You can find a ton of articles about search engine optimisation and how it can hugely increase your sales and web traffic in a jiffy. It is often touted as a part of your marketing and outreach strategy and it is strongly implied that SEO can be the miracle cure that will magically boost your sales. So is this just hype or is SEO really all that we think it is? Is SEO really the magical marketing tool that you just have to have? Read on to find out.
What on earth is SEO?
Search engine optimisation is the technical term for a procedure that sounds pretty self-explanatory but involves quite a bit of work in reality. Optimising your website for internet search engines is what SEO is all about, but that is easier said than done. There is one thing that you must keep in mind above all: search engine optimisation falls more in the realm of best practices rather than an outright marketing methodology. While marketing involves actively reaching out to prospective users with the explicit intent of promoting your product or website, SEO is all about making it easier for search engines to find your website and display links to your website when someone searches for something relevant. The significant differences between these two inform a major part of what SEO can and cannot do for your website.
How effective is SEO?
Depends on what you expect of it. If you think SEO is going to magically open up some previously unforeseen domain of prospective customers, you are simply setting yourself up for disappointment. SEO is not marketing; it will not get you new customers or allow you to penetrate new target domains. What SEO will do is make it easier for people who are already interested in your services to find out about you. SEO can dramatically improve your visibility in the online domain and it does so to the people who are most likely to turn into prospective customers.
Should I get SEO done?
Unambiguously yes. Some SEO, whether done on your own by following internet guides or by a local SEO company, is miles better than no SEO at all. By simply taking the time to set up a very basic SEO strategy can significantly improve your visibility and search result rankings. This will definitely result in a tangible improvement in web traffic. You can then choose to further improve your SEO strategy by finessing what keywords you use, using localisation parameters and targeting users based on their location, using the brand names of your competitors to your advantage, and so on. You can even take advantage of industry trends in the short term while planning for the long term by improving your web content and increasing cross linking.
If you do not already have one, you should immediately put an SEO strategy in place for your website. For the oh so low cost of free you can get a strategy that is about 70% as effective as those designed by industry professionals. Do you need further convincing?