SEO, the most important tool of your digital marketing strategy.
"Build it and they will come," said God to Noah when he asked him where all these animals came from to live in his ark. It is with such faith that many of you undertake to build a website for your business and then look forward to the arrival of your first customers.
After a few weeks, when nothing moves, you learn, you read and desperately explore other avenues to generate the traffic so hoped. You create a Facebook page, and then a Twitter page, an Instagram account, a Pinterest account, you do the same with LinkedIn. Finally, you are told that what really matters is having your Google My Business page. From a simple web page, which was to act as a showcase for your business, you end up with 7 or 8 entities that, according to the digital gurus, must be fed regular content ... You are caught off guard, you run out of time and then you hire a subcontractor to amuse the gallery with posts that you hope will become viral and bring you notoriety and fortune.
After a year, you now have more friends than you did at the peak of your popularity in your highschool years, but still no sales online. You decide to increase your expenses and invest in Google and Facebook advertising. Finally, the wheel begins to turn and sales come at the rate of the dollars you spend. As your margins are slim, when you consider all of your marketing expenses, you slow down your spending to analyze if momentum is setting in and if sales can keep increasing with less capital. Unfortunately, the drop in your advertising costs translates into a collapse of your sales. Are Google and Facebook the only ones who get rich in this circus?
How do you drive traffic to your website without spending a fortune?
Everything was so simple when there were only yellow pages, when spending a few dollars a year brought you a steady stream of customers. Everything seems complicated now; and yet the solution is there, within your reach. I'm not talking about Yellow Pages online here, but about a tool that's a thousand times more powerful, a tool that gives you the unique opportunity to get customers to know you and increase your sales for free, I'm talking about Google.
Google has replaced all the telephone directories and archaic research tools we used in the past. When we're looking for something, whether it's Dolly Parton's chest size (a 105 double D) or the nearest plumber's phone number, it's on Google that we "google" the search.
These sales that come from your Google Ads, they happen simply because in exchange for your money, Google positions you at the top of its page for the chosen keywords.
Still, I bet that when you do a search to find a plumber, instinctively you skip the ads presented by Google and you focus on the first two or three results presented by the search engine, those called in the industry, the organic results. The following graph shows us that organic results generate 57.8% of web traffic while paid ads from Google bring only 2.7%. The first is free and the latter costs money. Imagine the forecast of your sales and profits if you were the leader in SEO for the keywords your customers are looking for.
The sources of traffic on all websites
If you get results by squandering your money in Google Ads, which accounts for only 2.7% of web traffic, think of the results you would get by occupying the first organic place on the search engines!
Organic SEO on Google generates 20X more traffic than Google Ads
SEO, a long-term investment.
Putting your money in Facebook, Google or Instagram advertising can be an excellent strategy, it is about measuring the expenses necessary to make a sale versus the reported net income. If your margins are high, it's an effective way to generate profits quickly and increase brand awareness.
However, it is an expense, not an investment. If the expense stops, sales disappear. However, a solid SEO strategy that gradually increases your website's position on search pages will have a much longer-term effect on your sales than a passing ad. Indeed, unless there is a major change in the algorithm or a downgrading of the site caused by a penalty due to non-compliance with Google's policies, sites that rise to the top of the ranking tend to maintain their positions. It should also be noted that the position of a site in the search engines and its organic traffic contributes greatly to the value of the firm during an acquisition. In addition to increasing your sales, a strong SEO will increase the value of your business.
How much does a solid SEO strategy cost?
Unless you do this yourself with the help of a detailed audit, an option that you should explore if time allows, your SEO strategy will require substantial capital investment. You must consider an investment of between $ 250 to $ 3000 per month for professional SEO services. The price will vary according to the firm, the size of your site, its complexity, and according to the number of languages published. Why such a price? Because SEO is a specialty, and who says specialized job, says scarcity in the market and high price.
Should you invest in SEO?
Maybe not, it depends on the nature of your business or organization. Take the example of a bakery. Who questions Google to find where to buy their bread? Very few people. A village or neighborhood is not very likely to have more than two bakers, a website that would indicate the title H1: Bakery St-Cyr - Best bread in Shawinigan, should be in the first results without having to spend a penny. All it takes is a website and a Google My Business page. Why is it so easy to position yourself at the top of the search page for this bakery? Simply because there is little competition for bakery services in a city the size of Shawinigan.
However, for other areas and other cities, the situation will be different. If you get hurt while playing a sport, you may want to find a physiotherapist. If you live in Montreal, searching the internet will return hundreds of results. You will most likely choose one of the first three sites that will be presented to you. By occupying the top of the page, you will receive dozens of new customers each month, which will amply justify your SEO investment. This is the case for the vast majority of clinics and professional offices in major cities.
The question you need to ask yourself is: Is my service/product sought out by users? And if so, what would be the impact on your profits if you were in the top position when searching for popular keywords in your industry?
If you question the volume of monthly searches in your area, do not hesitate to ask us.
One trick: see if your competitors invest in Google Ads for important keywords in your industry, if so, it's a safe bet to say that at the top of the page result is a very profitable site.
A strategic approach to SEO.
You have limited capital and are looking to choose between SEO and Google Ads and Facebook ads? Observe the situation of your current sales and available capital. Then, establish a Web advertising strategy on Google Ads or Facebook, depending on your product. Finally, capture the extra profits generated by the ad campaign and invest in SEO. You will get short term results with your advertising and invest in long term SEO, which will keep you going for years.
How to choose your SEO agency?
Since this business is complex and very few people really master SEO, it is very easy for people to disguise themselves as specialists.
Pay attention to the quacks that promise you the first position on Google. Either they use techniques prohibited by Google (Black Hat SEO), which is likely to penalize your site, or they will get you to rank first for keywords that no one is searching for…
The majority of website creation agencies, offer SEO as an integral part of their services. However, SEO is much more than a study of keywords. Each company has specific needs, and what works for one firm may not work for another.
Here's a list of recommendations that will help you choose the right partner for your business:
- Avoid companies that make promises
SEO is not an exact science, you compete against other sites that you have no control over. Nobody can guarantee without cheating that you will be the first on Google searches.
- Ask for a clear explanation of what will be done to increase your positioning
- Avoid the long term contracts that bind you, no matter the results.
- Ask for concrete and verifiable examples of current customers.
- Check if the firm has a policy that says it will refuse to serve your competitors.
There are many agencies that are specialists in one industry and offer their services to all of their participants. How can they choose amongst their clients, who will occupy the first place within the same industry?
- Check the health of the technical SEO of the agency with whom you consider working with
Any results below the 85% mark should raise some red flags. If the shoemaker is badly shod, we can already predict that the results will be lame. (Free SEO Audit)
A complete digital marketing strategy must consider an SEO investment to drive and maintain traffic to a site in a continuous manner and increase sales.
SEO is the most important tool in your online sales strategy.
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