I recently currently signed up to the HubSpot Inbound Marketing University. Today’s lecture was given by Lee Odden from TopRank Online Marketing and was a SEO Crash Course to Get Found (GF102). My assignment today is not to cover off SEO best practices or neat ways to increase your Google ranking – it is to explain why a marketer would want to include SEO in his/her web marketing. So here goes…
To sum it up in a sentence: Search Engine Optimisation or SEO is a great way to help people find you online for free. That is basically all there is to it.
If people can’t find you online they won’t visit your website and won’t purchase any products or services. Whilst SEO is not the only way to help people find you recent studies show that it is the most cost effective method of online marketing. A study carried out by Forbes in 2009 showed that nearly half of all their respondents confirmed that SEO has been the most effective tool for generating conversions online. That is a statistic that can not be ignored by any responsible marketer and must be included into any rigorous marketing plan.
Should you need another reason to start implementing SEO on your website then I can give you one: It is free to do!
Now I know that there are many companies who offer a service to optimise your website and I am not going to enter into a debate on white-hat or black-hat SEO or whether they are scamming you. I am not here to judge and as I have never used a company like this I can’t really comment. The point is that if you have the time you can optimize your site yourself and save yourself the money of employing an external or additional party to undertake the work. If you haven’t got the time to carry out the work yourself then there is nothing wrong with employing a reputable firm to take on the job – just make sure you throughly investigate their previous work.
I would highly recommend that you watch the SEO Crash Course to Get Found (GF102) if you want to find out more about what you can do.
Finally what if you are a start up and haven’t got a website what can you do? Well we firmly believe that if a website is built correctly then Search Engine Optimisation is truly organic. When you are designing the architecture of your site and the content it provides you should focus on:
- Structuring the website so that it is easy for the search engine spiders or bots to crawl easily.
- Using suitable URLs that make sense and are as short as possible.
- Generating content to upload immediately and make sure that you update the content regularly post launch.
- Ensuring that all content is key word focused based on you initial market research findings.
- Establishing links to other reputable websites.
If you take adhere to these guidelines as your building then you will be appropriately indexed by search engines upon the release of the website.
Finally, the most important thing, no matter what stage your company or website is at, is that you continuously track, monitor and measure how well you are performing. We personally love Google Analytics as a tool for this but there are plenty of alternative free and paid for tools you can use. You will then be able to clearly see which techniques have made a real difference to both your search engine rankings but most importantly your bottom line making sure that all your SEO initiatives are based on real world usage of your website rather than an educated guess.