Small business marketing is often a case of having to pick and choose which strategies to implement and campaigns to operate within a tight budget and without a great deal of resource. Yet the real investment to be made in online marketing and business development is often a technical one – and that is, SEO (or Search Engine Optimisation to refer to it by its full name).
SEO can make or break a website, but what is it, how does it work, who ‘does’ it and how can you manage it? Read on for the full lowdown and to answer the most common questions that we get asked …
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What is Search Engine Optimisation?
Search Engine Optimisation is the intensification of a website’s content for it to become as noticeable as possible to the automated algorithms of search engines – preferably boosting its profile to the top of search engine results pages (or SERPs, for short). With search engines bringing up hundreds of thousands of results for most words and phrases searched, identifying relevant information for users is key.
SEO is a marketing practice in its own right and should absolutely form part of any company’s digital marketing strategy.
Why is SEO SO Important?
The world ‘google’ is as much a verb now as it is a name, and society is increasingly dependent on the search engines they can access through their smartphones and other tech devices to find information quickly and efficiently.
Businesses should view search engines as a marketing channel. Any person looking for a product, service or industry relevant to them should be able to easily access information on their brand; so that they can gain awareness of the brand and its products/services, and ideally, eventually, make a purchase.
SEO is important for businesses because as society moves more and more online, so do their buying habits. There are very few industries not yet with any online presence at all; and for those that do have some, businesses without any SEO will find that their brand is ranked below the search engine results displaying information on their competitors.
SEO is imperative amongst small business marketing as it is something that can deliver an inordinate amount of results for a relatively small outlay of finance and resource.
How Does SEO Work?
SEO works by tapping into the automated programming within search engines that determines where to rank what in terms of the results individuals using the search see. This is achieved by ensuring that the algorithm recognises a website as relevant, appropriate, genuine and an expert in a specific niche. It should be able to judge the who, what, where, when, how and why about a brand… just from a millisecond automated scan of the content on its website!
Put simply: search engines are library catalogues. The programs that manage them are the librarians.
The exact ways SEO works change all the time as algorithms and programming develop and grow. The technology involved in search engine operation is always improving and so SEO is never just a job to be done once and never again – businesses serious about it should aim to continuously advance and enhance their efforts toward it.
What Benefit Does Good SEO Give a Business Over Poor SEO?
Good SEO increases a brand’s visibility in search rankings, so when done better than a competitor, gives competitive advantage.
Being top of the search rankings for a relevant search to your business isn’t just important – it’s damn near imperative!
Think of your own search engine behaviours. Do you scroll through pages and pages of results to find the info you want or do you just click through to the first few? Your business needs to be where people will see it, otherwise it will lose out to those who are.
What do SEO Services Include?
Some marketers have training in SEO and can implement it and optimise a website and its content, however this training needs to be taken in a continuous cycle and the content updated with it. If you are going to invest in SEO services, we highly recommend working with an SEO expert.
SEO experts are consultants who stay up to date with the near daily changes and are able to use this knowledge to implement SEO into a site on an ongoing basis, for best results.
Being an SEO specialist is a full-time job. SEO consultants have to ensure every part of a website fits with the current search engine algorithms. That includes, but is by no means limited to: ensuring all written content is optimised, ensuring the website page layouts are optimised and work across different devices, building backlinks (OutreachMama has released a very comprehensive 2020 Link Building Strategy guide, make sure to check it out) to and from other websites to build authority, ensuring every page on a website is tagged and categorised correctly, ensuring every image on a website is tagged and categories correctly, and ensuring that all the ‘backend’ data of a website is optimised.
How Long Does SEO Implementation Take?
The development of good SEO isn’t just a job that can be done once and then not re-visited. The nature of the internet and search engine technology is that it changes all of the time, so it needs to be a continual focus for businesses who want to remain at the top of their game online (and at the top of the search engines!).
It’s impossible to say how long an initial review and ‘go over’ of a brand’s website would take, as it depends on two factors: how bad the website’s SEO currently is, and how much content is on the site. However, an SEO specialist will be able to advise on the initial work required and then recommend an ongoing plan to keep on top of the situation.
SEO specialists are worth their weight in gold, and seeking one out is one of the most effective marketing strategies a small business can invest in. Ranking ahead of the competition in a marketing method where people are already seeking out relevant information? It’s a win-win!
Woya Digital is a digital marketing agency focussed on your business growth! Our SEO packages are paid monthly with no upfront investment making our service affordable for any size business! Get your FREE SEO Website Audit Report NOW!