In the second installment of our SEO blog, find out why SEO is important, and the myths associated with its implementation.
It’s a good question, as a business owner or manager, it’s fair to assume that you have other things to be concerned about. Here are some great reasons why SEO is important and why you need it in your business.
SEO is part of your marketing mix – not separate
Being an owner or manager, your challenge isn’t to pick between social media, branding, SEO or other marketing strategies – it’s to create a marketing powerhouse with all of the above combined, and SEO plays an important role! Why would you ignore something that can drive traffic to your website for free?
Return on investment for SEO spend
Put yourself in the shoes of a local mechanic. Whilst becoming viral on social media through a viral post is going to get you some great engagement, not all of those people will necessarily be interested in your brand – or maybe too far away to use your services. Whereas those people searching ‘Car mechanic Nottingham’ or other focused keywords related to your brand are going to be actively searching for a solution that only a mechanic can solve – and if you’re a mechanic in the search results, it’s likely your website will be visited.
Search engine optimisation builds trust and credibility
How many times have you just clicked on the first link in a search engine without properly considering what the URL is or the name is? According to Google, more than 44% of traffic clicks the first result. And thanks to Google’s clever algorithm, 99% of the time we can trust that these websites are operating a good business. As searchers, we know we can trust most websites on the first page of Google, so if your business is up there, you’ve automatically been awarded the seal of approval by consumers.
SEO can drive offline sales
AdWeek found that 81% of people buying offline used the Internet to research the business first. With growing internet usage, it’s clear to assume that most offline consumers have done a bit of online research beforehand. This is why even offline businesses cannot afford to ignore SEO as it influences customers buying choices.
Separating the myth from fact about SEO
Like everything, SEO has its fair share of myths that people share around. On the most part, those sharing them believe them, so we’re here to dispel any myths or assumptions we have heard people raise over SEO:
“SEO is a scam”
This assumption is often spread by those who have been scammed by a less than an ethical marketing agency. Companies that promise to put you on top of organic search engine rankings, like Google, in less than 2 months, whilst taking hundreds or thousands from you and the business. Realistically, any proper SEO agency will tell you that two months to go from 7th page of Google to the top of the 1st page is incredibly unrealistic and pretty much impossible, without the use of paid ads.
“I want to rank for [generic keyword], how do I do it?”
Using the independent car mechanic analogy, that’s like asking to rank for ‘mechanic’. A keyword that is no doubt going to be saturated by results that would be more difficult to compete with. However, use focused keywords and phrases such as ‘oil change Nottingham’ and you are more likely to be fruitful. The more specific and less generic the keyword is, the more valuable the traffic from it is likely to be.
“The more the keyword is included, the better!”
To the untrained eye, it may be difficult to spot an article that’s been written around one, single keyword, but to search engine spiders and marketers, unnatural repetition and unnecessary inclusion of keywords can actually negatively impact your search ranking. Google is against “keyword stuffing” and it is against the Google Webmaster Guidelines – going against those SEO guidelines will penalise your website.
“Google won’t know if bad sites link to me – and I can’t help it!”
Wrong! Just like Santa knows if you’ve been bad or good, Google can tell when you have been linked by a less than trustworthy site. Google knows everything once it’s indexed your site, so don’t try and lie or you’ll be given a lump of coal – or in this case, your website will be penalised! It’s worth knowing that you can disavow links using Google’s Webmaster tools. So if you don’t want to be associated with the website linking to you, it’s easy to do.
“I need technical skills to run SEO”
Far too often, people believe that SEO is down to those with HTML street-cred and serious technical skills. Whilst it requires some knowledge to implement, creating an SEO strategy only requires you to know your business and what products or services you want to be ranked online for. Yes, you may need some help implementing your strategy by an SEO expert, but don’t be put off because it sounds like you need to be a wizard to implement it – you don’t!
Need SEO help?
As a business owner, you can often be too busy to think about SEO, but don’t be alarmed, HeX is here to help. We can help provide a solid SEO plan and implement it on your website. Give us a call on 0115 888 2828.