In the internet age, search is the primary way a potential customer is going to find out about your business. Google handles almost 12 billion searches every month and, with online-capable devices become more accessible to developing countries, this number will only go up. Search engine optimisation (SEO) can help your business take advantage of these new demographics and help you to grow as a company.
How Does It Work?
SEO refers to the process of manipulating the visibility of a website by affecting how early it appears in the search results. The earlier your website appears, the better. There are a multitude of ways this can be done, but one of the first steps you can take is to use keywords within your onsite content, preferably in high profile positions like in the headings or the title.
Keywords are important because they allow “crawlers,” the programs many SEO specialists use to search through a high number of web pages, to correctly identify the content of your page. These programs are made to read and index articles according to the terms that show up most often and in the important sections of the page.
What Kind of Results Can You Expect?
The question that will be on every business owner’s mind is how soon can they expect to see meaningful results. Unfortunately, a direct answer is impossible because of all the variables between individual businesses and specific industries. However, on average, you can expect to see progress within 4-6 months. What’s important to remember is that SEO is a continuing process and you will continue to see improvements over time.
Many companies lose patience with the process and end up canceling their program early on. All this does, though, is ensure that you don’t get the proper results and the endeavour ends up wasting both your time and money. SEO works best when given both a realistic budget and 6-12 months of time to fully mature.
What Should You Do to Get Started?
If you want to see meaningful results, you’ll need to develop a strategy that encompasses research and analysis relevant to your industry. You’ll first need to see how you compare to your competitors to understand what changes you’ll need to make to become more competitive. While an in-house team can do all of this, it should be noted that the process will still require a significant budget and time-allowance.
However, if you don’t currently have the technical expertise in-house or the time it will take to enter a recruitment stage, there are many independent companies that can help. SEO is big business, and you’ll have many choices available to you. A specialist can help you focus on specific areas for improvement, such as international, local, or mobile expansion, or help you create an initial strategy altogether.
Whatever approach you decide to take, SEO is something every small business owner needs to be aware of. The web no longer represents just another way potential customers can deal with you. It should be the primary focus of your enterprise.