Continuing our series on marketing your business online, today we are going to discuss Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).
What is it?
At it’s most basic, SEO is the practice of fiddling with (optimising) the content on your website to get highly relevant and targetted traffic to your site. What do we mean by this? Well, if you are in the business of selling Tractors, you need to get visitors (traffic) who are looking for genuinely looking for information about Tractors (Tractor Parts, Tractor Servicing, Tractor Warranties, etc.). Having people who want to buy pink baloons coming to your site is of no use or relevance to you or the visitor. With this in mind, you would optimise your Tractor sales website to focus exclusively on all relevant aspects of the business and reduce any irrelevant inbound traffic from searches on other topics.
How can it help you?
To put it simply, you are weeding out the irrelevant traffic and boosting the relevant traffic – you are getting more traffic from people that are actually looking for your products/services.
Does it really work?
Yes – but it must be said that it is not the answer to all of your problems. The most frequent requests we get from new clients are “I want potential clients to pick up the phone and call me.” or “I want to make more sales online.”. SEO will certainly help the right people find your website, but your site needs to promote confidence in your business, your products and your services.
You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink it.
You need to grab the visitors attention while they are on your site and prompt them to take action (we call this “conversion”) – to pick up the phone and call you or click the “Checkout” button. This means your site content is extremely important. You can get thousands of hits on a given page, but if the content is not relevant, engaging or useful, you won’t inspire confidence in the mind of the visitor. Your content should be written in the natural language of your ideal customer – not necessarily the technical language that you might know given your familiarity with the subject. This can be difficult to do, but don’t worry, help is at hand!
Great, how can I get started?
There are two approaches to this – hands on (doing it yourself) and hands off (paying an outfit like ourselves to do the work for you). There are a number of factors to consider – first is time. If you have the time to do a little bit of training and then spend a number of hours (per month) working on optimising the site, then you would do well to try it yourself. If you are short on time, we would always recommend that you employ a trustworthy agency to do the job. We are always on hand to provide our SEO services and SEO training – whichever you feel suits your needs.
Any tips or advice?
Certainly. First and foremost, we would say that you should never make a change to your site without having measured your inbound traffic for a minimum of a few weeks before hand. You need to have an idea of how the site is performing in the search engine rankings before you try to optimise your site. You also need to have a realistic goals – afterall, you can’t hit a target you can’t see!