By Caroline Coles, Fresh Business Thinking
In today’s society an understanding and active participation in the web is paramount to a business’s success, and more importantly survival. Being able to adapt and take advantage of new technology is the best way to attract and retain customers in this information technology age.
One of the best ways to do this is to make sure your company gets to the top of the search engine results page (SERP). All businesses need to take advantage of the Internet and the relevant tools to help market themselves successfully on the web. But to do this you firstly need to understand the basics of search engine optimisation (SEO).
What is SEO?
“SEO is the process of optimising your web presence for greater visibility in the search engines. This can be your website, videos, images, map listings, or any other assets which can gain you greater share of voice and awareness when somebody uses a search engine to find the product or service you provide.
“Historically this centred solely around you website content, and in some cases this is still the case, however in more competitive markets it is now a combination of your website, PR, content distribution, social channels, and the overall promotion of your business online.”
Is it really worth the effort?
“Absolutely. The search engines represent an opportunity to get in front of thousands, and in some cases hundreds of thousands, or potential customers who are actively in the market for your product. Not too many other channels provide you with the opportunity to identify exactly what a consumer is looking for and to present to them your brand.
SEO is a real commitment and not a quick fix. Due to the different elements involved and the time delay in your efforts being recognised by the search engines it can take a few months of effort before you see reward but done properly, SEO can produce a return on investment which you will not get through any other marketing channel.”
How long will it take to get to the top of the searches?
“How long is a piece of string? It all depends on the competitiveness of the keyword/vertical, and the amount of effort you are putting in comparative to competition. It also comes down to how long your website has been active, the current situation, any historical tactics that have been employed and many other factors. This is literally an impossible question to answer without a case to work with.”
What about the money, how much will it cost me?
“This all depends on where you are, where you want to get to, and also who you have doing the work for you. In uncompetitive markets you would be looking at hundreds of pounds a month, however in anything with advanced complexity or competition you would be investing anywhere between £3,000-£15,000 per month but the returns far outweigh the investment in most instances.”