SEO is not the magic bullet that a lot of business owners think it will be. Yes, it is important to optimise your website, but it will not ensure you get the business you are seeking – at least not instantly anyway.
Search engine optimisation is a long game and it takes consistent effort to improve your ranking on Google and the like. But is is also something that so many new businesses falsely believe is a quick and simple fix.
Here are 3 things that SEO won’t do for your business…
1. Get you to No.1 on Google
It can – but not instantly! There are literally MILLIONS of websites online and the number is growing almost exponentially, so adding your new baby to the world wide web will not lead to instant fame or the top spot. It takes Google a while to even find your site, let alone start to rank it.
I often get contacted through the Wix Marketplace asking why they can’t see their websites on Google. Quite often it’s because they have only just listed their site that day (Google just isn’t that quick) or because when I ask what terms they want to be found for their site doesn’t contain any of them! Google is good, but not THAT good.
So you have to wait for it to show and then wait even longer for it to start to rank.
So, what will SEO do? It will help Google start to show your website in results by adding the correct keywords and phrases to your site (both in the content and metadata). You can help that along by ensuring your site contains all the words you want to be found for, blogging regularly and adding your website to Google My Business so you show up on Google Maps searches. Take an active interest in your site and make updates regularly.
2. Guarantee more business
I’ve been working for myself since 2003 and had my current Web Goddess business since 2014. In all of that time my number 1 source of business has been networking and referrals from past or existing clients – around 95% to be accurate.
That doesn’t mean it’s not worth having a website, but it is still YOUR JOB to go out and find business rather than sit around and wait for your website to provide it for you. Get out there and shout about your business to everyone who will listen. Be consistent on social media and make sure you have solid products or services to offer when people do want to work with you.
I am always amazed by the number of business owners who don’t actually have any idea how many people ARE visiting their website. If your visitor numbers are high but they are not converting into buyers you will need to look at why that’s happening too.
So, what does your website do then? It acts as a checkpoint for would-be clients. If someone recommends you the first thing a new client will do is look you up online. No matter how glowing the recommendation, if they find a shoddy website or social presence then they are less likely to work with you. So your website and thus SEO are definitely still important to get right. They are just one piece of the puzzle.
Here is a quick graphic to show other places that your business will come from and as you can see, SEO is just ONE of those:
3. Solve all your problems
“Build it and they will come” may have worked for Kevin Costner in Field of Dreams* but it won’t work for your website. There seems to be a common misconception that just having a website will bring a flood of work to your door. In my experience that just doesn’t happen.
If you are sitting around waiting for customers to land in your inbox, just know that you may be waiting for a long time. In fact, it’s like your financial plan being based on winning the lottery. Yes, it is a possibility, but not exactly a workable plan. You need to look at all aspects of your business to find customers and keep them. If you luck out and get a helping hand to success then that’s great, but plan to put in the work.
So, what do I have to do then? You need to create a consistent marketing strategy that drives customers to your website and your website then needs to grab their attention and sell to them. From there your customer service has to be spot on so that those customers will shout about your business – for all the right reasons. Be consistent, be motivated and keep pushing on. That overnight success you see very rarely happened overnight.
In summary, just like any other part of your business, SEO is just that – a part of it. It is not the be-all and end-all of solutions to get you to that elusive first page of Google. Search Engine Optimisation takes time and effort and needs to be consistently looked at. Not only because of search engine changes but because your business will change. You may move into new areas of work and need to ensure your keywords reflect that.
Remember, if you need my help I’m just a message away!
*The actual quote in Field of Dreams was “Build it and he will come” and we want more than one visitor to be honest. But if you never shout about it the original quote is probably quite accurate.