Have you ever googled your name for fun, just to see how visible you really are to the rest of the world?
On a more serious note: have you ever googled your business to find your website? Quite often you’ll find that you have to dig through pages of unrelated companies, articles, and news clips before you can even find yourself. It can be quite disillusioning to discover that your company website isn’t the first thing you see on a search.
Beyond vanity, finding your business on a search engine is an extremely important function in your online marketing strategy. Imagine someone is looking for the exact service you provide, but when they search, your business is on page two. The likelihood that a random web surfer will go to the second page, unless they’re specifically looking for your business is almost non-existent. By not appearing first on a search, you are losing countless potential clients. This is one of the many reasons you really need to invest in an SEO service provider company.
So what is SEO? SEO or Search Engine Optimization is a digital strategy involving intensive keyword and search parameter research that is applied to your web content and design. It ensures that your website is not only attractive to potential clients, but also to search engine algorithms, which seek out the best results for a web surfer. Much like PPC advertising, SEO gives high return on investment, as the number of potential clients searching for a service or product you offer are infinitely more likely to view your brand if your website is visible in the top five picks.
Now you may be thinking that you can do all of that yourself. After all, it’s just finding the hottest keywords right now, isn’t it? But ask yourself: do you really have the time to sit and wade through any number of analyses to find exactly the words you need? Consider, also, that SEO is not a one time fix-job. Since the digital landscape – and search engines specifically – are constantly evolving to offer better search results, an SEO specialist can often spend hours researching and carefully maintaining content, to ensure that a website is always above par. Hours that you, as a business owner could better invest in creating great client relations, and innovative services and products.
The question here is not “why use SEO or hire the best SEO firm?”. The question is: “can your business survive without one”?
Any digital marketing agency worth its salt can tell you: social media is the most versatile, cheapest, and often most effective form of client outreach to grace a digital strategist’s toolbelt.
Whether an online platform or a regular email subscription, the result is clear: social media offers the greatest business exposure for the least fuss. Social media platforms are uniquely designed to handle high volumes of client traffic globally, and with the right strategies they pose the richest vein of potential client turnaround into which you can tap.
The sheer number of social media users worldwide is enough to make a publicity director salivate. Not only for the potential exposure, but also because word of mouth advertising is free, and social media platforms have their very own version in the form of retweets and shares, that form an exponentially increasing net of views for your site. This is viral brand exposure at its best, and the stronger your exposure, the higher your brand’s claim to legitimacy.
Putting aside the incendiary effect of social media marketing on your brand, having a social media page will give your digital presence the humanizing touch it needs. Not only is social media a large part of clients’ daily lives, but it provides a platform where they can interact with your brand and image directly on a personal level. Gone are the stuffy, often condescending ad-campaigns of the past. In their place is the offer of a closer, more personalised approach to client engagement. Because every person wants to know that the company they’re talking to is taking their individual needs and character into account. And what better way to do it than with a dedicated Twitter or Facebook advertising agency?
Not only will a professional social media manager know exactly when and how to engage with your followers, but will have researched strategies to target the followers you really need to improve on your brand recognition. With a targeted and above-all regular posting schedule, your business will rise above your competitors in the eyes of the online community as an authority within your field. There are so many reasons, whether financial, marketing, or client relations-related, that it would make no sense not to have this versatile tool in your hand.
So, you’ve got your business on the front page of Google, but is it on the front page in the global region that matters most: your own local region?
Or is it appearing to potential clients who are less likely to view your page, simply because you’re in the wrong country? Similarly: Have you ever noticed a business in passing and wanted to find out more about them, but when you search their website is not readily available? Chances are high that they do have a website, but simply didn’t invest in a Local SEO specialist.
Internet users are in a constant state of flux, whether changing the words they use to search, their surfing habits, or even the device on which they search. Today it is more likely that an internet surfer is using a mobile device, and it is infinitely more likely that – when searching for services or products – they are looking for a local company to provide them. Local SEO is the next logical step in the evolution of your marketing strategy.
Whether you’re using radio spots, magazine spreads, and straightforward flyers, you are constantly budgeting to reach your local clientele. Your online strategy should not be any different. When looking at the numbers alone, it has been demonstrated that the vast majority of searches are aimed at local businesses, resulting in a higher number of calls and walk-ins.
Local SEO is the number one performer in search-to-client turnaround and outperforms all other local advertising formats by a wide margin. It is also your most important tool as, not only does it offer the greatest return for the least risk, but provides the clients who are statistically most likely to choose your brand over others both because you are in their area, and because your digital presence appears legitimate.
And it’s not just about your brand’s visibility on search engines, either. The best local SEO company can tell you that your SEO performance can only get you so far. Placing your business in local directory listings is the next step. Because clients are significantly more likely to trust the brand that appears in local listings, and the front page of their searches.
So if you’re still asking yourself why Local SEO is important, consider which business you’re more likely to frequent: the one that you can’t see at all and whose existence you are completely unaware of? The one that you can see, but which is going to charge the wrong currency for products you can’t examine up close? Or are you going to go for the one down the road, whose doors are open to display exactly the product you need right at the front of the shop?
Love them or hate them, smartphones are now a major factor in the realm of digital business, and the field of web design is changing to match.
Without doubt, mobile phones (and similarly tablets) are seeing increasing popularity in place of a standard computer or lap-top, as the number one device used for internet searches. Apps are replacing the good old ‘executable program’, and website formats are changing to suit a more portable device. So what does that mean for your business?
These days, it is no longer enough to just have a standard website. With the change in format comes a new specialization in ecommerce website design: Responsive Design. Without getting too technical, responsive design is specifically geared at creating flexible, proportion-based grids that make internet browsing on a smartphone or tablet that much more attractive to the average user. With the help of flexible graphics, and grid-like structures, a website is no longer squashed to the parameters of a much smaller device, but is designed to show articles, graphics and other content in a size and arrangement that suits a mobile device’s limitations.
Why is this important? Well, research has shown that responsive design is one of the major ranking factors in mobile device search results. These days, it’s not enough to increase your standard search ranking for PC-users alone; for the most part, because search parameters and algorithms for mobile devices differ from their larger digital brethren. Google - arguably the most popular search engine company - have stated outright that responsive design is their preferred design configuration, which means that a website based on responsive design parameters is almost certainly given preference over other forms.
But this doesn’t have to be bad news for you, top website design companies are continuously evolving to incorporate the latest design trends into their service structure, creating responsively designed websites as standard practice. With SEO practice changing each year, you want to hire a web design company that keeps on top of changing trends.
Don’t let your digital presence suffer through out-dated design practices. Hire a professional to spruce up your site design to meet the rising demand of mobile device users and mobile search algorithms. Search rankings are a vital part of your online premises and you need to make sure that you are visible across all devices.