Founder and CEO of Markitors, a digital marketing company that connects small businesses with customers – and has a good time doing it.
SEO can be confusing. Build backlinks here, insert title tags there, make sure to optimize your page speed scores – where do you begin?
Over the years, I’ve gotten our website to rank on the first page worldwide for the keyword “digital marketing company,” a term that brings in the majority of our new business leads and fuels our company growth. Search engine optimization is certainly a high-value marketing tactic in a digital strategy but that doesn’t mean it happens overnight.
Here are a few things to consider before investing in SEO:
- Patience. It took me about three years to rank on the first page for “digital marketing company” and I’ve had clients wait three years to rank for their target keywords. The payoff is great, but it takes a lot of patience to get to that point.
- Impatience. Not every company can afford to wait until SEO kicks in. To see immediate results, companies need to be impatient and invest in digital marketing activities outside of SEO. Specifically, pay-per-click advertising (PPC) can deliver immediate results while determining whether a keyword is worth ranking for.
- What content will you create on an ongoing basis? Being viewed by Google as a “resource” helps with your ranking. To be viewed as a resource, you need links and content. Ask yourself if there are 52 blog posts (one per week) that should be created on your website. If you have good content, the path to ranking for target keywords will be easier.
- Not every organic search visit will convert. We’ve gotten sites to rank No. 1 for keywords, only to find out that those keywords had a low conversion rate. Ranking No. 1 for a search term isn’t always a good thing.
- When you do find a keyword that converts, do everything you can to protect that search position. When I was managing SEO for a client, we were ranking in the top 10 search positions and making $5,000 a week with no advertising costs. One day, Google dropped the search rankings back to the third page of search results. Revenue dried up. When you rank well for a converting keyword, monitor it and continue to build on it like you were still on page three.
- Competition dictates actions. Some industries are highly competitive when it comes to SEO. Do a competitive analysis of the companies controlling the top 20 search positions for your target keyword and see if how realistic it is to overtake them. How does your website stack up to the competition?
- What are the costs? Who is going to do the work and what do they cost? What are the expenses associated with doing business through your website? Adding up all the costs provides key insight into your return on investment.
- Profit is what matters. Investments need a positive return. Given the points above, how many sales would your business need to amass over a 12-month period to be profitable? Knowing the competitive landscape in search result pages, how long it takes to rank for a target keyword, and how much you’ll pay an SEO professional to get your website to rank – is it all worth it?
SEO offers incredible value to business owners and marketers. There are a couple key takeaways from these points that determine whether you are ready to invest in SEO.
- Will you make more money than you spend?
- Do you stand a chance at ranking for your high-converting keywords?
If the answers are “yes,” then good luck creating content, backlinking and monitoring Google Search Console. If the answers are “no,” then consider starting a Google AdWordsaccount and pay for your clicks.