Let's keep this very simple: SEO solutions will make or break your business.
No matter what type of business you're in, choosing to ignore SEO is choosing to help your competition. Big time.
If people are Googling for your business in your area and not finding you, guess who they're finding? The other guys.
Here's why we've seen SEO go from "great to have" to "absolutely must-have" over the last few years.
1. Purchase Decisions Are Made on Phones
The days of needing a really great, properly optimized desktop site are gone. You now need a properly SEO mobile site to compete.
Google knows this and has seen it coming for a while. Their sole search business is providing the best possible experience for the searcher. They succeed by people finding what they want on the first page in as few clicks as humanly possible.
You need a properly optimized site to impress Google. After that, however, you need to impress the customer with your mobile experience. 64% of surveyed people said they'll leave your mobile site if they experience any sort of hiccup.
And 40% of those people said their next stop is the competitor's website.
2. An Online Store Without SEO Is the Kiss of Death
Let's say you've used something like Shopify to build an incredible online store. It looks amazing.
You still need to optimize the heck out of every page.
Too many people think that because Shopify is so easy, it's completely turnkey and pages come pre-optimized. True, they give you access to the controls, plugins, and SEO solutions to succeed.
But you still need to do the work. Otherwise, you have an amazing site that nobody can find.
People will use a less visually appealing site if it happens to be the one they find after a few clicks on Google. More than 35% of customers start their shopping journey with Google, so you need to be the answer they're looking for.
It's better to have an optimized, average-looking website than a stunning, non-optimized one.
3. The War Is Never Over (And You Have Never Really Lost)
Just because the other guys are on top right now doesn't mean they can't be knocked down.
Success in SEO is not achieved. It's maintained. You have to keep fighting for it every single day.
Let's take the Google Penguin update. This shifted the local business and SEO landscape in a major way last year.
Basically, Google released an update designed to curb the current use of shady link building practices. People were acquiring "link juice" by buying/ negotiating for token links on unrelated sites, or link farms.
The Penguin update basically said, "We only want good, organic links from now on." They rewarded everyone whose links were built on organic SEO solutions like guest posts and customer reviews while punishing people using link farms.
In a matter of 30 days, we saw people on top of the mountain falls down. Some fell right off the front page of search results pages into obscurity.
Why? Because they were getting away with an SEO shortcut (or cheat) for too long. The Google Penguin update ensured that people doing things the right way were rewarded.
And boy, were they rewarded! They saw a number of key search terms skyrocket to the top of the list while their sales funnels filled accordingly.
4. SEO Solutions Don't Have to Be Expensive
A lot of people on the fence may feel that SEO solutions mean they have to tear down their site and build it again. That is both expensive and time-consuming.
It doesn't have to be that way. An SEO firm should be able to give you an SEO boost, using or tweaking the assets you already have in place. It's a matter of putting a fresh coat of paint on the exterior (front end) and reinforcing the foundation (back end).
For example, here's something that's free that will set you apart from half of the businesses clamoring for SEO space: Make sure your Google My Business Listing is up-to-date and complete.
This is insanely simple, and you can do it in 15 minutes. For free.
Yet, about half the businesses out there have confessed that their listing isn't updated or complete. And that's pretty much gift-wrapping local traffic to the people who have.
That is just one thing an SEO solutions company should be able to flag for you. It's a low-cost fix that can make a huge difference.
5. SEO and PPC Aren't the Same
Some people have moved their spending from SEO onto pay-per-click ads (PPC).
PPC ads are great for bringing in new traffic. But PPC success does not lead to SEO success, even though you may have bought your ads from Google.
These are two separate things.
- PPC: Paid traffic you buy by bidding on important keywords
- SEO: Organic traffic that you earn by optimizing important keywords
Some businesses buy into PPC thinking it will help their SEO rankings, but it won't.
PPC ads are still great and can bring in new traffic to fill your sales funnel. But you have to treat that traffic separately.
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