Digital is the NOW – it isn’t the future anymore…
Search Engine Marketing is fast becoming the most valuable marketing vehicle available. Social media and other platforms can generate valuable traffic to your website, but currently, search engines take the cake for being the most rewarding marketing approach. It’s the primary method of navigation for most Internet users, so SEO allows you to meet customers at all points in their buying cycle and your marketing funnel – from awareness to interest to transaction.
In South Africa, there are more than 21 million active internet users, and this number is only going to increase. Preparing for a digital-first business world is vital for businesses to grow and survive. Deploying an SEO strategy levels the playing field and allows SMEs to compete with the big players in every market – the Amazons and Takealots of the world.This is true whether your site provides content, services, products, information – or just about anything else.
Search engines are unique in that they provide targeted traffic. In other words, these are people specifically looking for what you offer. Search engines are the roadways and sign posts that direct these users to your website and make all the exciting things happen. If search engines cannot find your site, or add your content to their databases (index), you miss out on incredible opportunities to drive relevant traffic to your site.
Search queries – the words that users type into the search box – carry extraordinary value. Targeted traffic to a website can provide incredible reach, revenue, and exposure like no other channel of marketing. Investing in SEO can have an exceptional rate of return compared to other marketing verticals.
Search engines are smart, but they still need help. The major search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo etc) are always working to improve their technology to crawl the web more efficiently and return better results to the users.
However, there is a limit to how search engines can operate. Whereas the right SEO can net you thousands of visitors and increased visibility, the wrong moves can hide or bury your site deep in the search results – where visibility is lower than Marianas Trench.
In addition to making content available to search engines, SEO also helps boost organic rankings so that content will be placed where searchers will more readily find it. The Internet is becoming increasingly competitive, and the companies who perform SEO will have a decisive advantage in attracting visitors, converting customers and generating leads.
The world of SEO is complex, but most people can easily understand the basics. Even a small amount of knowledge can make a big difference. Free SEO education is widely available on the web. Combine this new found knowledge with practice and you are well on your way to becoming a guru.
Depending on your time commitment, your willingness to learn, and the complexity of your website, you may decide you need an expert to handle things for you. Things can go pear-shaped if you aren’t paying close attention. Agencies and individuals that implement Search Engine Optimisation can vary greatly; some have a specialised focus, while others take a broader and more general approach to optimising your website.
Part of our business model is to equip our clients with a basic understanding of what we do to help grow their businesses. So, we encourage and highly recommend educating yourself on SEO so that you know what your service providers are up to.