Raising Your Visibility: Why Investing in SEO Makes Perfect Sense for Your Business
When it comes to running a business, there’s a very fine line between being cheap and being frugal. I once worked for a company that despite its size was still insistent on using their own proprietary software for the purpose of customer service management and searching for a specific customer data can feel like trying to find the meaning of life itself. There was a plan to switch to one of SAP’s software and they went as far as using them for a trial period but eventually, the upper management balked at the extra cost and the plan was eventually shelved.
The above case isn’t an example of a company being frugal; it’s about them being cheap. I used SAP’s software for three months and it was obvious from the get-to that it was far superior and easier to use compared to the company’s proprietary software. I know that business owners have to be extra picky when it comes to investing in additional resources but that doesn’t mean they have to penny-pinch in every situation imaginable. For example, SEO and/or SEO services still seem to be given the short shrift even though they might be one of the most valuable investments a new business could make.
Common misconceptions on SEO
SEO stands for search engine optimization and the primary goal of SEO is to get more people to discover your business via the use of search engines. That much is obvious but how exactly does the process of SEO go about achieving that particular goal isn’t exactly public knowledge. Generally, when people think of SEO, they think about keyword research and optimization, where a website fills their pages with contents relating a particular keyword. In truth, keyword research and optimization is actually just one facet of an entire SEO campaign.
Search engines as a whole have grown increasingly sophisticated that keywords are far from the only parameter they use to ‘rank’ a website. The technical quality of the website itself such as how fast it loads, how intrusive are the ads and popups, the clarity of the layout, etc, could also make or break a website’s rank. What towers above all of them however is the issue of links, which is widely believed to be one of the most important parameters in determining a website’s rank.
Proper SEO is actually a pretty comprehensive process that covers almost every aspect of your website and that it involves discussion on both the technical and non-technical section of your website and can sometimes branch out to other platforms where your company has a presence, such as in the field of social media. Investing in proper SEO is not cheap and the results of SEO aren’t usually immediate but that doesn’t mean that SEO is something not worth investing in and the following reasons should explain why.
The internet and search engines aren’t likely to go away
Think back to how you were two decades ago and try to identify just how many things that you used to do offline that you now do on the internet. You now listen to music online, you watch films online, you date online, you look for recipes online, you plan your vacations online and countless other things that I simply can’t mention here because there’s simply not enough space. As the internet becomes more accessible and more data are uploaded to the internet, search engines as a way to filter out all the irrelevant junk becomes something of a necessity.
People are so reliant on search engines that you could find plenty of lists detailing some of the most absurd Google search suggestions people have come across with. Search engines have an answer to everything. It might not necessarily be the right answer but something is almost always better than nothing, which partly explains our reliance on them. This trend isn’t likely to change anytime soon which is why it’s advisable for business to get with the program with regard to SEO and the sooner the better.
SEO is a systematic and on-going process
When I first started living by myself, I went to that same ritual the majority of adolescents did by gorging on cheap takeouts and frozen foods. I still do this on a regular basis since I tend to not have a lot of time on my hands but I’ve also made it a point to try and cook things the way MasterChef contestants do every now and then and I remember this one time I came away with a perfectly decent potatoes au gratin and it very much felt like I just won the Bathurst 1000. The quick and easy way is definitely convenient but taking time and effort to do things properly can be especially rewarding and SEO is no different.
SEO is frequently thought of as the digital face of marketing and as with any marketing efforts, deriving the actual ROI (return of investment) value from your marketing campaign can be especially tricky. SEO is even trickier because it could take quite a while before the result could be seen. The value you derive from SEO is directly proportional to the amount of time and commitment you’ve put in the work which is why it’s advisable for businesses to start their SEO efforts as soon as possible, no matter how small.
Cheap tricks and black hat SEO are no longer a viable strategy
The more unsavory characters among us would consider a decade ago when search engines were nowhere near as sophisticated as they are now as a better time to live in but for the majority of us, 2019 is definitely preferable. Numerous updates to Google’s search algorithm have made it far more refined and as a result, the algorithm can easily detect and penalizes any website that relies on underhanded tactics to boost their rank. These underhanded tactics are commonly referred to as black hat SEO, in contrast with the best practices collectively referred to as white hat SEO.
As a result, SEO has become a much more even playing field if you find that your SEO efforts haven’t been making the kind of effect you hope they would, you only have yourself to blame. This kind of meritocracy might scare some people but honestly, this is the kind of environment that I prefer where my work is judged solely on its merit and on the time and commitment I’ve put in. As search engines continue to get more sophisticated with each updates, they’re only going to get more discerning when it comes to things like content quality, which means that anyone can succeed as long as they have the necessary skills.