Throughout my career as a consultant, I have had the opportunity to learn from many well-respected Search Engine Optimistion leaders in the online advertising field. It amazes me daily how quickly marketing executives will spend millions on search engine advertising (Google Ads) while treating SEO as an afterthought.
This is a result of a fundamental misunderstanding of how to invest in profitable search initiatives and instead relies upon a flawed assumption about what S.E. Optimization actually is. According to these executives, an SEO investment is simply updating a website in accordance with search engine best practices. They also believe that SEO is simply about creating content that will appear on search engines.
Does a Business Website Need SEO?
Businesses don’t consider them worthwhile investments so they don’t place much importance on SEO initiatives.
Although they may be correct in stating that updating websites to comply with current practices and churning content that ranks well on search engines won’t be profitable in most cases, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t SEO investments.
Before you decide if they (or you) should invest in Search Engine Optimization, you need to determine if your audience will be searching for your website via search engines.
Search engines are not always the best way to find certain genres. However, if you have a product or an idea that merits an internet search, it would be foolish to not invest in that search.
What is the best way to implement an Search Engine Optimization investment?
After you have determined that your website is a good candidate for SEO investment, you can then decide how to implement that investment. Once you have figured out that search engines are likely to show users searching for your product or service, you can start brainstorming ways to make them visible.
There are many options for building a product around these users. However, the best approach will depend on the business category and user persona.
A few blog posts, a photo collection, or a video series could address user needs. There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to users. Every user and every business is different. It doesn’t matter if a competitor uses the same approach, it does not mean that it will work for them.
Creating an effective SEO plan starts with understanding your audience.
Who do I want to reach?
Get clarity on their needs, preferences and challenges.
Then, define your goals and how you’ll track progress.
What are your specific SEO objectives and key performance indicators?
Outline these so you can measure success.
Research your competitors too. Know their strengths and weaknesses.
What makes you stand out?
Play up your unique value.
Brainstorm relevant topics and keywords your audience actually searches for. Build optimized content that provides value and matches their search intent.
Ensure your website is easy to navigate, mobile-friendly and technically sound too. Search engines should readily crawl and index it.
And don’t forget off-page SEO. Aim to organically earn reputable links and mentions to boost authority.
Finally, outline budget and resources needed to execute on this plan. Map out tools, platforms and experts that can support your SEO success.
Following this audience-focused approach sets you up to develop an actionable plan tailored to your goals.
Here are other seven important questions that could be helpful to ask when developing an SEO plan:
Define your Search Engine marketing strategy.
Your SEO strategy should be based on user needs rather than search engine requirements.
No matter what you find, it is a significant investment of time, resources, and budget. A half-baked approach to revenue will not work if you are building something, or writing content for humans.
Search Engine marketing can be an investment in the future. However, it may not be a wise investment. Prioritizing decisions should consider the impact on the company. The business’s position will answer the question:
Should I SEO or Not SEO?
SEO is an integral part of your business. All of your SEO investments should contribute to your business’ growth and be measured using the same metrics as your other business activities. You should not invest in SEO based on the “been there, done that” approach. Instead, use Product-Led SEO to make smart decisions.