There is so much confusion, misinformation, and anxiety about search engine optimisation that it actually boggles my mind.
Google’s in on it.
SEO consultants are in on it (sometimes by just trying to teach too much).
Website developers are often unwittingly doing it.
Pseudo-experts are in on it.
And yet, SEO “fluency” is extremely low for most businesses.
There are those few that get it and dominate the results and then there are the masses who don’t have any idea and are, unfortunately, missing out on opportunities to get more targeted visitors to their sites.
SEO has been around for more than two decades, and yet so many business owners still think of it as some kind of dark science that only hackers can understand.
As a leading SEO company Melbourne we are here to demystify SEO.
Question: Why are people so confused about how to get their pages to rank in Google and other search engines?
Here are some of the reasons. Please add others below in the comments:
Misdirection and lack of clarity: Google and the other search engines purposely hide details about their ranking algorithms so people can’t game the system.
SEO friendly vs. SEO: Web developers who may not really understand SEO, claim a site is “SEO friendly”, “SEO optimised” or “Includes SEO”. “SEO friendly”, “SEO optimised” or “Includes SEO” have very little meaning if there is no keyword strategy (e.g. what keywords is it optimised for???). Did you talk with your web developer about which products, services, brands, or geographies you’re focused on? If not, it’s most likely not optimised for keyword phrases you care about.
Smoke and mirrors: Some companies that offer SEO services use presentations that include lots of smoke, mirrors, and paralysis-inducing levels of detail that leave potential clients so dazed they don’t know which way is up. But they know that they want the SEO pain to end. “Where do I sign to rank #1?!”, they say in frustration.
Algorithm change hype cycle: Google’s constant algorithm changes make it all seem like a moving target for all but “search gurus”. It’s enough to make any business owner, manager or employee throw up their arms and just give up!
“Kind of” knowing SEO: A lot of people “kind of” know SEO. This means they get that it’s about keywords, content, and links. There’s a big gap between this basic knowledge and actually implementing something with impact.
SEO tools are required to measure progress. It’s hard for most regular businesspeople to make an educated buying decision about an SEO toolset. So most just don’t even bother going there.
Delayed gratification: SEO is not an overnight thing, so people don’t easily associate their actions with results. What’s worse, they may not even know that they’re ranking for certain keywords already! Because of the lack of feedback, they quickly give up and head over to Adwords instead – an expensive replacement, but one that can give instant satisfaction.
Lack of Analytics Awareness: People don’t check their website analytics, don’t have analytics, or don’t understand it enough to know what’s working and what’s not.
Why you should care about SEO?
Organic traffic is the best kind of traffic any business can get. Period.
There are many ways to prove that point but I’ll focus on the main ones:
Unlike PPC ads, SEO doesn’t require continuous investment (it’s not exactly a “build it and they will come” process either, but with SEO you can easily pause your investment and the traffic will continue flowing)
Unlike social media ads, organic traffic is not interruptive, meaning that you gibe people what they were searching for instead of interrupting their browsing with your offer
Unlike just about any other traffic source, organic traffic is intent-based: Google picks your pages if it matches what searchers intended to do (so it’s much more actionable).
If you’re a brick-and-mortar business, it’s even better. You can get regular phone calls, email inquiries, or walk-ins directly as a result of better (local) SEO. If you offer products and services that people love – but you just don’t seem to be found easily online – pay attention.
Local SEO is still a huge competitive advantage. Not many local businesses invest enough time into it, so you can quickly rank for local searches and start generating leads and sales.
Our Canberra SEO company has seen and proved the results garnered by SEO, the proof really is in the pudding.
It’s not rocket science but you will probably need some help…
Let me talk about a concept… This is simplified but it’s one way you can think about SEO:
If you have a website, you’ve already published content online.
Phase 1 of SEO is merely optimising existing content in a format that Google recognises and can use. Why waste all of those web pages you’ve worked so hard on by hiding them from Google?
Of course, you have to optimise for keywords that your customers care about and those usually fall out from your business strategy, the types of products you offer, and your location (if you’re a local business)
You can learn some of the basics at places like Moz, Seach Engine Land or others…
Phase 2 of SEO is having a long-term keyword strategy and actually creating new pages that focus on your target search queries. You may also rethink some of your existing pages based on your keyword strategy.
What are the target keywords? These can include your most profitable products or services, geographies where you want to sell more of your products/services and sought-after brands or product types.
For many businesses that serve a specific niche or geographic area, Phases 1 & 2 can give a nice boost.
In less competitive or niche markets, Phases 1 and 2 (often combined into one project) are enough to start getting you to rank on Page 1 for relevant phrases for your business.
Going a lot deeper…
Phase 3 of SEO gets into link-building, directories, local listings, social media, etc. This is a bigger effort, but if you have the first phases taken care of, you have a great foundation to start from.
The key here is to never let your SEO strategy remain stagnant. Try new tactics and new topics, test new tools, and get on more platforms. It’s worth it!
Don’t be afraid of SEO. Whether you need SEO in Perth advice, advice for your Melbourne business or anywhere in between: We’ve got you.
There are simple things that you can do that can help most businesses rank better. Learn them, start simple, and use SEO tools (ranking, inbound link analysis) and website analytics to measure incremental progress.