SEO Foundation Series Part #1:
Before you Start SEO Marketing, Read This
Search engine Optimization (SEO) is not the newest form of marketing available, but it is often treated that way. Many people don’t understand it well, and there is a lot of disparity in the prices and services offered by the many SEO providers out there. So, to help you put things in perspective, here are four things to keep in mind when considering SEO services.
Cheaper is not always better. Beware of SEO services that are too cheap or promise the moon with hardly any investment. Good SEO is worth its weight in gold. The return on investment is much higher than traditional forms of marketing. Do a simple google search (use SEO) for “seo roi” and you’ll find plenty of research to back it up. What most people don’t understand early on is why some SEO companies charge a lot of money ($1,000 – $5,000 or more), and others charge a fraction of that ($100 – $300) for what seems like the same service. This is where you need to really dig in to find out what’s going on. Cheap SEO can end up being anything but that. You’ll find that while you save money early on, you lose on quality, long-term effectiveness, and lack of actual conversions (turning searchers into customers). In an effort to fix the problem, you’ll do the same thing again, and get the same results. Fixing bad SEO can be far more expensive than investing in good SEO from the beginning. “Expensive” SEO companies charge what they do for a reason. They usually know what goes into providing high-quality service, and doing things right the first time.
SEO is not a “get rich quick” type of marketing. Google needs to trust you to recommend you. That being said, good, organic SEO takes time. Beware of companies that promise high search rankings in very little time (less than 3-6 months). While you may see an initial boost in your rankings, it doesn’t last. Google is constantly evolving its search algorithm to weed out SEO that tries to trick the system. Years ago, you could get away with certain techniques, called “black-hat” SEO, that would skyrocket you to the top of Google’s recommendations. Once discovered though, you would be banned from Google, and not show up at all. “Black-hat” is still around, although it’s much cleverer today. What Google does love is called “white-hat” SEO. It’s a much more organic approach that builds trust with Google over time. Once Google trusts you and recognizes you as authority for certain keywords, it will recommend you more, or rank you higher. Ask about SEO techniques when talking to an SEO service provider, and most of all, remember to think long term. Good SEO sometimes takes 6 months to a year to fully take effect.
Don’t just focus on SEO. Social media marketing and content marketing will also make a huge difference in the long term growth of your company. As any successful business owner will tell you, it’s good to invest in several forms of marketing to reach your desired audience. With digital marketing on the rise, there are more and more options available to market to your audience that far out-perform traditional marketing (Billboards, Yellow Pages. Etc.) For one, social media marketing puts you in front of 2 billion people – pretty much all of your desired audience. Places like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest (among many others) are great places to put yourself in front of potential customers and to start a conversation with them – to be social. This can do wonders for your brand, building trust and loyalty. Content marketing is also crucial. Gwetting ion front of people is one thing, but giving them something to remember you by, and to share is another thing. Good content can do that, but it takes time, creativity, and consistency – which can be limited resources for you. It‘s worth investing in a company that can provide it for you. Many SEO providers also offer these services, and it would serve you well to consider adding them to your marketing arsenal.
Don’t expect things to change overnight, and don’t expect to learn everything there is to know about SEO and digital marketing. Give it time. Be willing to learn as much as you can, but trust that the company you hire will stand behind their services. SEO is not an easily understood industry yet, it’s quickly getting there. Be willing to invest, give it the time it needs, and trust that you’ll eventually see the ROI you desire.
This is by no means an all-inclusive list of things to consider before choosing SEO. Do your own research, and, like any business venture, weigh the costs. SEO can be a game changer for your business, so choose wisely.