Although many forms of digital marketing have become widely adopted and are now second nature when it comes to online promotion, the concept (and benefit) of SEO still eludes many businesses.
This has led to a worrying trend in recent years – leading companies to lose thousands of pounds through investing in poor, low-priced SEO which doesn’t work and gets them nowhere. Now more than ever it’s crucial to have a solid SEO strategy underpinning your digital marketing campaigns, whether you’re a start-up, SME or blue-chip company.
Why is SEO more important than ever before?
Put simply, the need for SEO is even more crucial now than it was even five years ago because of how much time we spend online. Almost every activity we engage in now is conducted via the internet at some stage – from banking and booking holidays to scheduling services and scheduling appointments. This extends to purchasing goods and services, too – over 2.14 billion people worldwide shop online, whilst 63% of shopping journeys come from online enquiries. Where the purchase is made offline, an online presence still matters – with 76% of consumers in 2021 checking a business out via their website or socials before deciding to spend money with them.
This of course has led to an upsurge in businesses claiming space online – in turn creating more competition and noise to cut through. This means that there are likely to be many more businesses doing what you do online – meaning more choice for your potential customers which makes it harder to be found and noticed. And where certain keywords were easy to rank for in previous years, they’re now fiercely competitive.
SEO isn’t an area to save, it’s an area to spend
Most businesses naturally look to maximise their marketing spend and source cost-effective promotional strategies to keep monthly overheads low. But for a lot of businesses the priorities are skewed – usually in favour of social media, PR and email marketing. Whilst these methods all work to raise awareness of your brand in different ways, they shouldn’t be the sole focus for any type of business (and certainly not at the expense of SEO).
SEO is often an afterthought – or it’s been considered, but hasn’t been prioritised in the budget. Most businesses will look to spend more on social media, or the website design and development itself, before they spend on SEO. This makes sense on a superficial level, but when you look deeper you’ll find that comparatively SEO delivers significantly higher ROI through driving more relevant traffic to your site, resulting in a greater number of productive leads. There are a number of valid reasons behind this thought process. One is fear – most non-SEO professionals still struggle to understand exactly what it is and how it works. Investing in something you don’t know much about can feel daunting. The second factor is cost – good SEO isn’t cheap. Third is lack of awareness – whilst most businesses have an idea about SEO, many still don’t factor in SEO until they’ve spent all of their budget on other marketing channels.
The difference between mediocre SEO and great SEO
A lot of clients come to us after paying for cheap SEO for months, sometimes years. Whilst the monthly overheads were low, in the end it this represented a false economy for them – despite spending a few hundred pounds a month (amounting to thousands over the entire period) the campaigns failed to generate any meaningful leads or sales. But once they begin to work with us, they quickly start to see results – often a significant increase of 100-300% within the first 6 months.
The spend is higher – but so is the ROI. This is the key to SEO but also an inconvenient truth for business owners looking to cut costs – when it comes to ranking on search engines, the results you can expect are directly correlated to the amount of money you spend.
There are other areas you can save money when it comes to marketing – but SEO isn’t one of them. If you do have the budget, be sure to allocate a generous amount to monthly SEO to ensure you remain front of mind for existing customers and can easily be found by new ones. Without great SEO on-side, you could quickly get left behind.
Need expert SEO support for your business?
Our team is on hand to help – with years of experience across multiple sectors and with all shapes and sizes of businesses. We know what works and what doesn’t, staying ahead of Google’s ever-changing algorithm to ensure sustainable success and cost-effective results in the short- and long-term.
For complete digital marketing support from SEO to social media. Get in touch today: firstname.lastname@example.org