post by Stephanie Nelson
My “business buddy” Joanne Spataro recently attended a writers’ retreat. When she got back, she mentioned to me that other attendees were saying that SEO was now less important than other online marketing efforts, and she asked for my take. Here’s my response:
Everybody in business has to prioritize where their time and money is spent, for sure. But to categorize SEO as unimportant is patently wrong. In fact, I’d go so far as to say SEO is more important today than it’s ever been because competition’s never been higher. How are you setting yourself apart from your competition to the search engines? If you’re trusting the spyders to “read” your content and index your site correctly, without having EVERY nugget of your site optimized, you’re missing so many HUGE opportunities to be ranked appropriately and found by your target audience!
I’d also throw out there that it’s never been more important to work with an SEO professional. Google’s algorithm is constantly changing, as is the layout of Google Analytics. Do you know where to find your bounce rate or the search queries that lead folks to your site? Do you know the effect of each of those on your organic rankings?
Bing and Yahoo’s SEO rules are different from Google’s. And while Google still has the stronghold on search volume, Bing and Yahoo now hold enough of an audience that you shouldn’t dismiss them. So you need to know how to optimize your site in a way that makes all the search engines happy. Are you confident that’s happening for you?
If you don’t believe my words, maybe a little case study will help convince you…
I recently signed on an SEO client whose website had been around for two to three years. In that time, she’d not made one sale. In auditing the site, she granted me access to her Google Analytics. I noticed her bounce rate was high, her load time was slow, and she had no organic traffic to the site. Immediately after her signing on, I made a couple changes to the site to improve load time, a couple other changes to decrease the bounce rate, and optimized the home page first. Within 24 hours of those changes, she had site visits attributed organic traffic in Google Analytics. Within 48 hours of those changes, she had her first sale. As we continue to optimize each page, her site visits continue to grow, too!
So what’s your take? Where do you prioritize SEO in your marketing efforts? If you want to make it more of a priority and need some help, shoot us a message and let’s get the process started!