Pay-per-click advertising offers great bang-for-buck when conducted properly, and content marketing remains the best way to build a highly-engaged audience in the digital age.
Neither, however, can exist without a corresponding, focused SEO campaign.
But that doesn’t mean SEO will offer the quick fix you perhaps yearn for.
Don’t be deterred, though - we’re here today to tell you why SEO is vitally important - providing you’re prepared to wait…
Why you should invest in SEO
Search engine optimisation has never stood still. It’s a discipline that evolves constantly and is by far the best way to ensure market-ready buyers end up on your website at just the right time, without you spending a fortune to get them there.
That makes SEO an invaluable digital marketing tactic for businesses big and small, but far too many organisations enter the process with the belief that the results will quickly follow.
The rise of the long tail
A long tail keyword is simply a search term that delivers narrow yet far more relevant results.
Usually consisting of three or more words, long tail keywords are best described as natural searches; we type phrases into Google as if we were having a conversation with it.
Let’s say we’re searching for shoes online. A few years ago, we’d probably have typed “shoe shops Northampton” into Google. Now, that search is likely to be far more specific, for instance: “shoe shops in Northampton specialising in wide-fitting men’s”.
Ranking for these long tail keywords is marginally easier due to lower levels of competition, but they change as search habits change (i.e. constantly). It therefore demands a knowledgeable, patient pair of SEO hands to keep your website from slipping off the radar.
There’s a huge amount of research (both initial and on-going) required to find and rank your website for the most appropriate long tail keywords. The best SEO companies will regularly keep on top of the keywords for which you have the best chance of ranking highly.
A multitude of factors
If there’s one SEO question that’s asked the most often but remains the hardest to answer, it’s: “so… how long will it take?”.
The answer is nearly always longer than the website owner would hope for, but that’s for good reason.
Beyond the keyword research already noted, there’s your website’s backlink profile, its depth of content, the removal of any Google penalties and the many technical aspects of SEO which need tinkering with beneath the hood.
Rush any of these elements, and you’re unlikely to see meaningful results. Therefore, if an SEO agency promises ‘guaranteed results’ within three months, you’re right to be suspicious.
Ask any business that ranks highly on Google for the secret to their success, and it’s likely to boil down to two things:
- Finding the best SEO company to help manage the task.
- Sticking with that SEO company for the duration.
There’s no such thing as a website plugin that will solve your SEO woes, and no matter what you’re told by certain agencies, this is a long game.
However, play that long game, and the rewards will absolutely transform the fortunes of your business.