I’m surprised how frequently I’m asked, “What does SEO stand for?” … but it still happens as much as a few times per week.
I simply explain that it stands for Search Engine Optimization and that it entails creating and deploying a strategy with the overall intention of getting your website ranked in search engines for search terms related to your business, services and products.
In other words, the goal of SEO is to increase your presence and visibility in search results.
At this point, I may need to explain the difference between Google Ads, local search results (aka “the Map Pack”) and organic position, but most people seem to understand the value of appearing in search results and feel that being visible is valuable even if they don’t fully understand all of these details.
And, if you understand the value of SEO then you don’t mind spending money on it as part of your digital marketing strategy. So, you set a budget of $2500/month, find a local SEO agency who can perform within your budget and you’re all set, right? Within 2-3 months you should see your pages popping up in various Google searches and with all that new traffic flocking to your website, you should see revenue soaring. Correct?
SEO is definitely an important piece of the “internet marketing” pie. In fact, if you don’t have at least some type of SEO strategy then you’re giving every single one of your competitors that does a CLEAR advantage over you.
So, even if you don’t get anything else from this post, implement a SEO strategy and stick with it.
However, SEO alone is not enough to turn your website into a revenue generating machine and here’s why.
A good SEO strategy is based on a few things:
- Quality content – some people seem to really struggle with this part of SEO, but a good SEO agency can guide you through the process of selecting good topics and producing quality blog posts, graphics and videos based on those topics.
- Volume of content – most people hate to hear this, but the more quality content you create and distribute, the better your website will perform in search results. Again, I want to place an emphasis on that we are talking about quality content, not useless garbage that you syndicate just for the sake of posting something.
- Link building – there have been hundreds if not thousands of studies done about this, and link building is still extremely important to your website’s organic rank. Hate it, love it … it doesn’t matter … you need backlinks.
- On-page SEO – this aspect of Search Engine Optimization is actually the easiest because it’s really just a set of rules you need to follow about how your website is organized and structured. If you don’t know enough to improve your own on-page SEO, then your website developer certainly will.
If you implement a flawless SEO strategy that includes the things mentioned above then, yes, it’s pretty likely that your site will begin moving up in Google search and you will see more traffic to your website. Great.
But, what are you doing with the traffic once it gets to your site?
Website traffic is great and if your site goes from getting 10 visitors per day to getting 1000 per day then you can definitely say that your SEO campaign is effective. However, if you cannot monetize that traffic, then it’s mostly useless to you.
Website traffic doesn’t pay the bills unless that traffic buys your products and services.
So, if you want your digital marketing efforts to be successful, you need more than SEO.
What else do you need?
When a potential customer lands on your site, you probably don’t know where he or she is in the sales process.
Is Sue just researching gadgets because her boss told her to go find 3 different gadgets and hand him pricing information or did he instruct her to buy a gadget before close of business that day? Maybe Sue doesn’t even know she needs the gadgets you sell so she’s nowhere near ready to buy, but is learning about different ways to solve a problem she’s having.
Regardless of where Sue is in the buying process, if she decides that she wants to contact you to ask questions about your gadgets and she can’t easily figure that out from the web page she’s on then you are at risk of losing a sale.
Make your contact information including your phone number and email address highly visible. And, if you can’t be available to answer your business phone when Sue calls to ask a question, then hire an answering service or contact center. Another option is to utilize a ChatBot on the your site where Sue can type her questions.
It doesn’t matter how you do it, but take steps to be available so that you don’t lose the opportunity to interact with potential buyers.
Implement A Good Clean Design
Yes, this piece of advice sounds very basic, but we still see so many of our clients getting it wrong. Have you ever searched for a topic, clicked a link in search results and landed on a web page that’s a complete aesthetic nightmare? What did you do?
Most of us will hit the “back” button on our browser faster than a Tesla Roadster S P100D can get from 0-60 mph (in ludicrous mode!)
A solid website layout is extremely important, and just like there are people who cannot carry a tune, not everyone has an eye for good design. Find an experienced web designer who can give you feedback about the layout of your pages and make improvements. If your website is a complete dumpster fire, it will cost you.
Provide Conversion Opportunities
In the world of digital marketing, a conversion is a point in the marketing process where a person who we don’t know or can’t identify takes a step to identify themselves so that we are now able to contact or interact with that person. Examples of conversion points are:
- A basic contact form
- A “Request A Quote” form
- A link to your online calendar where the website visitor schedules an e-meeting
- A newsletter sign-up form
- A field where a visitor enters his or her cell phone number to receive tex alerts
Conversion points are important because without them our website visitors are just anonymous people browsing our site. Without conversion points, website visitors may or may not call or email us, but with conversion points we are encouraging interaction and directly requesting information so that we may nurture our relationships.
By requesting that website visitors opt-in to receive email communications from us, we are creating future opportunities to interact with these visitors and that means we have the potential to sell them our products or services at a later date.
Additionally, a website visitor who opts-in to receive information from you is actually interested in hearing from you. He or she might not buy from you right away, but they are giving you the opportunity to build a partnership or relationship.
Search Engine Optimization is definitely an important cornerstone of successful online marketing campaigns, but without implementing best practices along with other techniques, it’s not enough to make your website a success.
Are you struggling with your internet marketing? Contact us for a free evaluation that will include actionable items you can utilize even if you don’t choose ClickFirst as your digital marketing partner.