Are You Ready for SEO?
Today I spoke with the owner of a small business in the event industry. The owner was calling a number of SEO companies, trying to find out how to improve her search rankings and how much SEO would cost. Her end goal was to increase sales.
She had a great reputation, wonderful testimonials, and had been in the business a long time. She had a lot going for her, including some good ranking on Google for some less important keywords. Her website, however, was not fully SEO optimized, was dated and not visually pleasing, was missing a call-to-action (CTA), didn’t have good content and was missing out on a lot of potential. In short, if her website was a reflection of her brand, it would explain why her competition was doing well.
After doing some research on her site, keywords, competition and rankings, I called her back. She and I discussed the different methods of SEO and potential results. She had talked to a number of other SEO agencies and all of them used different tactics, leaving her confused.
I talked to her about our well-rounded approach, focusing heavily on the use of relevant content but also utilizing other white hat techniques (on site and off site optimization, keyword analysis, link building, social media and more). A good SEO company provides a balanced approach to all aspects of optimization so that results are effective and long lasting, delivering the highest ROI to the client.
This business owner had talked to one agency who must have told her all she needed was backlinks and quoted her a low price for doing this type of work (they might have been off-shore). In the end, I got the feeling she was just picking everyone’s brain and would try to do it all herself as a means to save money.
While I understand this thought process, it usually results in frustration and wasted time. Business owners need to focus on what they’re good at: running their business. The monthly cost of an SEO plan, usually only $250 to $550 for a basic small business plan, is a tiny investment when compared to the boost in sales and ROI. The strategy of using either a “do it yourself” approach or a “lowest price wins” usually ends in lost opportunity, frustration and at worst, penalization of your site by Google.
If you’re considering SEO for your business but are on the fence, take a minute to think about why. Is it the cost that makes you hesitate? Do you think SEO sounds easy? Think you should be doing it yourself? Or maybe you aren’t yet convinced that a good position on search engines will really make a difference in your bottom line?
Today’s savvy executives know that SEO is critical to building a brand and is a key part of a company’s overall marketing plan. Other efforts, including trade shows, networking, PPC, print advertising, collateral and broadcast, can also be important elements of a strategic and highly effective marketing plan. Remember, it’s important to keep your eye on the prize: generating new customers, building relationships with existing customers and generating long term revenue growth.