Search Engine Optimization (SEO): For some, this topic is a bit dated but always seems to find a way back into discussions dealing with digital marketing. Business owners and digital marketers have all had discussions with local media companies about their SEO solution—some have even hired them—leaving more of a question in their head about SEO’s importance than a solution to their website goals. This has been happening for years and we’ve recently seen many companies flat out ignore the discussion around SEO due to a bad taste in their mouths from past experiences.
It’s time to reinvigorate that conversation! SEO is not only necessary to keep up with Google’s best practices, buts it’s also important as it provides a clean end-user experience. Viewing your website as a store-front is beneficial in interpreting your site’s user experience—providing your visitor a seamless process in which they can find what they are searching for quickly is the same as having your brick and mortar orderly so products and departments can be found quickly. Hiring a reputable SEO company can help you accomplish this. On-site optimizations like custom content development, dialing in back-ended coding, and establishing strong backlinks is a process; one in which a professional SEO campaign manager can execute more efficiently. In addition, your SEO company will provide unbiased website feedback—which we all need. And that’s just to optimize your website experience. What about being found in local searches like, “best restaurant near me?”
Local SEO is another important piece of a company’s overall SEO health. Local searches on mobile devices have increase by x% since 2012. If foot traffic is important to a business, Local SEO is paramount to being found—if they aren’t doing it, they aren’t being found. Why? Google’s Map Listings and 3-Packs have replaced the Yellow Pages of yesteryear. The algorithm Google uses to place business in these two coveted positions is more involved than most are aware of. It includes things like completing top-tier listings (like, Google+ and Yelp – there’s over 60 of them); completing niche and geographic listings (like, Angie’s List or a local community business registry), and optimizing a Google Business listing with images and clear written content.
“But it’s expensive and it’s doesn’t move the needle quickly enough.”
SEO is a marathon not a sprint—a long-term solution to digital health. Businesses need to drive both short-term revenue from their digital presence as well as maintain long-term profitability. More times than not, a combination of both short-term media will be blended with a solid SEO recommendation. This is to accomplish immediate return on ad spend (ROAS) at the same time providing a platform in which Google searchers can find you when they need you—now or later.
Lastly, not all SEO companies are created equal. Many of the companies that have been around for a long time and have national brand awareness are utilizing automated software programs to only provide bulk work, nothing is really customized for their clients. If you’re currently working with an SEO company, asking questions about their work on top-tier citations, niche and geo-specific citations, and Google My Business deliverables will quickly disclose if you have a custom-solution company or a set-it-and-forget-it company.
So, strike that conversation up again internally about SEO if you haven’t already. Talk about your company’s presence on search engines. Are you being found with your own brand name? Are you being found for keywords that are obvious to your industry? If not, seek out a company that is a Google Partner and that will provide you the custom-built solution your company needs.
—Ryan Cook, SEO Channel Sales Manager