When it comes to online marketing most businesses tend to ignore SEO as a viable strategy. There are many understandable reasons for this. Paid advertising is easier to measure and you can quickly see results. Social media marketing is also much more visible and you can quickly start to see at least some results. However, it’s not so straightforward to see results in SEO. There is no guarantee of rankings or search visitors. And with some SEO agencies guaranteeing rankings and not delivering results business owners tend to look at the industry as a whole in a skeptical manner.
But the problem is if you ignore that channel then you’ll be easily surpassed by your competitors who didn’t ignore it. Although it might vary based on keyword and intent, organic search results still tend to get the most clicks from search engines. So totally ignoring SEO will definitely hurt you in the long run.
According to Paul Gordon, a freelance SEO expert who has worked with small businesses across many niches, even a simple SEO audit and some on-site optimization can help you get a boost in search rankings. Below are some basic SEO steps you can do to get an edge over your competitors.
SEO audit looks at all the factors that might be stopping your site from ranking in search engines. Some of the things looked at during the process include the following.
- Having multiple versions of the site like http version and https version.
- Broken links that can harm the user experience
- Pages with duplicate content, duplicate titles etc
- Pages with very little content that doesn’t provide any value
- Pages that don’t show well on mobiles, tablets etc.
- Pages that don’t have meta tags that are useful for search engines
There are so many other factors that are covered in a full SEO audit. Quite a few tools are used during this process. They include free tools like Google Analytics, Google Search Console and some paid tools depending on the preference of whoever is performing the audit. The final outcome is a list of errors and warning that you need to fix to rank better in search engines.
As the name suggests this is the process where you optimize your site to rank better in search engines. This includes fixing the errors you found by doing the SEO audit. Some actions included in this process are
- Optimizing page titles based on keyword research
- Adding/optimizing meta descriptions
- Removing unnecessary pages and redirecting redundant pages
- Technical changes to improve the load time of your site
- Fix HTML errors found through the audit
- Optimizing the images
The cost will vary depending on the size of your site and the competency of the agency/freelancer you hire. The time frame will be few days to few weeks, again depending on the size of your site. However, not performing these basic SEO tasks can have long-term consequences for your website. So make sure to perform them as soon as possible.