SEO should we even bother?
The short answer here is yes, we definitely should. So often SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is quickly overlooked by small businesses, and it's understandable why.
In terms of digital marketing, SEO is a slow burner, and yields results far slower than any form of paid digital marketing.
SEO is also a lot harder to track in terms of results and outcomes. It's important to remember that to significantly improve your site's SEO you have to be in it for the long haul. SEO requires a certain degree of commitment and there's no real quick-fix solution. To fully see the results of SEO realistically you're going to need to commit at least 6 months to a year of working on improvements and following a simple but effective strategy. That said, you might need to put in some hours to get started, but once your strategy is rolled out, it's really just a matter of maintaining it and keeping it consistent. For a small business with limited resources, this might mean diving in once per month to see if there are any improvements or fixes that can be made. The other great thing about SEO is, once you've nailed it and your site is getting consistent traffic and bookings or sales as a result, it's free marketing. (Other than the time invested).
As a starting point, your site can be simply optimised with the following steps:
Make sure your site is laid out correctly for mobile devices. Google scores your mobile site before your desktop site.
Do some basic keyword research and make sure you understand the search terms your audience is using when looking for you. Add these search terms organically amongst the text content on your site.
When adding keywords it's important to note that spamming doesn't work in your favor, and will actually have a negative effect on your site's ranking.
Use smaller image sizes throughout your site to improve page load speed. The faster your site loads the more likely a user is to stay and engage with it.
Make sure the correct and captivating information is being displayed on SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) to entice your audience to click.
For me, I always marry SEO with a great content strategy.
My opinion is that a great content strategy really compliments a simple SEO strategy. They go together like peas and carrots (- Forest Gump). Both SEO and content strategies are long-term organic-based strategies. When commitment and consistency are applied to both, the results are significant. Below are the stats from one of our client's websites traffic. For this particular client, we came to the conclusion that organic marketing is a priority in order to save their essential budget for them as much as possible.
In August last year, we launched a new website with great response. December and January saw some downtime over the summer at which point we devised a new approach to content and further improvements to the website.
The data speaks for itself and it's clear that web traffic has been significantly improved in the months following the implementation of the new organic strategy in January. This strategy included SEO improvements paired with a new approach to content. We based this strategy on user activity and analytics across social media platforms. We fixated on creating high-quality thought-provoking content for the audience paired with consistent blog posting on the website as well as overall improvements to the website's UI and UX. (User Interface and User Experience.)
The results of the commitment to the organic strategy are now evident in the level of user engagement month to month across the website, without a single penny spent on acquiring clicks.
The strategy will be reviewed again in December and we hope to be able to build on what has been a great foundation and starting point for this client.
So yes, we should bother with SEO, make it fun, and pair it with a content strategy that your audience will love. Stay committed and push through. Where possible assign a team member to ensure the posting of content is consistent and the site is being reviewed and updated at least once per month.
If you determine your online presence is of significant importance to your business, consider hiring a local freelancer or agency who can help with maintaining your presence online for a small monthly fee.