO investment will contribute to your long-term success that unswervingly drives traffic and promotes your brand regardless of how many changes there are in algorithms.