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Is SEO really worth investing in for SMEs?

Updated: Jul 7, 2022

As an SME, you probably have been receiving countless emails offering you No1 of Google Search. If not emails, phone calls or direct mailers…

Is SEO really a platform that get’s you recognised and as promised, puts you on Number 1 of all Google or Search Engine searches? 

Firstly let’s be franc. Everyone is offering you No 1 on searches! If everyone was on the first page, how big would the first page be? Put it bluntly, it is not possible to all be on the first page.

Google would tell you that searches are not favoured by “Marketing Spend” or how much money you give to Google. Really? They will tell you that their algorithm favours people who use their “process” more effectively and follow simple set of criteria and guidelines.. They will tell you that you have just as much of an opportunity as McDonald’s or Nike… I would like to see that!

Here are the set of rules and criteria that Google will present to you that will make SEO work for you. Mind you, let’s not forget that most business owners did not do a degree in Seo or Online marketing nor do they have experience in website management or coding, but let’s just take the steps to see how viable it is for an SME and let’s see what actually works and does not work.

  • Keyworks that support customer targeting

  • Google will provide you with a “Google Console” and they will  tell you that you can do everything from there. 

  • Secondly, you will need to chose keywords that your industry favours

  • Google will tell you to use keywords that are unique (Not sure how your keywords would be unique from your competitors and not sure how your target audience would know what “unique” words that aren’t the norm that they would use to find your offering

  • You will need to pay for everytime a customer “views” your keyword. The customer does not have to call or email or visit your website, you will simply be charged everytime your keyword is seen in searches. Relevant or not, you will be charged a “Click” fee. That fee can range from $0.01 to $10 or more… It depends how much you want to bid on the keywords you choose. Remember, one keyword is not enough to be seen, you will need to use a few.

  • SEO Copywriting and on-page optimization – What is that? As an SME, do you even know what they mean? Again you need to be an SEO specialist to know what SEO Copywriting and on-page-sitation and optimization is? You can hire a professional who is SEO accredited and who knows what to do. This is not cheap. There is an online portal that Google designed for you to know what to do. If you want to read it, understand it and use it, it will take you approximately 12 months to 3 years… You can do it but you have to trust the model and feel that you are not wasting your time. You also need to remember that Google changes their algorithm all the time and that technology changes fairly rapidly. By the time you feel that you have the basics, the basics have changed

  • Link Attraction – Your website and keywords need to be linked to “reputable” external sources. As an example, reputable blogging sites that talk about your offering in specific, reputable advertising sites that you appear on. Google will rank you IF you have “quality links”. These links will help you increase traffic to your site, in turn, favouring your site over others. So, in short, you have to find a way to get people to create links. Unfortunately, in your industry, no matter what industry that is, businesses do not know how to develop links and don’t have the resources to not only know what Google is talking about but also where to find “credible Links”. Well, that is why people have developed “unnatural links” or simply by paying for links, often considered as “spammy techniques” in order to get a quantity of links on the cheap, hoping some of them become credible links one day! Again, you need to pay to get links this time.

  • Internal link optimization – Finally, something that you may be able to do yourself and something hat does not cost a bomb. This is simple, you need to marry your content and keywords to different pages on your website, linking information from one page to the next. Hyperlinks are generally used for this. Google values this as it creates a clear “website map” and helps establish information hierarchy for the given website. This is a fantastic SEO Best Practice and ensures that your customers can easily navigate through your website and can easily get from one place to the next! Google favours easy to navigate website as opposed to website with poor navigation.

  • Technical SEO – This process takes into account anything that isn’t content driven but is about architecture and based around foundation. These can generally be done by web-developers, website administrators, or yourself to reduce costs. This is a step where you ensure

  • Website speed

  • Mobile friendliness

  • Site Mapping

  • Structured data

  • Engagement optimization – Robot from Google or other Search Engines look for “unique content” but also “quality content” that is relevant to “Searches” and “Target Audiences”. This content not only needs to be current but it also needs to be constantly evolving and your website needs to have content that is constantly changing in order to be found. If no content is changed on your website then the robots see your website as being dormant and therefore reducing in ranking. How do you keep your content relevant and how do you keep your important information relevant? Blogs, price changes, specials, advertising, new products, deleted lines, refreshing the look and style, cross-linking pages, add reviews, offers coupons and more…

Modern SEO is definitely alive and well and there are plenty of case studies out there to prove the worth of SEO. By definition, Search Engine Optimisation is about the ongoing effort to improve the performance of a website but ensuring your information on your website is relevant and of optimum quality in order for target audiences to find you! 

Working alone SEO is dead! Working as part of a complete online strategy coupled with a strong marketing mix, driving customers to your website. Using traditional marketing principles including Yellow Pages, Signage, Flyers, stationery, word-of-mouth and sponsorships drive traffic. The more traffic your have, followed with a strong SEO strategy can work in your favour. Once you are there though, you cannot afford to stop, you need to continue your efforts in order to stay on top! Traffic is everything, content is everything, quality is everything! 

One thing is for sure, you definitely need to budget, need a strategy and need to be prepared!

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