What is SEO and Why SEO is an ongoing process and not a one-time task?
First, let’s talk about what SEO is. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. It’s what needs to be done to your website, and updated regularly, to help it rank high in the search engines. Ranking well in the search engines will give you more clicks and visits to your website. If your website has what the searcher is looking for, then you will see client calls and customer enquiries increase. If this is a website that is selling products, then your product sales should go up as well.
Maybe you have an idea what SEO is, or you have seen a lot of ads for SEO companies or have hired one in the past. You probably have seen their promises of getting your more sales and leads but you are curious as to what they actually do. Every SEO consultant out there will tell you “it depends”. Yes, that is the most popular phrase in the history of SEO agencies but that’s because it does. It depends on things like the shape of your website i.e. how it is currently performing, what industry you are in, what your competition is plus lots of other factors. It is in fact a science – all of which your local SEO expert will be able to guide you with.
Think for a moment that your website is an employee (this will all make sense we promise!), they will be your 24/7 salesperson, it’s natural you want that person to be the fittest, most attractive genius for your industry that you can have. To obtain this you need to put the work in, just like for that perfect body you need to eat the right things and train at the gym regularly your website should be at its optimum with no errors and an authority in your industry. When you reach your target weight you will not stop training or stop eating a healthy diet. Well the same goes for your website, it should be constantly worked on to remain the best it can be. Just like any athlete at the top of their game your website should always be competing to be the best.
When seeking out the truth about what is SEO you will find many places that offer advice. In fact, if you search “What is SEO?” be prepared for an onset of rabbit holes of information that go all over the place. But really what it boils down to is a couple of things. The first one is On-Page SEO. On-Page SEO is something that most agencies overlook more than they should. Why? Because it takes quite a bit of time. But, if you do this right the first time, you can see some fabulous results from it. This will be your content writing, internal and external linking, and image optimisation as well as the page speed, schema, and other things that you do to that actual website to get it ranking. Once this is complete you will start the brand-building process and then the backlinking.
Backlinking and Off-Page
Backlinks are any links you get from other websites that link back to your website. Google sees these as “votes” to your website and in general the more backlinks you can get the better, however there is a caveat to that statement. Not all backlinks are treated the same by the search engines. Each backlink is rated based on the website it originates from, e.g. a back link from a major news site such as the BBC will carry far more weight than a backlink from your neighbour’s small blog website. There are many factors that determine how much weight (known as “link juice”) is passed to your website from each back link but the main rule of thumb is to get as many relevant (i.e from the industry you are in) links from the highest authority websites you can, maybe a chartered website in your niche or links from main stream media.
Backlinking can be done in a variety of ways. When we do something either on-page or off-page for SEO it takes a few weeks for search engines to see that change. Eventually they will reward us for this process. That is why SEO is an ongoing process and not a one-time task. It takes time and patience. This is not a race, it is a slow and steady process that once we reach the top spots in the search engines, we will see the benefits from warm leads calling to products being purchased.
What is SEO? It is a very complex yet simple system. SEO is used to “tell” the search engines what you offer and sometimes where you are located. It is a balance of writing for the search engines as well as writing for the people that will find you when they search. Why is SEO an ongoing process and not a one-time task? Well, this is going to be built in layers. There will be a foundation built and then more layers of links and blogs that will need to be done. This isn’t a do it once and you are done process. It all takes a lot of time as well. Be aware all your competitors plus new businesses entering the market in your industry are all fighting for those top spots.
There is a misconception that SEO is all about good content alone. While it is true that Google want to serve the best content for its visitors it will take more than that to reach those prized top spots. In addition to this the goal posts are changing all the time with Google updating its algorithms several times each year the onus is on the SEO companies to be aware of these changes and ensure that their SEO client’s websites are optimised and even more importantly not penalised by any Google updates.
Pricing for SEO companies is always something that comes up in conversation when considering employing an agency to manage your campaigns. People are often surprised at the differences in prices that are on offer. These range from less than £100 for offshore companies to several thousands of pounds for more local agencies. When considering the benefits of each you need to think about why some companies can charge such different amounts. Most of the time it is down to two things – time and expertise. A company that spends more time on your SEO will not only achieve the results you are after, be it more sales or more clients, faster but also they will be the ones who can tailor there services to your company individually rather than using the same systems for every client they have. Think of this like a coffee shop that offers many different coffees in comparison to a shop where you can just get “coffee” and it’s the same for everyone. A genuine SEO company will learn about your company and understand exactly what it takes to achieve the results you are aiming for rather than using a “one size fits all” approach. That leads us to the second factor “expertise”, the companies that have proven experience especially in your sector are the ones who can command the higher prices. If you had an expensive vintage car, would you want to let anyone work on it or would you want that one guy who has years of experience specifically in the car you have? There is a famous story of an old ship repair man which is a great example of this.
As we mentioned earlier, SEO is a science but once invested in the rewards can be unlimited, the actions you take today will pay back for years to come. SEO is the best investment you can make after the initial payment of having a website built itself.
There is no point in having a fantastic looking website if no one ever finds it on Google. You have a website so now use it to its fullest capability and get the results you deserve to grow your business and your future.
If you think this is for you and your business see our website for further information.