Can SEO really make a difference?
There has been a bit of a debate lately as to whether the era of search engine optimization is at an end. This crops up about twice a year, as industries change and the web evolves. Short answer? NO.
With social networking being the new ‘in’ thing, and ever expanding ways to drive traffic to your site outside of the search engines, some web entrepreneurs are reconsidering spending budget on SEO.
But SEO is not dead! More people still search the web through traditional search engines than any other way. You can hit certain niches and market them effectively through social sites – and don’t think the search engines haven’t realized this! – but the majority of traffic still coast down the search engine superhighways – in other words, Google or one of its competitors. Using SEO on your site is still the best way to achieve maximum return on investment, or ROI.
The goal is basic; get your site on the first page of returned search results; preferably in the top ten listings. Keywords, content, linking, reputation – all of these can play a factor in attaining this goal, and you need to learn as much as you can by reading blogs, consulting with wiser ones than you and hiring a service to do some cleanup work if you are in a slump, or to give a boost when you are starting out to get you on the right track.
Do you really need professional help? That is the question you need to ask yourself. Many do-it-yourselfers exist, and some do quite well, but investing in an SEO team is usually worth the money – if you choose wisely and cmobine your efforts.
This brings us to the another hot topic – good SEOs versus bad SEOs. There is a trend of bashing SEOs of late for being vague about their methods. Well, what do you expect? They make their living at it. They’re not going to just tell us everything for free. And yes, there are good and bad SEOs, just like there are good and bad service providers in every walk of life.
You need to select the right SEO for your company, so lay out what your goals are and set a budget before looking for your expert. They will need to know what your expectations are. If you baiscally just want SERPs ranking and some traffic, that is one thing, but if you want definitively increased ROI in a certain timeframe, that is more complicated. Getting your site into the top ten might not be too difficult, but getting consumers convert is harder!
Offering an incentive to the SEO, like a performance bonus, or a percentage of your increased profits for a certain time period, that ties directly with increased profitability can help. If your traffic increases but not your sales, you won’t have gained or lost anything, but if your sales pick up, great. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.
Other methods can help too- blogging has become THE user friendly tool with simplified start-ups, and social networking is free advertising. Consider a combination of methods to increase traffic to your site and increase page views and conversions. The right balance of SEO and networking will pay off in the end, and a good SEO firm can help make it happen.