Fact: 80% of users rely on search engines to find local products and services.
And that’s not all research also shows that 18% of searches lead to purchases within a day.
Given these staggering numbers, it is imperative that business owners pay attention to their search presence.
There are 3 different ways that business owners can showcase themselves on search result pages including Paid Ads, Local Search (Map Listing) and on the Organic Search section of search results.
While Paid Ads can bring in instantaneous traffic and perhaps results i.e. if set up correctly on the other hand Local Search and Organic Search are something that need a fair amount of effort and patience.
You see, there are a number of factors that come into play when it comes to attaining a top position in SERP’s and there are no guarantees that you will get there. That is why good SEO agencies will only work on a best efforts basis rather than guaranteeing you a page 1 position.
If you happen to consider utilising SEO as a marketing channel, here are 5 points that you should consider before embarking on this hard but ultimately rewarding journey.
SEO comes before web design
A lot of times business owners end up creating a website and then think about SEO. This is just not the right approach. SEO should be the first consideration because the structure of a website is built around SEO.
At the very least you should consult an SEO to get some initial advice, this includes keyword research, competitor analysis, sitemap creation and on-page optimisation or hire a web designer who has experience in these areas.
Whether or not you decide to embark on an SEO campaign, having the basic structure of the site ready for search engines will save you a lot of time and money later on.
In our experience, we have spent an initial 2 months towards getting the site structure right and undertaking on-page optimisation for businesses who paid no attention to SEO at the time of the build.
This time could have otherwise been used for link building efforts. And not to forget the money spent on hiring a developer to make these changes.
SEO is a game of patience and required continuous efforts
SEO is not something you can expect results from in a month or two. It is something that requires continuous work and a lot of patience. Expect to see results in at least 6-12 months.
You have to find a partner in an SEO agency or a consultant and make sure that they are willing to learn about your industry/niche. This is because a lot of work done in the campaign will revolve around content marketing and this is where the industry knowledge will come into play.
Other than that you also need to ensure that the SEO consultant you work with is willing to open about the activities that they undertake on your campaign and allow for open communication throughout the process.
A lot of times you will only hear from SEO agencies and consultants when it is time to get their monthly retainer with little or no communication in between.
It is important to pay attention to your competition
The ultimate goal of the SEO campaign is to beat the top 3 competitors on search engines, therefore, it is very important that a detailed study is done on your competitors.
This should include analysing the keywords being targeted, the website structure, the content being produced, the domain authority that they hold and the diversity of backlinks that they have on their backlink profile.
What this will do is allow you to understand the amount of work involved in the campaign and set realistic expectations for achieving the target.
Good SEO agencies will never guarantee results
Stay AWAY from agencies who are guaranteeing results for getting you on board as a client. SEO is something that just cannot be guaranteed given the nature of work.
An agency who is willing to guarantee a certain amount of hours into the campaign and adopt open lines of communication throughout the campaign is worth placing your bets on.
Cheap SEO does not work
SEO requires a certain amount of skill and a lot of time. And both of these don’t come cheap. What you will find as a part of a cheap SEO campaign is an agency who churns clients rather than forming long term relationships.
Other common aspects of cheap SEO include poorly written content, low-quality or spammy backlinks, no communication or strategy formation and a sure shot penalty from search engines.