If you’re still one of those people who think the power of the internet isn’t enough to help your business, ask yourself how many of your customers will have come to you in recent months because of an ad you placed in your local paper. Or on a printed directory. You may have relied heavily in the past on the Yellow Pages, or perhaps on the Bromsgrove Bugle, but those days are dwindling now. The future of successful marketing, whether we like it or not, will owe a lot to the worldwide web.
Key to that process will undoubtedly be the continuing importance of search engine optimisation. There was a time when SEO was thought to be on the fringes of marketing strategies, but it’s playing a major role now. Think of it, if you will, as someone who once played a minor character in Eastenders but who now stars as the central character in the biggest blockbuster movie series of the decade.
If you’ve spent many years building a business despite the web rather than because of it, you might take some convincing about the ever-burgeoning importance of SEO. It’s understandable, of course, but the harsh truth is that you ignore it at your peril. You should always be aware of the possibility, make that probability, that your main competitors will be taking it more seriously. And they could be reaping major benefits, too.
The somewhat overpowering reach of search engine optimisation covers just about every sector of industry these days. Whether you’re selling fireworks, French fries, footballs or even face-paints, ask yourself where potential new customers will look for companies offering your services. A vast majority of them – and it’s a majority that’s growing year on year – will focus their quest on a search engine.
So, if your business hasn’t made any effort to become more visible on the web, the chances are any such query will reveal the names and websites of your rivals, and your business will be as visible as a polar bear drinking milk and eating mashed potatoes in a snowstorm. Today’s consumers are becoming ever more used to finding the information they need on their phones, tablets and laptops. It’s a fact, a fact that everyone needs to come to terms with. Those who don’t might never increase their website traffic at all.
Never mind the algorithms, just look at all that traffic!
The algorithms that Google and the rest use to streamline searches are complex, confusing and, ultimately, secretive. Trying to make sense of them can be difficult, but SEO experts will tell you they are designed to reward various website practices. Factors such as the presence of natural links and optimised content will help a website, even a basic one, to score relatively well.
And the overall page ranking of a website is, after all, what it’s all about. If you have a flower shop in Croydon, to use an example, you’ll want to rank well when people type in phrases such as flower shop in Croydon, Croydon flower shops and flower stores in South London. If you do nothing with your site and end up on page five of any given search, the chances are no online consumer will ever find you.
If you still need convincing, imagine the shops that appear in a Google search are actual, physical stores located one after another in a very long, unchanging high street. If there are 45 Croydon flowers shops along that road and yours is the 45th shop that people walk past, don’t you think they would have already bought their tulips by the time they get to your door?
SEO is also a good way to interpret the habits of your customers. Key phrases that worked for your business five years ago may not work as well now, so when there are changes in the way that people find your site you really need to know about them. The wording of relevant phrases is as important as the platforms that consumers use to find you. Thankfully, an understanding of SEO and Analytics can improve the prospects of your business over a period of time.
So the message is as clear as clear can be: take search engine optimisation more seriously. It can benefit your business in ways you might never have imagined, and could give you the advantage over your rivals in a big way. Stop being the polar bear, and start being as visible as a grizzly bear wearing a high-vis jacket drinking a fruit-based cocktail underneath a great big rainbow.
Search engine optimisation is an important factor in brand awareness in all sectors of industry. Rose Media Group, a B2B PR specialist in West Sussex, was founded by Aneela Rose in 2004. We work for clients in a wide range of sectors, including engineering, automotive, aerospace and sustainability. For more information, call the team today for a chat on 01444 241 341.