In regards to SEO, there is so much misinformation, outdated advice, and poorly executed campaigns that many people are afraid to jump on the SEO bandwagon — or have gotten off the wagon after being burned. However, even though there are plenty of people doing it wrong, there are almost as many doing it right (and they are getting ahead). So, if you want your website to compete, SEO is not an option but a necessity.
Why You Need It
What makes search engine optimization so vital? Here are just a few reasons:
The Majority of Search Engine Users Click on Listings From the First Page of Results
It’s a sad fact no matter how great your content, if your site doesn’t appear on the first page of search listings, it’s unlikely to be noticed by many people. In fact, around 95% of all search engine traffic originates from first page results.
It Matches Searchers With the Stuff Their Looking For
When done right, SEO connects your site with online users who are looking for what you are offering. Otherwise, you risk showing up in search listings for things that have nothing to do with your products, services, or the theme of your site. In other words, if you aren’t actively targeting specific keywords you may be surprised what words you “accidently” appear under (if any).
Provides a Higher Return on Your Investment
First of all, as already mentioned, just by being on the first page of search results you are more likely to see an increase in traffic. Secondly, by using keyword rich content you are more apt to attract your target audience who is inherently primed to spend or take action. So, with more quality traffic you are almost guaranteed to see higher conversions and a greater ROI.
It’s One of the Major Ways Google “Understands” Your Website
Of course, Google and all other search engines want to deliver relevant, quality content to their users, but since they use computers and not actual people to peruse your site, choosing the best content isn’t exactly easy. Thus, they rely on algorithms, keywords, links, and other quantifiable measurements to rate your pages. This means, even though content is a huge factor, you also have to “play the game” to an extent if you want search engines to understand and accurately rank your site.
It Helps You Understand Your Audience
By researching keywords and performing analytics you learn a ton about people’s search preferences and what they are looking for. With this knowledge, you can essentially speak in a language your customers understand and use words more likely to be used in search queries.
Why Not Do it Yourself?
If you’re a small business or just starting out then you undoubtedly feel the pressure to save money wherever possible. In these situations it’s incredibly easy to talk yourself into handling SEO on your own, but more times than not, this decision ends up doing more harm than good.
It’s more complicated than you think and will distract you from your business
Trying to be a jack of all trades will, as the saying goes, make you a master of none. SEO requires a great deal of technical know-how, so as you struggle to learn complicated concepts your primary focus (running your business) will also suffer. In the end, you will probably end up burning the midnight oil for only mediocre performance (at best) on all fronts. If you recognize time is money, you will assuredly spend far more by tackling SEO on your own than you would by handing the job over to an expert.
Professionals will give you faster and far better results
Those who do SEO for a living have the process down to a science. They can have the most advantageous keywords chosen, perform on-site optimization, and be ready with analytics before you’ve even come up with a plan. Also, they know how to tweak your content and where to target your site for the greatest results possible.
SEO is a dynamic field
Google is almost constantly changing its ranking algorithms, which means SEO tactics from a few years ago, last year, or even last month aren’t always relevant. As you try to research SEO strategies online, you may inadvertently be teaching yourself outdated information. On the other hand, those who are already in this field can better adapt to changes since they are starting with a firm SEO foundation.
So, although being a DIYer may seem like it’s saving you money, it will likely cost you a great deal of time, and you will miss out on all the potential profits that good SEO can bring.
The Bottom Line
It’s understandable to feel great content should be able to stand on its own merit without a bunch of technical manipulation. But, to put it simply, it doesn’t — you need both. There’s no point taking a moral stance, because it won’t help to improve your site’s exposure. A better strategy is to give your superior content the recognition it deserves by getting it at the top of the rankings, and the best way to do this is by relying on the skills of an experienced, reputable SEO company.