Running your online business without a dedicated plan for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is akin to a bricks and mortar shop that refuses to share its address. You may as well not exist at all! Driving traffic to your organization’s website through SEO is not an easy task for small business owners with limited resources, manpower, and technical know-how; however, it is an absolute necessity in today’s competitive world of digital commerce. Your products or services are competing for online attention in a massive and overflowing sea of consumer goods and without a dedicated and consistent SEO and online marketing effort you are likely to sink right to the bottom of the ocean floor. But, this fate can be avoided with the help of an experienced digital marketing agency. We will help you better understand SEO and why hiring a third party working on your behalf can pay off tremendously for your business in the long run.
What is SEO and How Does it Work?
Search engine optimization or SEO is a means to increase your company’s visibility in search engine results. The online shopper searching for a new kayak has thousands to choose from, but it is no accident which kayaks will appear at the top of a search results page. They are the ones where SEO has been optimized by the particular kayak company, who took steps to ensure that their business ranked higher on Google and other search engines than their competitors.
At this point as a business owner, you might say, “Well that sounds easy enough. What steps do I need to take?” There are more than 200 factors that affect your website rank, so it is not a simple, one-size-fits-all process. Some of the main factors contributing to your ranking are keywords used on your site, your URL structure, the speed of your site, and your domain authority (a measure of how much “trust” your domain name has built over time). Think of Google acting as a sort of matchmaker between the consumer and businesses, trying to find the consumer the best and most compatible match for whatever product you are seeking. Google is analyzing so many elements of your site (and competitors’ sites) to provide the user the overall best match.
Even the keyword category sounds so much simpler than it is: surely my site just needs to mention I sell kayaks and that is the keyword that will drive customers to purchase ours? It is so much more complicated than this… keyword strategy has to be constantly updated and refreshed and using too many obvious or popular keywords can backfire as they are too competitive. Sometimes, a more specific and longer phrase brings the right visitors to your site (perhaps you decide on “kayaks for hikers” or “lightweight kayaks for travelers.”) The bottom line is that every element of this digital process has to be carefully and meticulously managed in order to achieve the best results for your bottom line and this is why hiring a third-party company to manage your SEO efforts is one of the most effective things you can do with your marketing budget.
What Can a Digital Marketing Agency do for my SEO?
1. Know and Implement the Rules
The digital world can and does change overnight. Knowing the ins and outs of SEO management, which is constantly evolving, can be a full-time job in and of itself. Your team is focused on a product or service that also needs to be continually updated and enhanced so all the more reason to let someone ELSE keep up with the ever-changing SEO rules and implement the best practices for you.
2. Provide Data and Analytics
Digital marketing agencies can provide incredibly useful data when it comes to identifying, attracting, and growing your customer base. They have the relevant software and tools to dig deeper into this than your organization likely does, and in increasing your SEO they may also provide data that informs many of your marketing and product development decisions. This data can serve to inform your decisions about customer relationships, and it can help you achieve buy-in from employees about changes to your marketing strategies as well.
3. Long-Term Savings and Return on Investment (ROI)
While at first you may be concerned about the expense of using a digital marketing agency, the overall savings can work in your favor. By outsourcing to an agency (versus establishing an internal department to manage your SEO), you eliminate payroll taxes as well as other costs associated with full-time staff members (e.g. benefits). The digital marketing agencies already have access to the tools needed to do the job, saving you the hefty fees associated with purchasing certain programs and software.
Using an experienced team to manage SEO will deliver better results than trying to navigate these confusing waters on your own, which will ultimately mean increased sales and more traffic to your site.