“Get your website to the first page of Google,” promises that email from only god knows where, trying to sell you Search Engine Optimization. Sounds appealing, doesn’t it?
Anyone guaranteeing that they can get you to the top of Google for a predetermined sum is full of sh*t. We would say that even guaranteeing the top position in result on its own is stretching it, although this is more believable in the long run with dedicated effort, after competitive analysis. Yes, you can get to the top of Google’s search results for some more obscure keywords, but that is not what the promise implies, nor is it what you are led to believe. So what is Search Engine Optimization?
Search Engine Optimization is a practice of helping you rank better in search engines. The higher you rank, the more people will land on your website. If you are not on the first page, you are going to get very little traffic from search engines. And moving up to the top of the search results can reap substantial results. According to Google’s stats more than 60% of search traffic goes to the first 3 results, with the first result taking a whopping third of all search traffic. Depending on how well your website converts, that top position can be worth thousands of dollars.
Because you only reap benefits of increased search traffic from Search Engine Optimization efforts if your website converts well, it makes sense to invest in improving the experience on your website and making damn sure that pages convert as well as they can. Since the end goal is more sales, if you improve conversion rates on your website through Split Testing and Analytics, you can increase sales without investing in Search Engine Optimization. But of course best results are achieved by investing in Search Engine Optimization and improving website conversion rate.
Our approach to Search Engine Optimization is generally two-fold. The first part is conducting an audit and making improvements to how the website is coded. This ensures that the search engines ‘see’ your website as intended and is a one time task. The second part, and what makesSearch Engine Optimization a practice, is creation of fresh content for the website around various keywords to improve rankings. This requires on-going investment of time and money.
Similar to content writing, if you take on the ongoing aspect of Search Engine Optimization, we are willing to bet that it’s going to sit on the backburner for a long time. For that reason and others, you should look at hiring someone to do Search Engine Optimization. It will cost you money initially, but you can rest assured that it’s going to get done, and done well. And with time, as Search Engine Optimization efforts attract more visitors, you should see increase in sales which will provide a return on your investment. At that point you can reduce, or cease, your investment in Seach Engine Optimization while reaping the rewards.
Another angle to consider is that Search Engine Optimization buys you traffic down the line. The big advantage is that once the traffic starts flowing, you won’t need to invest as much into it. But you could use various online marketing tools, like Google Adwords or social media advertising on Facebook, LinkedIn, or other platforms to get traffic immediately. The downside is that it’s like buying bottled water instead of digging a well – you have to keep paying for it.
So how much will all this cost? It comes down more to the budget, because the to-do list for Search Engine Optimization can get long.
Here’s what we recommend you do. You should set aside a monthly budget for Search Engine Optimization efforts. How much should you budget? Here’s one way to think about it. First you need to allocate a monthly marketing budget for general marketing of your business. Then you need to decide how much of that budget you are willing to put towards marketing online. At that point you can split the online marketing budget between actual ad spend (on Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc), incremental improvements of your website, and Search Engine Optimization (in whatever proportion you think is fitting). That will allow us to figure out how much time we can allocate every month to your website, prioritize the activities, and put our nose to the ground. When it comes to all the things you can do with your website, there are enough tasks to keep a full time employee busy, so filling the to-do list is not a problem. Your budget will determine how quickly those items can be executed and how much can be done on monthly basis.
The advantage of contracting a company like us to do Search Engine Optimization for you, instead of hiring an employee, is that you can start slower without investing in a full time salary right away. Another advantage is that you can feel confident that you are working with people who know what they are doing, instead of hoping that the person you hire is experienced enough and has sufficient training (someone with more knowledge of a subject than you can easily come off as an expert without actually being one). Finally, you get an advantage of having an entire marketing team on your side, instead of one person with a limited set of skills. So if you feel like you need some help with Search Engine Optimization, give us a call at 204.293.7663 in Winnipeg or 250.878.9275 in Kelowna.