Having a website is not enough for it to drive traffic and bring in sales. Having a website is just like having a brick and mortar store. Except, think of an unbranded store, no signs on the windows, no storefront. How will the customers know you’re there? You need to let the customers know there’s a store. The same is true with search engines. This is where SEO comes into play.
How will SEO help your business?
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO for short) will help search engines to find your website. Not only that, but it will tell search engines how important your website is related to the searched query. Daily there are thousands of new websites launched, millions of new pages on new and existing websites created, and pages changed on other websites. Many of these new pages are fighting for the same visitors, offering similar content and targeting the same personas. Having a good SEO strategy, ensures that your website will rank higher in the search results and more people will see it first. This means more visitors, more customers, more conversions.
How does SEO works?
Optimising a website is a lot of work and involves a wide range of skills and tools. But on the essence, what you need to optimise is the image a search engine gets about your website. This means having good, valuable and fresh content, having a good reputation online and treating the visitors right. There are more ways to hurt your search rank position than there are to improve it, so hiring an unexperienced search engine optimiser might be a devastating move, sometimes resulting in long term bans or penalties from search engines.
The difference between SEO and advertisement promotion
When you opt for advertising your business you see results right away. Ads are usually placed on very trafficked websites, lots of people see them. In our days, most of the ads are targeted towards a specific group of people, making the conversion rate higher and costs for promotion lower. But the second you stopped paying for advertisement, the customers faucet closes. The advertisement doesn’t have long term effect, unless you rely on repeating customers.
Instead, SEO is a long term process, depending on the niche and competition, sometimes it might take up to a few months before the first customers start showing up. But from there on, if you don’t do something to hurt your ranking, the customers will keep coming. For a long time. SEO needs constant maintenance, but the overall costs are way lower than the advertisements costs in the long term. Also, a visitor that searches for your product is more likely to buy it, then or in the near future, than a customer that sees it in an advertisement and clicks on it out of curiosity.
What are the costs of SEO?
That varies. That varies from a few dollars a month to a few thousand dollars a month. Why the wide gap? Because there are different niches, with different competitor numbers and importance. You can rank high fairly easy with a website selling “unpaired blue wool socks”, but you’ll have a hard time ranking a website selling “sport socks”. The higher the competition, the more resources it takes and the longer the process of climbing the search results ranks.
What’s the best approach on SEO?
The best approach is to hire an expert. Doing it yourself doesn’t seem to hard, and part of it is not hard at all. But the overall process is a complex one, and search engine are picky. They hate spam and they define spam in their own way. The rules change often and not following the rules might result in long term penalties. Also, the said rules are not written anywhere and it’s more like a guideline. Each expert has he’s own tricks and ways of doing things. As long as he’s not doing anything against the search engines’ recommendations, it’s fine.
Besides that, there are no two sites alike. Each website has it’s best fitted strategy and what’s working for site A might hurt site B. An expert knows when to apply and when to avoid every strategy. Applying tips from the internet might help or might hurt. If you don’t want to jeopardise the online presence of your company, it’s better to hire an SEO expert right from the start.