You want your website to improve – more leads or sales – it doesn’t really matter which is your case – things just need to get bigger. You also know that you don’t have the faintest idea what needs to happen next to move things ahead.
So what do you do now?
This short article will take you through the three main options ahead of you with a few Pro’s and Con’s of each. For most business owners in NZ it doesn’t start with them walking through the doors of a glitzy digital agency, cheque book in hand and a glint of hope in their eye. Nope, for the majority it begins with a browser with multiple windows open and searching on Google for terms like “SEO Advice Free” or “SEO Tips” with a voice in your head saying things like, “Look it can’t be too hard, why not try to learn it myself and see what comes up.”
So let’s begin here with Option 1 – Doing it all yourself
For some this is the only viable solution. They have the time but not the money so they devour all Google can provide them. And I must say, Google does a great job of helping with some great information available (we even covered the highlights from one of their recent documents during last month’s coaching call). Most people can find something of relevance and then start making changes to their site with the belief that this will get them back on track.
The point of concern with this option is that there is very little time diagnosing exactly what the problem is that needs fixing. Most dive in assuming that traffic – or the lack of – is the issue. In about 50% of the time this is the case. However, for the remaining 50% the problems will relate to website conversion, analytics or even ineffective paid advertising.
Pros – Google does a good job of delivering some good information to help you learn.
Cons – Time spent diagnosing the problem is given a miss as people frequently rush in to solve every website conversion problem with the same solution – more traffic.
Option 2 – Paying someone to do it all for you – and leaving them to it
For those with more money than time this is on first glance the ideal solution. This leaves them with the busy job of running the Hotel, Building Company, Accountancy Practice and so forth, while someone else is responsible to “fix all things web”. Each month a bill arrives with some reports that plot some progress and they are just left to get on and “do stuff”. Doesn’t it sound so ideal?
Google is not surprisingly still the first step for most with the rather competitive search terms “SEO” or ” SEO consultants”. And yep, the bias to finding more traffic carries forth in this example too. How these consultants go about achieving this is something left to them. A few pages added to your website here and there with a fair sized dollop of promise to add a chunky bundle of inbound links.
So how can this seemingly ideal solution come with any issues? Well it would be fair to say that a year ago this strategy would have worked well. Since Google changed its search algorithm many, many times since over the past year (and expect more changes in the following 12 months too) this type of plan will struggle and could in fact work against you.
Now having a bunch of low quality links to your site will count against rather than for you – yep, you thought right – search optimisation purchased in this way could optimise your website DOWNWARDS through the rankings! And growing the amount of RELEVANT content on your site is now more important than it ever was.
Pros – a very time efficient solution. As a business owner you will do as little as possible while your contractors do all the work ahead.
Cons – The “hands off” strategy for content creation and link building clashes with how Google wants you to apply improvements
Which leaves us with the final option.
Option 3 – Paying someone to do it for you – and working with them to help solve the problem
This is a mix of the last two options. Here you need to get involved AND you need to pay someone to help you. Yes it sounds like the least attractive of them all but at this stage of online marketing it is the most effective.
So this is how it could all pan out specifically with regards to Search Engine Optimisation. If your website pages are failing to rank for keywords you feel they should then there’s a strong chance this is because there are pages bereft of content for these terms.
And if you are not ranking for a whole host of keywords then your site needs a whole host of extra content. This is content that both Google and your website visitors need to see. It’s not content that is hidden off in some dark side of your website where only Google manages to see. Ranking in the search results is one thing, attracting a click is another and then ensuring the arriving visitor moves forward to completing a sale is the final step.
So it’s not all about adding content with the keywords splattered across each and every sentence in the hope of making the pages look super Google friendly. These are well written pieces that do a good job for Google, your visitors and your website as a whole.
Improving a Website’s conversion is another space where the owner of the business needs to be actively involved in the solution with the consultant. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realise that if a website is receiving the right type of traffic but doing a poor job of converting this into leads or sales then it’s the content that is lacking. And who understands the needs of their prospect the most to help make the best changes here? That’s right, it’s the business owner themselves.
For instance, one question I ask customers as we work through our initial website optimisation review stage is to describe to me the bits that make them very different from their competitors. In nearly all cases I am told of a few clear and noticeable reasons why people should deal with them compared to their competitors. The catch is that I ask this question only AFTER I have reviewed their website. Most of the time this point of difference is nowhere to be seen across the website and they are delivering a very similar message to their competitors.
So to wrap up this up, option 1 of doing it all yourself comes with a lot of work which could well be in the wrong areas to fix the problem. Option 2 has the illusion of producing the least amount of work for the busy business owner and therefore producing the best return on time invested. However this comes with the risk of negatively affecting your site’s future optimisation. Which leaves Option 3 – on the face of it the least attractive of them all but provides the best long term way forward. Who said it was going to be easy?