We have been working with a lot of clients on search engine optimisation of their websites lately and a few questions keep coming up. So we thought we’d take this opportunity to answer the most frequently asked questions, in an easy to understand manner, with as little technical talk as possible.
What is SEO?
Say you are looking for a restaurant in Crows Nest. You don’t know any specifically, so you Google ‘crows nest restaurant’. When you look at your search results you will see the keywords you tapped into Google are in bold in the page descriptions listed for the various result options (see image).
This is because Google has searched the internet, using your keywords, to find the most relevant results for the search you did. To improve your ranking on Google and other search engines, these kind of search terms or keywords must be integrated into your website – URL, page title, SEO title, meta description etc.
Is it expensive?
You’re probably looking at a couple hundred dollars per web page, or around that price mark, which isn’t too bad when you consider:
* It’s tax deductible
* It’s a specialist field
* It’s essential for online marketing
* It has a high ROI
* It saves you money on advertising
* It requires very little maintenance
Businesses with small budgets – SEO is one of those things where you need to spend money to make money. And if you are going to spend money on anything, make it SEO for the above mentioned reasons.
Can I do it myself?
Say you are a copywriter and you want a pergola. Your skill set is in no way related to building, but how hard could it be? I mean, it’s essentially four pillars, a roof and a floor, right? You can easily go to Bunnings and buy all of the components. Then it’s just a matter of piecing it together.
Realistically, you could probably build it. It would probably take longer than it should, wouldn’t meet council regulations or safety standards. And if it didn’t fall down, it probably wouldn’t look very nice. Eventually you’d probably have a builder come in, pull it all down and start from scratch; all the time and money invested gone to waste. Hopefully, no one gets hurt in the meantime.
Small businesses waste a lot of time, money and productivity trying to do everything in-house. Most often, these tasks could be completed more time and cost effectively by an experienced professional – not to mention, with better results! Basically, the logic is to do what you do best. If building isn’t your thing, hire a builder. If SEO copywriting isn’t your area of expertise, hire an SEO copywriter.
When should I start?
Ideally you should consider SEO before you have your website designed. Why? SEO needs to be maintained. This can be done through frequent blogging and/social media updating. Therefore these components will need to be integrated into your design.
It is preferable for your website to be search engine optimised when it goes live, so you should request an SEO website copywriting quote when you are having your website design proposal pulled together. Having a designer and copywriter work simultaneously on your project means you get a finished product at the end.
If you haven’t got SEO copy, you should start looking into it straight away because the longer you go without it, the longer you are missing out on leads and therefore business/money.
How long does it take to work?
Generally you should start to see results within around 90 days, but this is dependent on a few factors, including:
* Amount of competition
* Number of keywords
* How long it takes for search engines to crawl and index your page
We see a lot of people trying to cram multiple keywords into their pages – just keep in mind that, while SEO generates leads, the quality of your content is going to determine if visitors become customers. It is important not to sacrifice readability for SEO, which is why we recommend 1-2 keywords per page.
Should I just run a Google Adwords campaign instead?
Consider the bounce rate of your website first. It might not be that your website isn’t generating leads, but that the content on your website just isn’t convincing. Successful SEO website copywriting is not only
about generating leads; it’s about converting visitors into customers – that means you have to have quality content.
Remember, once you stop running your Adwords campaign, your website will disappear from Google’s front page … unless you’ve invested in your organic search engine ranking first. Although you may wish to consider running Google Adwords within the first 90 days, while you’re waiting for your SEO to kick in.