In 2014, you probably observed SEVERAL articles stating that SEO is dead, or at least on it’s way out the door. The articles really seem to focus on Google doing such a damn good job at what it does, and basically “out-gaming” the gamers (in this case SEO folks). The Google algorithm changes in and of themselves provide a dizzying array of alternate realities for search optimization teams to look at.
So, with the understanding that SEO is at least being questioned, should your small to medium sized business afford any time, effort or financial resources to fund SEO projects? Will it get you anywhere, and what gains/or losses will be had? And the answer is.. it depends.
IT DEPENDS ON:
- Site Age – If your website is more than 3 years old and the last time you updated it was 3 years ago, you site is DESPERATELY in need of search optimization. Chances are if your site was optimized that long ago, that the very tactics to optimize your site back then, are actually NEGATIVELY impacting your site today. That’s right. Your site may have implemented SEO tactics that now push your search engine result pages (SERPS) AWAY from page 1.
- Content Management Systems – You probably have heard about “static” websites developed in Expression Web, or Dreamweaver, and “content managed” sites developed in WordPress or Joomla. Google is optimized to prefer the very core capabilities of content managed sites, so your static site may already be incapable of ranking effectively.
So, if your website is not current, and is not content managed, chances are it would be a good investment to put some search optimization tactics in play. But, knowing SEO is “dead”, what exactly should you be looking at in 2015 to optimize your website?
- Diversification – Why just rank your website on Google page one? Why not rank your Twitter, Facebook, Yelp, and Google Local listings also on Google page one? Each visitor to your business may have a different need. Some may need instructions, others directions, others a phone number, while some may want to learn more about what you do, and still others are looking for information on your company leaders and their background. Make sure your Search Engine Results Pages show the diverse “you” and not just a single listing that leads to your homepage.
- Content – You have heard it a million times in 2014, and we continue to chant it. Content is King. Bash Foo has 3 times the amount of content contributors and writers than web designers for a reason. They are more important. Their content fuels the engines for the blog posts, press releases and email blasts for our customers. If you are not generating a continuous stream of content you are slowly losing your digital market share.
- Trust – Search optimizing often means increasing your site trust. That could mean forking out $150/year for an SSL certificate for your website. Even if you don’t sell anything, and don’t collect personal information, if your site automatically switches over to SSL from non-SSL, Google DOES recognize this and scores you appropriately. Simply because the chances of a spammer forking out almost $200 for a SSL certificate is currently unheard of.
- Inbound Links – Inbound links matter, but they are being scrutinized much more effectively by Google. Back in 2012, the cost of developing a good, trustworthy inbound link was about $10. Now, that same inbound link can cost upwards of $50 to build and retain. A good SEO team will seek out publications, blogs and trustworthy trade sites to place your link on.
- SEO is not cheap – While many firms became established on their $299/mos SEO packages, that sort of pricing is unheard of now. The level of content research and delivery of consistent results now costs in the thousands to tens of thousands per month. If you find a firm willing to sell you true SEO services for under $1,000/mos. RUN!
Bash Foo, a Dayton, Ohio based digital marketing agency provides a consistent and competitively priced search optimization plan for their clients.