SEO? SERP? Why is this important?

(11 /11 /2014)

SEO stands for search engine optimisation. None the wiser? Well, basically it is the work carried out on your site that will help to raise the site in the search rankings, or SERP’s. The SERP’s, the most famous and powerful of them being Google, basically control the amount of traffic you get to your site. With traffic comes potential business, so making sure you rank highly can be of critical importance to the amount of business you do.

So let’s get right back to basics here. SEO, like many things in terms of marketing can be pretty confusing and daunting to the small business owner. Let’s give you a kind of overview so you can get an idea what it’s all about.

Most of you have a website, right! Consider this a given as most businesses have an online presence of some kind. Roughly 99% of websites are setup incorrectly to begin with. Their focus is all about themselves, what we do, how much we charge etc etc. Imagine being stuck sitting beside someone who talked only about themselves, boring right? Your site needs to talk to the customer. How can we benefit you, how can we help you to grow your business, how can we save you money, notice there are a lot more you’s and your’s and not just we’s and our’s? This is the kind of thing you want to aim for on your site. As they say, content is king, but more importantly, content your customer will want to read and that will appeal to them is king.

The second thing to look at is how your website is set up. What is the point of your site ? Have a think about that one. Are you selling something, if so, how is the visitor ushered towards the sale. Are you selling a service, if so, how easy is it to get in touch. This is what’s known as Conversion Rate Optimisation. Something I would urge every business owner to Google and read up on. If your site is not geared towards conversion, any money you spend on SEO will be wasted. Your site needs to convert, that is what it is there for, otherwise it is not generating business, but just becomes another business expense.

Finally, down to the SEO. Once you have prepared your site with killer sales copy and put your conversion tactics in place, you are all set to get stuck into the SEO. Hiring an SEO company is not cheap, you can expect to pay around $400 p/m for anything decent on the Australian market. It’s a pretty big monthly expense, but the value of custom it brings in is well worth it. How many sales would you need to make to cover the monthly cost of SEO? If it’s low, then SEO is certainly for you. If it’s hundreds and you sell a very low dollar value item, then you will need to do your sums, but certainly look into it.

Now, to further complicate things, there are good and bad SEO companies. The good one use what they call white hat SEO, which is basically ethically practices that will not harm your site in anyway. These often take your site longer to rank with, perhaps up to a year sometimes, which can suck as it feels like you are paying for nothing for those 12 months, but there are certainly things happening behind the scenes. Then there is bad SEO, known as black hat. This method can get you rankings quickly, but when Google makes it’s updates, which it does on occasion, your site will either drop out of site or get totally banned by Google, which could have a devastating effect on your business. All in all, go with the white hat, it’s just not worth it for a quick fix.

Once the SEO kicks in it will almost certainly change your business. Regular leads through your site are basically customers with their cash out. Responding quickly and putting systems in place to help secure the sale should see a nice rise in customers from your site. Which is after all, what your site is for. It’s your online salesperson, one that never sleeps, eats or phones in sick on a Monday but is miraculously well on the Tuesday.

My advice, if you can afford it. Have SEO work done on your site ASAP.

Guest Blogger – Aengus from Pixelo

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