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Is Search Engine Optimisation suitable for every business?

I had lunch with a colleague a few days ago, and we were talking about the services GO Creative offers to its clients. One of those is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), which is the process of improving the ranking of a website in search engines (e.g. Google) for particular search terms. The goal is to be more visible, which gets more traffic to the website, and ultimately to increase the number of enquiries or sales.

We ended up discussing whether SEO was the right choice for small businesses (and, in particular, micro businesses). There are lots of things to consider, but we basically both reached the same conclusion.

There’s no “one size fits all”

At the end of the day, there are various reasons why a business might engage an SEO provider to help increase enquiries and sales via their website. But many SEO providers will take on every client who comes their way, even if there are better options available.

At GO Creative, our team of Brisbane website developers and marketing specialists asks lots of questions up front so that we can understand your business. It’d be silly to offer a solution when we don’t even know what the problem is. For example, some businesses are looking for a quick spike in sales and are prepared to pay more for that — so we’d be more likely to recommend Google AdWords (pay per click advertising in Google) instead of SEO. If they weren’t so concerned about a quick return on investment, and were more focused on improving the visibility of their brand, social media may be the way to go.

But we need to know all of the variables before we make a recommendation, so we run through a questionnaire with all of our clients to make sure we have the full picture.

Why SEO may not be suitable

An SEO service may not be suitable for some businesses due to:

  • a very limited marketing budget
  • an extremely competitive industry where results may take longer than the business can afford
  • operating in an extreme niche, which means there aren’t enough Google searches for their products or service
  • already engaging heavily in content marketing, and SEO won’t offer enough additional benefits
  • a very low quality website which needs to be redeveloped before commencing any marketing activities.

Calculating your return on investment

The easiest way to work out your “break even” figure is to simple take your average lifetime customer profit, and work backwards from the SEO budget. So if you’re considering spending $1000 per month on an SEO service, and your customers are worth $500 in profits, you’d need to get two new customers per month from the SEO service to break even. It may take a couple of months for the results to emerge (that’s just how the SEO process works), so take that into account as well. Your selected Brisbane website developers or digital marketing agency may be able to help with other variables as well.

In summary

For many small businesses, SEO is extremely cost-effective and really helps them grow. For others, it’s just not the right option. Marketing agencies who push SEO on every business as though it’s some kind of guaranteed path to success is a negligent approach. This is how small businesses get burnt, thinking they’re putting their money into a service which is going to bring them a solid return on investment, but that’s not always the case.

There’s no guarantees when it comes to marketing; you have to weigh up all of the options and see what works best for you. Phone us today on (07) 3333 2932 for a free chat, or get an instant online quote to see how our team of Brisbane website developers and digital marketing experts can help your business grow.

How will changes to Google’s star ratings system affect you?

It goes without saying that just about every business could do with more traffic to their websites, which is why so many business owners engage our company for website design and management services. When you work with an agency who specialises in both WordPress web development and related marketing services, such as Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), you can rest assured that your rankings and traffic will increase over time.

So what has this got to do with Google’s star ratings?

Well, even though you may have a wonderful WordPress site with the very best web development underpinning it, if you don’t have a handle on your online reputation and presence in search engines, you could be in serious trouble.

Why can Google’s star rating lose you customers?

For a long time now, Google has used a star rating system, where 1 to 5 stars can be shown next to each website address in the search results. When you use our SEO services, this is one of the optimisation techniques we pay attention to for our clients.

These stars are based on the quality of the reviews your business receives on their Google+ page, and until recently you needed at least 5 reviews for these stars to show in the search results. Now however, Google has reduced this to 1 review, so you’re instantly visible as soon as anyone leaves a review.

While only needing one good review will now give you a 5 star Google rating, one bad review can get you just 1 single star, and we all know that shoppers pay attention to these star ratings. It’s a no-brainer to say that if a shopper sees two websites in Google — one with 5 stars and the other with 1 star — they will opt for the 5 star website every time.

This is why you need to encourage as many reviews as possible on your Google+ page, so that if by chance, you receive a negative review, it will be counter balanced by all of the good reviews. This is something we regularly put into practice with our clients, as just one of the strategies we include in our website design, website management, and digital marketing services.

Get more positive reviews today

If you want to stop worrying about your rankings, why not engage our website and SEO services and get an instant quote online?

What is Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), and is it worth the money?

Without exception, search engine optimisation (SEO) is vital to everyone with a website (if they want to take advantage of potential extra traffic, anyway). This is why it is important to learn as much as you can about SEO and if your budget allows, to hire a consultant who offers affordable SEO packages, where everything is taken care of for you.

SEO can be time consuming, in both coming up to speed on what needs to be done, and in actually doing the work. This is why many business owners outsource this part of their marketing strategy, investing in monthly SEO packages. It’s simply not worthwhile to spend countless weeks, months, or even years, working on your SEO strategy when you could be focused on your core business.

But what is SEO, and why is it important?

Put simply, SEO improves your website’s ranking in search engines, such as Google. It makes your website “tick the boxes” for search engines, while helping customers actually find your website as well. Any good SEO provider will also aim to improve your website itself (such as the design, content, and features) to ensure that you don’t just bring in more visitors, but convert those visitors into customers.

What’s involved in an SEO program?

There are two distinct aspects to it. There’s “on-page” and “off-page” SEO, with the former focused on improving your website’s content, architecture and HTML code in the background. The latter is focused on ensuring your website can be found through various means, such as on social media, business directories, and other reputable websites. Both of these components of SEO are an ongoing process, because search engines change the rules frequently, and this means that something that worked for you yesterday may not work tomorrow — or may even see you penalised. Therefore SEO isn’t a “set and forget” service and needs constant management.

What about paid advertising?

That’s all well and good about SEO, but what if you want to use paid advertising platforms, and social media marketing, to bring in website traffic?

Well, the first reason to look at an SEO package, in addition to the other options, is that putting all of your eggs in one basket isn’t a great idea. Marketing strategies involve a lot of experimentation; what works for one business may not work for another.

Secondly, if managed by a professional, the return on your investment from an SEO package should be quite substantial.

Most businesses use a mix of paid advertisements and SEO to increase traffic to their website, and this works well. In fact, doing the right things (such as making your website more user friendly) as part of your SEO campaign will benefit your advertising campaigns, and vice versa.

Let’s start growing your business today!

Being on top of your SEO is one great way you can increase traffic, sales and profits. If you want to chat further about how our SEO packages can help your business rank higher in Google, phone us on (07) 3333 2932 or get a free instant email quote.

A short primer on SEO for small business owners

Even if you receive most of your website traffic and sales from paid advertising, there is no rational reason why you should ignore free traffic from search engines. To take advantage of this free traffic however, you need to come up to speed on search engine optimisation (SEO).

Here is a short primer on SEO for business owners, so you can start taking advantage of free traffic on your website.

Why is SEO important to my business?

SEO is a strategy where you optimise your website for search engines. This can be Google, Yahoo or Bing, for example, but since the biggest search engine is Google, this is usually where you’ll want to focus your time and efforts.

When someone types a search term into Google (such as “plumbers in Brisbane”), it goes off to find the websites that are the most relevant. Google ranks these websites on the search engine results pages in order of relevance, along with how recent the information is, how popular the website is, site loading speed, and countless other factors. SEO is the best way to make your website’s pages appear higher in the results.

What exactly is SEO?

SEO is comprised of a number of strategies all meant to optimise your web pages for search engines. This includes “on-page” and “off-page” SEO, both of which Google looks at when it decides whether or not your website is legitimate and relevant to the search terms entered.

On-page SEO refers to the different elements of your web pages that affect your rankings in the serps, such as speed, ease of use, accessibility, standards-compliant coding, and more. Off-page SEO focuses on promoting the content of your website throughout the internet, such as by adding your site to business listings, review sites, forums, blogs, and so on.

SEO is a very detailed and time-consuming process, so it’s not something the average business owner would want to handle directly. An SEO specialist is well and truly the way to go, unless you have abundant amounts of free time.

How do I get started?

The best place to start is with your on-page SEO and making sure that your content is optimised for both search engines and for your visitors. So this includes doing some keyword research, then sprinkling these keywords throughout your website content, adding informative videos, writing a blog, and including interesting images as well.

There is so much more to SEO, so if you want to increase your chance of being found on page 1 of Google, call us for a chat at GO Creative on (07) 3333 2932 or request a free quote online.