If you have a website, you need to market and promote it to reach your target audience. Are you reaching your potential readers through email, social media and content marketing? Whatever, your goal may be, it is for sure, it is not only just targeting audience but also rank your website higher than your competitors and maximise your share of the audience.
This entire process is just to drive potential traffic to your website via major Search Engines & Directories like Google, Yahoo, MSN, AltaVista and Alltheweb etc. Particularly of Google, if you want to get quality traffic, generate leads and make sales, you have to get your site on the first page for your target keywords. This is because according to a recent study by online agency Chitika, the first listed website gets 33% of traffic while the second one gets 18%. It is obvious that the first two results get over 50% of search traffic.
The Benefits of SEO
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) helps an organisation’s website to rank and get found on the Internet search engines. SEO targets the correct prospects who are actually interested in what the website offers. With right optimisation, any website can get lifetime traffic an if the organisation have a good lead capture system, it can generate leads more easily. Apart from contents and keywords, site structure, navigation, coding, and naming conventions are also important to consider when optimising a website to improve its placement in search results (Sorto, 2011). According to Sorto the benefits of SEO are as follows:
- Potential for high ROI since long-term costs can be considerably less than other marketing efforts;
- Essentially free traffic if the site is created with the searchers’ ease of use and search engine indexing process in mind;
- People trust SEO results more than SEM results: Studies have shown that more than twice as many people click on an organic SEO listing than on a paid SEM listing;
- Increased awareness of your product/offering;
- Visibility – potential customers can easily find their way to the website;
- 24/7 marketing – company can be found via the Web day or night, 365 days a year.
However, SEO is not simple. Today, SEO has evolved to include more of off-page techniques like link building, social media presence, relevant citations and listings and so on compared to old day tactics such as using Title, Alt and H1 tags makes website ranking on the first page of Google particularly.
Why Outsource SEO?
Doing SEO usually takes time to achieve the results. Therefore, it an important decision to make whether the organisation is ready to spend time and effort on the subject or to outsource. Unless the organisation has a full-time in-house SEO department, it would be a clever idea to outsource SEO. Outsourcing is, most of the time, cheaper and will leave with more time to run the business while the hiring agent is doing the hard work. If it is a small business website that has little competition, it may be able to achieve high rankings on Google doing SEO by itself. If product or service is in a very competitive niche, it is advisable to outsource SEO. The main benefit of outsourcing SEO is that an organisation gets high rankings quickly and save time and effort that it can use to run other parts of your business.
Comprehensive Plan and Agent Selection
A comprehensive SEO plan will take a few months to implement to show results. The company that outsource SEO needs to be aware that it is a long-term strategy of improving brand awareness and generating traffic. It sometimes takes months to get a website on the first page of Google for the target keywords if the business is in a very competitive niche.
During the planning phase an organisation must make sure it basically considers five important things. They are:
- Keyword research and optimisation;
- Creation of SEO-optimised content;
- Measuring and analysing KPIs (Key Performance Indicators);
- Integrating SEO with other marketing efforts;
- Cost of service.
Nevertheless, if SEO is outsourced, most professional SEO agents will give timelines for execution of various strategies and outline Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that will help to see the effectiveness of the strategies used. According to Outsourcing Your SEO white paper written by ESG some of the KPIs are:
- Percentage growth in traffic over a defined cycle;
- Number of new leads generated over time;
- Brand awareness as depicted in social media mentions;
- Website ranking for various target keywords;
- Number of social media followers.
Choose the right SEO partner
Finding a good SEO agency is easy if the organisation knows what to look for. There are many considerations to make when choosing the right agency. However, most of the considerations should be based on the end-result that the supplier company is looking for. Therefore, the company must make sure whether SEO strategy generates more leads, gets more sales, improves brand awareness and so on by considering the above factors.
Effective SEO can bring a business valuable cost effective results. With SEO, patience is key. It takes time to find the perfect mix of onsite and offsite optimisations. Once the organisation has found the perfect mix, it will see results that may be profitable for a long time. In addition, the results can be a source of repeat leads and sales for the company. Consequently, choosing the right SEO agency is crucial for better outcome.