Why Investing in Your SEO is Well Worth the Money
When it comes to marketing a new business or website, it can be difficult to know where the best use of your budget is going to be. While there are certainly some things you can do for free (or at least, with only time as a cost) like running a Twitter account and Facebook page, and posting good content on your site’s blog, the reality is that most businesses do now need to have some form of budget for promotion, especially in competitive niches.
There may have been a time when free social media marketing alone was enough, but several factors have meant that this is no longer the case except in very lucky, rare exceptions where content has gone viral and attracted media interest. These include changes to Facebook and Twitter algorithms that mean most users do not see all of the posts of accounts they follow, and also sheer saturation.
So, with the understanding that marketing is going to involve some investment, how do you know what will offer the best return? The current thinking in the online marketing industry is that by far the highest performing traffic is organic. This means users find your site because they are searching for something you provide, or because they see a link to it in a relevant place, such as in an article about something related that they are reading. Social media shares can be another source of organic traffic. Organic traffic is more likely to convert because the user found your link themselves rather than because an advert was pushed to them. People sometimes tune out adverts on their screens, but never do this with the results of their Google search, for example!
Getting organic traffic is an important goal that your marketing budget should be helping you achieve. What this means is, your investment should be in getting the best possible visibility in search engine results pages for keywords that are extremely relevant to what you do, and what your customers are looking for. This means SEO (search engine optimization) is a big marketing priority.
How Important is a Good Google Search Results Position?
The majority of organic visits to websites come from Google searches. Google ranks the sites that match a user’s search using an algorithm that is always being updated, and which is also kept secret. However, SEO experts do know enough about the things Google ‘likes’ and how it works to be able to help a site perform better in searches. The search result position is important for several reasons. The first is the most obvious – most people will find what they want on the first page of search results, and so will never look at later pages (and as you will see when you search for almost anything, typical searches can bring back millions of results). In fact, it is best of all to rank where your link will appear above the ‘fold’, that is, the point on the first page where someone has to scroll down to see it.
The second reason is because of the additional features offered by the top-ranking results. For local businesses, for instance, the top search results are shown on the map that appears at the top of the search results page, with extra details. This can be a huge benefit in terms of being the business in the search results that the user chooses to look at. For pages that answer questions, there can be an enhanced search results box that summarizes the first pieces of information from the most relevant page at the top of the search results. This will also be far more likely to be visited. There are other types of enhanced results too, which only go to the top ranking search result.
Another reason why ranking high is important is brand recognition and authority. If a user frequently sees your links in results when searching for something that interests them, they become familiar with it, even if they don’t click on it the first few times. It is also known that the point of Google’s ranking algorithms is to provide its users with the most relevant, high-quality pages first, so high rankings suggest your site is trustworthy.
Investing in SEO
As you can already see, good SEO can provide a bigger boon to your business than just about anything else, but it is a precise science. For this reason, using your budget to invest in having a good SEO company handle your SEO and manage your campaigns, tweaking as time goes on to get the best results and account for Google changes, is a wise choice. Even better is to work with a company that can integrate SEO practices for your site with paid advertising on the platforms that offer the best ROI, which are currently Google and Facebook. Marketing specialists who can make these important forms of online marketing work together can get even more from your budget. Take a look at iSynergy SEO for more on why this kind of strategy is a good choice.
Naturally, it is possible to learn SEO yourself and apply it to your own website, and if your budget is extremely low or your site is on a non-profit basis (for instance a personal blog), doing this may be a good use of your spare time and will certainly be better than nothing. However, because SEO now encompasses so much, from site design to content placement, keyword strategy to on-page links, and because it is ever-changing, good SEO is generally something most business owners simply don’t have time to learn or implement. It is, therefore, the best advice for a commercial business to engage with a good SEO company and work with them to get the best results for their venture.
SEO is a fascinating subject and one of the most important ingredients in doing business successfully online, so make sure you make room for it in your marketing spend!