Why SEO is the most necessary marketing asset in your portfolio,
and how to make sure yours is on point.
The Truth About SEO...
SEO is one of the most powerful, and most misunderstood, marketing processes available. Necessary, multi-faceted and complex, search engine optimization can make or break any marketing plan, depending on how well it’s executed. SEO determines which results search engine users (literally everyone) see when they search for any given thing. Unsurprisingly, this is why SEO is the most highly sought after service in the digital marketing realm. Without a high-quality SEO plan, your chances of showing up in a potential customer’s search results are little to none.
The point of SEO is to make Google’s robots recognize any given page or site as trustworthy and authoritative in any given niche or industry. The more “friendly” your website is to Google, the higher it will rank your site for your keywords. The higher it ranks, the more quality traffic your website gets, and your opportunity to drive conversions goes way up.
Proper SEO relies on research, SEO-specific tools, data-based asset placement and a slew of foundational components. From optimizing a website on the back end (keywords and mapping, media meta data optimization, snippets, schema and much more), to creating and integrating backlinks (links from other websites leading to your site), citations (information sets on listing sites), GMB (Google My Business) optimization and a wide variety of other assets, SEO can often seem like a never ending rabbit-hole of technical wizardry.
Here we’re going to simply outline the basic concepts and reasons for SEO to give you a better understanding of what’s involved, what the benefits are, and what not to go for when it comes to optimizing assets or hiring someone to run your SEO.
Who, What, Where, When and How
To understand the importance of SEO, you'll want to gain a comprehensive understanding of its purpose and goal. Read below to uncover the answers to the most foundational questions surrounding SEO.
Simply put, SEO is done for the benefit of your market. Optimizing your website and other digital assets brings you into the view of those you can best serve with your products or services, benefiting them by presenting you as a primary option to fit their needs.
SEO (search engine optimization) is a blanket term describing a multitude of metrics and methods used to elevate a website or digital asset’s search engine rank. In other words, the better the SEO, the more visible a site or entity will be on Google and other search engines. But being more visible is only half of the point. The other half has to do with the quality of those views. The point of SEO isn’t simply to get more people on the site, but to get more “likely buyers” on the site.
If your SEO is driving traffic to your website, but your sales aren’t going up accordingly, then your SEO is failing it’s purpose and is presenting your site to the wrong set of people. Well-crafted SEO strategies target those who are most likely to buy and can achieve more conversions with fewer views.
SEO is executed in 2 different but attached sets of digital assets.
The first is your site, landing page or lead generation page. The content and media on the site have to be checked against a list of metrics and modified according to those metrics. The more of the metrics any given page can align with, the higher “site score” that page will have. It will become more visible to people searching for your services or using your targeted keywords.
The second set of assets is not on your website, but on other websites, platforms and databases. Using backlinks, citations, guest blogs, Google products (ie - Google My Business, YouTube, and others), social media, tertiary URLs, and a slew of other methods, we can elevate the rank status of your website and drive more of the right traffic to you.
Optimizing both sets of digital assets in tandem allows us to show search engines that your website is trustworthy, authoritative, important and worth prioritizing.
SEO is an ongoing effort. One of the biggest misconceptions about it is that there’s a magical SEO process that gets done one time and the asset being optimized immediately ranks #1 in Google. In reality, there are layers and layers of processes that have to be completed, many in a perpetual manner, to help a website rank higher in search engines.
Once a website is ranking #1 in any particular category, location, or for any particular keyword, those SEO processes don’t stop. That rank has to be maintained using the same processes that got it there in the first place.
The results of proper SEO aren’t seen immediately, and can take months to propagate. We usually start seeing fruits of the SEO labor around the 3 month mark. As the year progresses, that ranking continues to elevate. The more you invest in those optimization processes (and especially when you add premium SEO add-on services), the higher you will rank in a shorter amount of time. Ideally, we want to put a huge gap in-between you and your next competitor as quickly as possible.
There are 2 tried and true methods of rating the efficacy of SEO efforts.
The first is simply in the experience. We’ll see more traffic to your website or other digital assets, and more interactions month over month. This may mean more and better purchases, more and better scheduled appointments, or more and better conversations with new and repeat customers and clients.
The second is by using analytics software. We can see results in real time, can compare traffic rates with previous months or years, and can even gather detailed data about your visitors so we know how and where to make meaningful adjustments to drive more qualified perpetual traffic.
What Can SEO do for Me?
While the tools, processes, prioritized metrics and methods used to build out an effective SEO profile are generally universal, it’s important to understand that the way those things are used will vary from business to business. Different business with different goals and conversion types will need differing SEO strategies to accomplish their objectives. Furthermore, the necessary level and intensity of SEO efforts will vary by industry or niche, location(s), and local population sizes.
That said, an appropriate and effective SEO strategy will bring more interested and better qualified clients and customers to your website and digital assets. By maximizing and qualifying traffic, we can expect to see higher conversion rates month over month.
What are the Limits of SEO?
While SEO is a powerful and necessary marketing asset, it is not an all-encompassing sales driver. Below are a few things that are outside the scope of SEO capabilities.
While we can guarantee higher, more qualified traffic, and consequently more conversion opportunities, we can’t necessarily guarantee a commiserate amount of conversions.
While we can lead horses to water, it’s up to you to persuade the horses to drink.
This may involve having a website specifically designed to get viewers to take action, having communication automations in place, or leveraging any one of the many ways digital assets are used to drive conversions.
The point is: we’re able to scale the opportunities you have to expand your business, but SEO won’t replace the work on your end needed to close a deal.
Digital advertising is a powerful tool that can blast your conversion rates through the roof (read more about it here), but the processes used for advertising are completely different than those used for SEO.
SEO won’t replace advertising in function or appearance, but if you’ve got to choose between SEO and advertising for budgetary reasons, we recommend SEO all day every day.
While SEO won’t allow you to control what actions viewers take the same way ads will, it is a more foundational and effective way of marketing in the longterm. Also, it’s a lot more affordable.
While solid SEO can generate leads and sales, much of the responsibility of that generation falls to your website's design and function.
If it’s leads you’re after, you might consider a dual approach with Drone Digital, wherein we develop exclusive lead generation assets on our side (read more here), then execute SEO on your existing assets. That way we're using a multi-tiered ranking approach for organic conversions.
The benefits of a dual approach are sizable to say the least. Can you imagine owning the top 2 or 3 search results on Google? How much could your leads-based business benefit from being seen as the only worth-while option in your area by potential customers?
While the SEO we run on your assets can guarantee higher qualified traffic but does not come with a leads guarantee, our exclusive lead-generation services do! While this guarantee varies based on industry and location, we not only promise a minimum number of recurring new leads after a certain amount of time, we also guarantee exclusivity (meaning we send leads for your services in your area only to you...no shopping leads to your competitors!).
What’s more is that our lead generation service is non-contractual. While we charge 3 months upfront (to afford the initial lead generation asset creation), you’re free to go at any time. If this interests you, click here to read more!
What Should I be Cautious About when Looking to Hire for SEO?
Even the most tech-savvy business owners can have a hard time understanding or executing a meaningful SEO strategy based on their specific needs. As such, there are a few things you want to be mindful of when looking to hire for SEO services.
SEO is not Arbitrary
So often we see SEO agencies saying “quick and easy SEO” or “the single SEO fix” or something else designed to make you think that SEO is a one-and-done job; and sure, it can be, if you’re not concerned with the results of that SEO. In reality, SEO is complex and leverages a vast array of technical platforms, assets, softwares and perpetual ranking methods that can’t simply be boxed up and sold as a one-stop-shop for higher Google rankings.
Agencies that make it seem as such are at best incompetent (completely unaware of how much they don’t know) and are at worst unconscionable (completely unconcerned with whether or not their efforts will actually move the needle for your company). An ethical SEO agency will tell you exactly how much work will be involved in ranking for your specific situation, and won’t take your money for lesser services that won’t actually help you rank.
SEO Takes Time
In the context of time, appropriate SEO (that is, SEO tailored to your needs in terms of strategy, strength and effort) is not the quickest way to market. While it is the most necessary marketing tool in which to invest, it’s not a quick fix to your marketing woes. Advertising, in the same context, is much faster; however, advertising is also a completely different tech set with a completely different focus.
Be wary of people who claim they can “fix your SEO” in a day. The reality is that being able to build a tailored SEO strategy, and executing that strategy in a way that makes a tangible difference will take planning, foundational building and asset creation; these are all time-consuming processes that require patience and persistence. Furthermore, SEO is never done. As search engines’ algorithms are ever evolving, the way we optimize and to what extent must also continuously evolve.
Not All SEO Methods Are Equal
Like we mentioned before, there are a great many metrics used by Google and other search engines to determine how aggressively to prioritize and one website. Whatever your goals, you want to be sure that the SEO agency you hire is aware of how these different metrics work and is able to tailor a strategy for your specific needs.
The SEO needs of a lawyer, for example, may not be the same for a plumber or an e-commerce store or a restaurant. Some SEO-related assets will benefit different entities differently, and the agency you hire needs to understand that.
SEO is widely important in the bigger picture of digital marketing, and is the most important investment you can make in the digital portion of your business. It builds the foundation of your long-term success and allows your business to demand attention from your market. Having a high-ranking site is like having a calling-card or billboard in front of the right customers at the right time all the time.
We hope, after reading this article, that you understand SEO a little bit better than you did before. While we didn’t get into the nitty-gritty of SEO development, we hope this article sheds some light on how foundational SEO really is. If you’ve got questions about SEO, or want to talk about doing business together, we’re ready to get the ball rolling. Let us put your business on autopilot!
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