This is a paraphrased version of “Is SEO dead?” The first question I have in mind for anybody making enquiries on how to rank his/her website better is that, “Why are you trying to rank?”. That should be the first question on your mind too. Because, it’s only when you know this that you can know the right step to take in the right direction.
Often times, the response is usually,”Heck, I want to drive more traffic, generate more leads and make as many sales as possible”. That’s fair enough. But, what would be unfair to you, your money, and the SEO agency you employed, is when you insist on doing it the wrong way.
Will Your SEO Efforts Pay Off?
Is SEO dead?
I will answer this now before I dive deeper into the points I intended to make before I started writing this piece. The straight answer is; Yes, SEO can rank your website/blog high, but only if you do it the right way.
What is the right way then? Whether a way is the right one or the wrong one, there is always a destination in mind. We all know that if you get to the first page on Google’s SERP, your sales will likely skyrocket, yea, everyone is familiar with that already. What we all need to get accustomed to right now is that, while the goal can be achieved, it doesn’t happen easily anymore. It takes a lot of time and effort to do, except if you have heavy bucks to play around with.
It’s no longer economically feasible to rank well for some very common keywords, hence the push and hype about utilizing long-tail keywords and leveraging on local SEO. A lot of the big brands have dominated this common short keywords for a long time and I bet you can’t snatch it all from them. What you can do is bite as much as you can from their abundance and no one really cares about how deep you bite it.
What You Should Do To Rank With SEO
It’s quite easy. Since we are aware of the fact that the big brands are already feasting on the juice present in SERP, how do you take your share? It will take time, and requires a lot of restrategizing and finetuning of plans.In the long run, it will be worth it.
Google has incorporated AI into its search engine which consequently means that humans really have no absolute influence on how it works. It is self learning from the big past data Google has accumulated. However, what we know is that, as long as people are talking about you or your business, there are high chances that you will breakthrough. How then can you make people to start talking about you?
- Register your presence online
Taking your business out of the four walls corner of your office to the internet is the first step you should take towards registering your presence online. Where should you go to then? First, you must know your target audience. Where do they hangout? What kind of topics do they like discussing? These and many other things are what you should know about your audience so as to get them at the right place and right spot.
Consistently engage them by releasing rich content they will be able to relate with. You don’t necessarily have to talk solely about your products or the services you render. I’d advise you to focus more on engaging your audience with non-promotional messages to get the right leads.
Let me give a practical scenario: I own a restaurant offline and I’m planning to start getting people to make orders online. The first thing that amy come to your mind is for you to have your own online store and probably spend tons of money on ads trying to promote your new online store and the restaurant. While that may work, i bet it may stop working for you as soon as you stop spending on ads.
That’s why I tell whoever cares to listen that in most cases, you only need to spend on ads as a supplement to other actions you have made to solidify your SEO efforts, often times, you may not even need to run any ads.
Now back to the picture. If I were the one, I would create a youTube channel, a blog, an Instagram account, and facebook. Trust me, I know why I picked these platforms and it’s majorly because that’s where I will find my prospective customers. Why do I need them?
Well, I will need the YouTube channel to create tutorials on how to make some dishes, especially the ones we sell at my place. Some of these tutorials will be posted on our Instagram page as well. Other things that will be present on the Instagram page are; Giveaways, promos, pictures of dishes, pictures of workers’ behind the scene, etc.
The blog will contain posts on the health benefits of common dishes. The implications of some eating habits. The right food to eat for those who want to lose weight, etc. These kind of posts will definitely engage the audience and will interest the search engine bots.
Facebook will hold some of our periodic posts and will run very small ads in order to get people to like the page, and direct the, to your blog, YouTube channel and instagram page. Any promo we run will be used as an avenue to legitimately get the email addresses of our audience and add them to our mailing list.
Phew! That looks like a hell of a plan. Though, it will need some finetuning and amendments. We may start off now and I will discover that one aspect may not work, in that situation I must make some changes and try again.
If you are lost on what kind of content your audience will want, you can hire any professional to do that for you, including my humble self.
- Engage with the audience
Almost every organization now have social media experts on their team to show you how essential the digital world is in the realm of marketing now. You don’t just give out information alone, you need to add a personal touch to them by replying to audience comments and response, attending to their questions and meeting their needs. That shouldn’t be too difficult to do. This is how brands are built, and the goal is usually to put your business name on their lips every time.
- Prioritize quality
There is one thing that can ruin all of your efforts within seconds and that is when your product or service do not meet the needs of your customers. You know, it is better to underpromise and overdeliver than to overpromise and underdeliver. It is very bad and one thing you must avoid at all cost.
You definitely cannot satisfy your customers every time but at least, their dissatisfaction must not stem from bad product or service. Before anybody makes any purchase online, you and i inclusive, we run a quick check online to know what people who have patronized the businesses are saying about it. The power of review.
While you are working on your online presence, make sure an offline error doesn’t ruin everything. Bad reviews as a result of bad products is very difficult to manage especially if they are many.
Mistakes like poor customer service can also get you bad reviews, but you can easily wriggle out that if you improve on it. But a bad product? Come on, that will be hard. So, it’s better to avoid it from the onset.
- Leverage on available SEO tools
You may need to automate some of your SEO tasks or get accurate analysis that you will use to make the right decisions. This is where SEO tools come in handy. Some tools will analyze what you have done so far and compare it with your competitors are doing so you will know how far ahead or how far behind you are.
There are a lot of SEO tools I can recommend because they are popular anyways, but quite expensive though. Ahrefs, SEMRush and Moz seem to top the list for me. If you are looking for affordable ones that will still do these tasks accurately, then you can check Rankedy or neilpatel. Neilpatel is actually free to use while Rankedy is affordable but awesomely good.
Whether you have money to spend or not, you can still rank well with SEO depending on how patient you can be. The steps I have listed above will cost you little or no money at all. Looking at it, you may start having the impression that this will be very easy to do. I kid you not, it is easy to start and do, but the difficult part is consistency. Can you be consistent with this? All by yourself? Ask yourself these questions and you will know the right thing to do.
What other things do you think are necessary to rank well with SEO that I have not mentioned? Let me know!