27 November 2011

SEO Search Engine Optimisation

What to do when there’s an enemy in your camp: Give them a pay rise!

Business not going so well lately? Are sales flagging? Are your colleagues down in the dumps? Looking to put the blame on somebody? I think I know who it is. He hasn’t been pulling his weight for a while now; he’s on the internet 24/7; and in fact, he’s probably only 0.5% effective at his job. So, who is this naughty boy? It’s your website. It sounds strange, I know, to think of your website as an employee, but that’s exactly what it is and its only purpose in life is to make you money. And if it isn’t doing that, then you should be asking yourself why it’s still on the books.

seo leicester

However, before you throw the poor fellow out on the street (come on, it is nearly Christmas after all, Mr. Scrooge), maybe you should give him another chance. Maybe he hasn’t been shown how to do his job properly; maybe he doesn’t understand what you want from him; have you given him the tools and resources he needs to fulfil his duties effectively? A lot of businesses can fall into the trap of having a website developed and assuming that its ability to sell products and services is somehow innately built into the design. Whilst it’s true that design and functionality matter considerably, you need to conceive of your website as a means to enable your business to market to the consumer; not a marketing solution in itself.

The shoddy cartoon above (crafted by my fair hand, and NOT by our wonderful creative designers!) points out how “Alan” needed an intervention in order to change his fortunes. That intervention was SEO, and it allowed more users to find the website by:

  • Carrying out extensive keyword research for primary and secondary terms and prioritising content marketing, which draws people looking for specific information
  • Reviewing site structure and increasing internal anchor text usage to enable optimum flow of page rank, which can boost a site’s overall authority and increase search result position
  • Ensuring page elements such as title tags, meta descriptions, H1 tags and images were created in a search friendly manner, which allow easy indexation by search engines
  • Fixing crawl errors resulting from broken links and incorrect URLs, which show search engines that the website is of a good quality and is reliable

Arguably, that’s only half the story, though. As a good employer, you want your employees to feel prepared and able to do a great job, which means you have to invest in them by giving them the right tools, training, and encouragement. And the same goes for your website, because they’re your only employee who’s never off sick; takes a holiday; or talks back. By the same token, though, that means they’re usually not very good at letting you know when things need changing, or stepping up a gear. That’s why savvy business owners are investing in long-term SEO consultancy and benefiting from high ROI.

Let’s look at an example:

  • Monthly SEO Fee: £100
  • Average Monthly Increase in Traffic: 20%
  • Average Conversion Rate: 3%
  • Average Value of Each Conversion: £50

seo leicester roi

From the table above, you can see that by improving monthly traffic by 20% (which will inevitably level off), the number of conversions and therefore the conversion value increases exponentially, whilst you continue to invest the same amount each month in SEO. Admittedly, estimating a monthly increase in traffic of 20% seems a little ambitious, but in a real situation a good SEO consultant will use forecast data to accurately produce projections for your website activity, which will take into account natural fluctuations in search demand. That leaves you under no illusion that your site will suddenly start making you money, just because you’re paying somebody hundreds of pounds each month.

So remember, if you’re feeling out of love with your website, don’t assume your web developer did a bad job. Your website will no doubt be very capable of processing orders and showing off your products to the visitors that pass by, so it’s your job to make sure people can find it in the first place. If that requires a little investment, then always remember the long term gains and you’ll be laughing all the way to the virtual bank.

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