SEO More Important Than Ever In A Contactless World
In order to remain competitive in this digital age, especially with COVID forcing more businesses to move large chunks of their operations online, more and more SMEs are beginning to realise their need for Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). In layman’s terms, SEO enables businesses’ websites to appear higher on search engine results, or to be more easily accessed through third-party or partner site links. Effective SEO, particularly when honed towards local markets, can give many an SME the upper hand in turning clicks into sales, even against bigger businesses.
A study by Stella Tomasi and Xiaolin Li published in 2017 highlighted various ways in which SEO has been proven to aid SMEs in growing both their digital footprints and their actual profits by promoting traffic to their websites and longer durations of site visits. The combination of increased traffic and longer visits on a site are more likely to convert to sales that can, in turn, bolster annual profits. Yet, despite the obvious value of SEO to SMEs and companies’ related need to acquire and utilise it well, many businesses, and especially SMEs, are failing to reap the benefits.
Tom McSherry, owner of SEO Christchurch, and Premium SEO, believes that one of the primary reasons for this failure is the corruption that’s rife in the industry. Although tighter regulation of the industry has been implemented recently in Australia, much still needs to be done to right the ship. Since SEO is a complex and oftentimes time consuming process that many SME owners might not fully understand, it is possible for SEO companies to take advantage by offering ineffective services that offer no real value for money, alternatively, charge exorbitant prices and tie clients into extended contracts that reap no sustainable benefits.
In an attempt to undo these types of scams and help SMEs truly benefit from SEO, McSherry believes that the first step is to place freedom and choice back into the hands of SEO clients. The promotion of no-term contracts that allow clients to walk away should they not see results should become an industry mainstay, as should working closely with clients to create tailor-made solutions. SME owners should also seek out SEO companies that conduct in-depth key word and competitor research to ensure that only the best key words are applied.
There are many ways that SMEs can benefit from good SEO, and the first way to ensure this would be to hire a competent company with a good track-record. It might mean spending a bit more money, and possibly having to wait longer for good results, but at least the process will be ROI-positive. SEO is a marketing channel that is proven to work when done correctly, so SMEs would do well to do their homework before hiring an SEO company to ensure that they reap SEO’s many benefits in the new low-contact world.