If you’re reading this blog, you’ve probably been wondering if your website needs to be optimized for search engines… A common thought. When I was starting off, I did the whole nine yards before actually launching my website.
I was busy rounding up all my connections, to get input on every possible practice there is in an attempt to ensure maximum visibility in the least amount of time.
At the time, Paul, an acquaintance I had reached out to, spoke to me about search engine optimization (SEO) as a way to direct organic traffic to my website. His recommendation was for me to connect with an SEO company in the UK.
After days of research, I found an SEO agency I felt comfortable working with. The SEO team at Web Choice was extremely patient with me.
Unlike some of the other agencies I spoke with, the team at Web Choice was humble enough to entertain all my queries and answer them systematically so I could understand everything before committing to anything.
So, for those of you who aren’t familiar with the concept of SEO, here’s what I now understand:
What is search engine optimization?
While there are a number of ways to define SEO, the simplest way to put it is the practice of getting search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing to recommend your website or content as a solution to a user query.
This is achieved when your website or content achieves a high ranking on the results page of the search. Essentially, the objective is to get your website/content ranked as highly as possible on the search engine results, and SEO is a way to achieve that goal.
How does SEO work?
The fundamental objective of a search engine is to provide a solution to an immediate query. Search engines are constantly working on improving the relevance of the results they provide when a search is performed.
For example, when a user performs a search on Google, their system ‘crawls’ through billions of web pages available on the internet and presents the user with a list of those most relative to their search. The web pages are ranked by a Google algorithm which evaluates a myriad of factors.
SEO comprises a series of exercises that hone a website/content so that it can be easily found by the search engine crawlers. These exercises are correlated to the factors predefined by the search engine algorithm, thus achieving a higher ranking when practiced diligently and accurately.
Why is SEO so important?
Search engine optimization helps your website and content to rank higher, increasing brand credibility and visibility. This draws in a larger number of visitors to your webpage, consequently increasing conversions and positively impacting your bottom line.
As the conversation went on, I began to realize the method behind the madness. At the outset, a concept such as a search engine optimization may sound alien. I’m not tech-savvy myself, so if you’re like me, I can understand the skepticism you may have.
Two of the biggest questions any business can ask here are – ‘Do I really need SEO’? And, ‘can my businesses succeed without it’?
I had the same two questions. After much deliberation, I want to share with you what I have learned after years of experimentation and experience – Here we go, on the topic of SEO:
1. It’s not instant
Search engine optimization does not provide instant results. It’s a deliberate practice that needs continuous efforts for an extended period. If you’re a small business or service a niche demographic, you could see results sooner via another method.
Look at you this way – when you join a gym, you don’t see results immediately. You will need to be committed to your workout as well as your diet and in time you most assuredly will see gains. The more quality and time you invest in your SEO campaigns, the higher returns you will have.
2. It requires work on your website
There are a number of parameters that search engines define website ranking by. Many of these parameters are a part of the site’s design. For example – site loading time, navigation, meta description, and header tags.
In order to optimize your website and meet these predefined parameters, there will be a need for changes to be made. Without changing elements of the website, your SEO endeavors may reap little to no rewards.
An optimized website has a much higher chance of featuring on the top of the search engine result page (SERP), resulting in more traffic.
3. It needs quality content
Content is an integral part of a functional SEO strategy. This may include blogs, articles, videos, infographics, or podcasts that are relevant to the service/product you provide.
Keywords or search queries are integrated within the content that makes locating it much easier.
Many business owners do not realize the importance of quality content and end up losing big time to competitors who do. Content creation takes time and effort but offers a high payout in the long run.
4. It increases website traffic
Quite simply, SEO campaigns are a definitive way of improving brand visibility and increasing website traffic. I would have to assume that anyone who doesn’t see value in optimization doesn’t really want a great deal of visibility or traffic!
5. It increases leads
Similar to point four, optimization has a direct impact on the number of leads your website creates for your business. The more aware of your website/brand/service/ product people are, the higher the engagement.
Statistically, high engagement sites have a higher ratio of conversion and lead generation. A business that does not want more business will not want SEO either!
6. It helps you up-skill
I’m a living testament to this point. I started off not knowing what the ‘S’ in SEO stood for (or the ‘E’ or ‘O’ for that matter!), but as time passed, I was able to learn more and more.
So much so that I’m writing this article to help others. If you lack interest in personal or professional growth, SEO may not be for you.
7. It gets you brand recognition
Search engine optimization is always focused on building a larger digital presence. It also helps create a whole lot of buzz related to your brand and encourages interactions with it.
This is why top brands across industries invest millions of dollars every year on SEO. Any business that seeks to stunt or restrict its growth should avoid SEO.
8. If you love spending money
Businesses have become used to expecting instant results. Such results are possible through paid adverts on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Google, etc.
The problem with the paid strategy is that you can’t completely qualify the quality of the leads they will generate. In addition, you may end up spending much more than you earn if not executed correctly.
SEO may be a long-term strategy, however, it does provide highly qualified leads with purchase intent. Additionally, optimization campaigns help create loads of data that help improve the overall performance of your business.
9. It may require upgrading your hosting
I think I’ve made it quite clear that search engine optimization efforts build brand awareness and increase website traffic. As the number of visitors to your site increases, you will need to upgrade your hosting plan in order to accommodate them all.
10. There’s a lot of BS in the industry
It’s sad but true. Many agencies and so-called “experts” have populated the internet and industry with low-quality information. Substandard SEO consultants offer BS advice and confuse unsuspecting business owners into buying services they don’t need.
Frankly, such fraudulent behavior is appalling and should be reported on digital forums to help others.
However, there are those who are true to the trade. In my experience with SEO companies in the UK, Web Choice UK has thus far been the most supportive of my business objectives.
They’ve not only helped me, but they’ve successfully scaled up many businesses in London, the United Kingdom, and beyond
If you’re on the edge about investing in SEO and need honest and relevant advice – get in touch with Web Choice today. You’ll certainly be glad you did.