Recent pandemic changed the world in more than one way. Yes, we had to stay home for weeks or like in the case of Ireland, months, but that’s not all. The way we work changed. Employees more and more often, wherever it’s possible, prefer to work from home instead of wasting hours on everyday commuting. The way we buy stuff changed too. E-commerce was quite popular long before the pandemic but with first lockdowns we shifted our focus to online rather than physical outlets. We started buying things that we never thought we would buy online. Like furniture. The change in mentality can be seen with the recent collapse of Debenhams in 2020. The only part that survived was brand… and website. They were purchased by Boohoo for £55m in January 2021 and relaunched in April that year. Actually, Elon Musk probably got this one right too. Long before the pandemic he shifted focus of car selling to e-commerce site. The same with Stalink terminals, no physical outlets or inbound calling, go to the website and place your order there.
This change in mentality means online presence is more important than ever. Yes, it was significant before but often just as a token of existence. You would have your business cards, letterhead, and website. Now it is no longer possible to look at your website the same way. Website is your asset the same way your office is. Website has to be treated on the same level as your laptop, company car, shop or inventory. Website brings customers (or clients). Clients or customers brings revenues. If you do it right, obviously.
What it means you have to make sure potential customers are able to discover that your website exists. You may have the most beautiful website there, but what’s the point if no one knows you actually have it? If no one discovers it on search engines? What’s the point? And yet, there are thousands, probably millions of websites belonging to businesses that are just that. They exist but they bring nothing to the table. Just a token of existence. It’s there but it is as good as it didn’t exist. Forgotten. Dismissed. It doesn’t bring any revenue so what’s the point of talking about it? It’s a vicious circle really. The site doesn’t bring any customers so is not being paid attention to… and because no one in the business pays attention to the site it doesn’t bring any customers. One leads to the other which leads to the first one. Over and over.
How can a business change this? How can it break from the vicious circle of online presence that cost money but doesn’t bring any revenue? The answer seems simple, change the way websites, or maybe better digital assets, are perceived. Businesses should start looking at their websites the same way they look at company cars. They need fuel. They need servicing. If you neglect that, the asset becomes liability. The same happens to websites that are not properly maintained. To rephrase it, company website needs to be properly maintained in order to work properly. It cannot be just built and forgotten. If you, as a business owner do it, you can also forget about money you spent or potential revenues you were counting on. Website your business owns has to be maintained to bring business. To bring revenues.
What is search engine optimisation?
How to do it? Through SEO or search engine optimisation. Search engine optimisation is a set of techniques and processed leading to optimising a site to be visible on search engines. It includes:
- technical SEO, basically making sure the search engine bots can crawl and properly index your page,
- on-site SEO – optimising website’s content for relevancy to the query
- off-page SEO – link building to build site’s authority
Why do I need SEO?
Any business having a website should consider SEO services to be able to compete with other businesses. Consider this, you type a phrase in Google Search and you are presented with certain results. What do you do next? Do you go to page number two? Page number three? Very likely no.
Search engine optimisation works towards boosting your presence in search engine results. As the search engine algorithms become more and more sophisticated the content becomes more and more important. Content is the king. Literally. Search engines assess your site against others for relevancy factors, meaning how relevant your content is against the query, add some additional signals to the mix (such as mobile friendliness, load speed, errors etc) and present the results. What it means is that business website is no longer only about business. It becomes about the customer, or rather customer’s search. This customer-centric approach means that businesses have to optimise the content of their sites in a way that promotes them in search engines.
Hiring SEO expert is probably the best option for a business but sometimes it’s not possible for various reasons. It doesn’t mean the business is doomed. There are online resources, self SEO guides that may be helpful, that can make the difference. Especially when on-site SEO is concerned. Off-site SEO, although highly efficient, should be really left to experts. It’s too easy to fall into the trap of purchasing backlinks that will eventually hurt the business. So, my advice, if you cannot get SEO expert, try to do it yourself by analysing your website, performing on-site analysis for H1 and H2 tags, making sure they promote your keywords and that the keywords actually fit neatly in your strategy. Remember, content is the king. Check what your website says, how it says and if it contains keywords you want to promote. Check if your website contains errors, you can use free tools such as Screaming Frog to analyse your website for free. And fix them, it shouldn’t be difficult. And then, once your website improves and start bringing results, hiring SEO expert to take you to the next level. It’s money well spend.