If you run a relatively new online business and want to drive more targeted traffic to your website, what’s the best thing you can do?
Well, you could go down the pay-per-click route. If you do this you will undoubtedly attract more traffic to your website. The only problem is it’s going to cost you money, and what’s more there’s no guarantee that any of those extra clicks will result in conversions.
So what other alternatives do you have?
Well, the most obvious answer is organic search. Why would we recommend organic search? Well, it’s simple really: organic search results generate 87% of all user clicks. PPC on the other hand only accounts for 13%. So really it’s a no-brainer. But to get the most out of your online advertising you’ll probably need to spend a little cash and invest in search engine optimisation services. Now you may be wondering why you should bother spending cash when you probably can’t spare it, but the fact is it’s worth it because SEO generates free traffic and branding from the organic search results on Google, Bing and Yahoo.
But how can you know whether the SEO advice you’re given is the right advice? How will you know you’re being given the sort of advice and services that are necessary to drive your business forward? Well, obviously you’ll need to consult an expert with a proven track record of success, and you’ll also need to start asking some pertinent questions. So what sort of questions should you be asking, and what sort of answers should you expect to receive?
Well, a good and competent SEO adviser needs to be able to take a holistic look at your business as a whole and understand what you do and what you’re trying to achieve. They’ll need to understand your customer’s online buying behaviour; they’ll care about ensuring you provide the best user experience possible, they’ll appreciate the need for relevant landing pages and be fully conversant with the need for carefully crafted, value-driven content. But as important as these points may be, that’s not enough in itself. Your SEO adviser will also need to know how the major social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram contribute to effective SEO, and they’ll also need to understand and appreciate the full import and significance of Google’s Panda and Penguin updates, and their implications for poor, irrelevant content.
Blogs and content.
What should you do if your SEO adviser offers to provide blogs for your website? Well, you should find out who is providing the blogs: in other words source where the blogs are coming from. The reason for this is simply because poor and plagiarised content can have a significant impact upon your website. Google dislikes poor and plagiarised content intensely, and will punish websites that deliver it. So you’ll need to establish whether the article was imported from abroad, or whether it was sourced locally and written by an experienced content writer? Then ask the content provider whether they have a portfolio of work you can analyse for yourself. Why is this so important? Well, it’s important because they’re writing about your brand or business and what they write can have consequences, particularly from the search engines.
As a general rule, just remember that good content writing costs. If you’re offered content on the cheap, then it will probably be worthless. A good content writer researches and attributes sources. If yours doesn’t, then all is not well. Content is now generally regarded as being more important than advertising in attracting customers. Therefore you should think seriously about the quality of writer/content creator you employ. It may cost more, but it will pay dividends in the long run.
Social media content.
Google now places great value on the authority of social media sites and incorporates these into its search results. In fact, Google believes they have more authority than website backlinks or Metatags. Some SEO companies choose to outsource their social media content to offshore places, but this is short-sighted. Whilst it might be cheaper, you only get what you pay for.
How can you tell whether where your content is being written? Well, all you need to do is look at the quality of the content: the standards of English are often poor, and there is an obvious lack of appreciation of good content and editing, let alone scant consideration given to how these can affect a website’s reputation. If you choose to go with this cheap and cheerful approach, there is a considerable risk that your content may be downgraded, which will possibly lead to major consequences not just for your corporate brand but also your search engine rankings.