As a small business owner, it can be hard to keep on top of all the marketing activities you feel you should be doing. Some marketing activities seem easier or appear to have a bigger short-term impact, which can leave more complex or long-term marketing activities in the too hard basket. This includes search engine optimisation (SEO) – a long-term marketing activity that involves optimising your website to reach new customers looking for your product or service on Google.
Here are six reasons SEO shouldn’t be the last marketing activity on your list.
1. You own your website, but very little else
The risk of running a business almost entirely through social media is that you don’t own or control the platform. Each day you run the risk of changes to the way the newsfeed works, being banned for some small misdeed, having limitations placed on a certain industry (such as the Facebook media ban), or having to pay for features that were previously free.
Your website and email list are two digital assets that you own and control. Investing in building these is important because you can change them to suit your customers, you have much more control over how they work and there’s a much lower risk of losing them.
2. SEO doesn’t have the same time decay as social media
If you’ve posted something with amazing engagement on Facebook one day, you’ll also be aware that the post will be forgotten by tomorrow. This is called time decay and it’s common on social media where new content is continually being created and shared in a competition for user attention.
SEO content is the opposite. Well written content is evergreen, which means it doesn’t go out of date and stays relevant in the long term. Even well-written content can take six months or more to start seeing regular traffic from search engines. Google sends traffic based on a variety of factors, including how many people link to your content, whether they press the back button, and how long they stay to read what you’ve got to say.
What does this mean? The SEO work you do now will draw more traffic with time, instead of less.
3. Your competitors won’t stop doing SEO
I often talk to people who ask me why their website is receiving fewer visitors, even though they haven’t made any changes to the design or content. The answer is right there in the question: they haven’t made any changes, but their competitors have by adding new content or starting a new SEO strategy.
If you stop doing regular content creation and SEO optimisation, you’re giving your competitors a chance to easily pull ahead of you in the Search Engine Results Page (SERPs).
4. Evergreen content can be repurposed
A big benefit of SEO content is that it’s evergreen, meaning you can repurpose it and use it to inspire your other marketing efforts. Blog posts can be reshared every few months on your Facebook page, quotes and tips from posts can be added to images to share on Instagram and you can link to your guides in your email newsletter to build trust and show your expertise to subscribers.
5. Google keeps changing
SEO is deceptively simple because it boils down to one idea: Google cares about user experience. It’s not always that simple though, as user experience has many different facets, and it can change with technology and the way people consume information.
Google does an average of 300 updates to its algorithms each year, although most of these only have a small impact. However, the larger updates can have a big impact if you don’t keep your website optimised. Recent Google updates have addressed things such as page speed, review content, intrusive pop-ups and local business proximity.
6. You can catch new trends early
No matter what industry you’re in, there will always be change. The change may not always be to the products or services, but many other things can change including delivery methods, competitors, manufacturers and digital options.
While social media targets people already following you, SEO gives you the chance to find the people looking for a topic you’re an expert in even if they don’t know about your business. Jumping on new industry trends before they become mainstream is a great way to reach new customers and engage with them. Whether it’s a blog post on a new way of using your product or a service page explaining a new way of accessing your service digitally, there are many ways to connect with people who are early adopters of new trends.
Where to from here?
You may know how important SEO is, but what steps should you take next? To start it’s important to work on two things: optimising your website to match the topics and locations your potential customers are searching for and creating content such as blog posts to show your expertise to Google.
One great way to find inspiration for website content is to take note of all the common questions you’re asked by customers. No matter how simple or straightforward they may seem to you, the answer may not be obvious to everyone else, making them a great idea for website content.
You don’t need to spend hours on your website to see great benefits. Even setting aside a few hours per month to optimise your most visited pages, write a blog post, or add a dedicated service page can provide great benefits in the long run.
Susannah is an online traffic generation specialist and one of our Digital Solutions advisors. Learn more about the program and how it can help your business here.
Looking to improve your SEO strategy? Book in for a free 15-minute consultation with Susannah here.