Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the process of manipulating the Google search results in order for a website to gain ‘free’ desirable traffic. SEO can be carried out on multiple search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing. However, Google owns the majority of the market share in this space so most ‘SEO’s’ (people who carry out Search Engine Optimisation on websites) will refer to the practice on this search engine specifically.
The kicker about SEO is that nobody actually knows the answers. There isn’t a piece of paper out there that Google has released to tell every website owner how to better rank and optimise their website, so what it comes down to is a lot of speculation and testing on the matter. This is where an estimated $80 billion industry by 2020 has been born. Massive companies and organisations are willing to give some of their cash to experts in the field in order to gain exposure for their website. You can read more about the expansion of SEO through the NP SEO Company.
You may be thinking: Why is SEO so desirable? Surely, businesses could use more predictable marketing strategies such as Google Adwords (PPC) or Social Media Advertising where they can see a direct output for their spend. Well, yes, these platforms offer a great incentive for businesses as they can predictably and easily see money come in and out. However, SEO is more of a long term play for a business that can have insane ROI potential.
Put it this way, if you were to spend $1,000 on Google AdWords, you would make a set profit and loss on that money spent. You’re paying for clicks, which is a short term play. After you’ve spent your $1,000 and you’ve received your benefits, you’re not going to get anything else out of that money spent.
However, with SEO it’s like building an asset. The core aim with SEO is to rank you for desirable keywords. And when sites rank, they normally stay ranked. So, if a business was to spend $10,000 to target a keyword that made them the same number of clicks every month as that $1,000 spent, then that would be a very smart decision providing that they were willing to font the money and be prepared for the long term play.
Many companies will look for outside help and they will normally outreach to freelancers or seo agencies in order to get the best advice for moving forward and finding a way to target desirable business keywords.
It can all go wrong…
So, we have an understanding about what SEO is and how we and many people can use it as a driver for their businesses. What’s important to understand is what we mentioned earlier. There’s no set rules to this game… It’s very easy to spend money in the wrong areas or most of all, the wrong people.
Due to this ‘unknown’ aspect of SEO, it’s very easy to get mislead into a path with your SEO strategy that might not be helpful. Some pieces of advice or tactics that you may use can even harm your site and cause long term issues that are almost not recoverable.
It’s important to ensure that you do your research up front, making sure that any companies or freelancers that you speak with are skilled at what they do and have the best advice to offer you in order to increase the presence of your website.
Here’s some tips:
- Look for recommendations of friends or other business owners.
- Look for people with tangible results. A good SEO company will have ranked their own website for target keywords or better yet, they’ll have ranked a range of clients and they should be able to show you exactly what they did to make those movements.
- Look for people or businesses with good online reviews, fact check through a range of sources such as Google reviews or even external partners like Trust Pilot.
Most of all, use your gut. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t go for it. There are plenty of amazing SEO companies / providers, it’s not a one trick pony kind of industry. There are no hacks to what has to be done to rank your website, it’s just proven methods understood by many and you as a business owner need to do that filtering in order to make sure that you’re getting the perfect agency in for the job.
What should you see from a Successful SEO campaign?
Once you’ve used your due diligence and you’ve picked your target SEO agency, you’ll need to know exactly what to look for and expect from that company in order to see the results at the other side of the coin.
Many SEO companies will work in a range of ways and they’ll report to you using a range of confusing and hard to understand metrics, that seem to make sense but don’t normally translate to cold hard cash. A marketer would call these KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators).
While these are very important metrics to understand as a marketer, it doesn’t help you much as a business owner. So, it’s very simple, you need to look at it from a business point of view.
The basic route that you should be looking at is as follows:
- How much extra monthly traffic did the SEO company get me from their efforts
- How much money do I make on that traffic, and can I increase this?
- How much money did I make off that traffic
If you can answer those 3 questions, and properly understand the last question you should be able to tell if the person that you are working with is full of BS or if they have properly helped your business.
It’s not the goal of this article to provide SEO advice, but it’s well known that SEO campaigns can take a number of months before you’ll see any effects. What’s important to you is to build a great and trusting relationship with your SEO expert, get them to be up front about the time scales and properly analyse the money that they are making you though tools like Google Analytics.
Hopefully this article was helpful in helping you understand more about hiring an SEO company and properly knowing what can be beneficial about building long term and sustainable SEO campaigns.