Most Important Questions to Ask about SEO
To make good decisions, you need to ask good questions. The quest then is to find the best questions.
Normally, we find those good questions after considerable investigation and research. It’s a process on a path of discovery as the truth unfolds. A few good questions goes a long way.
And so it is with important decisions about marketing and how you’re going to promote awareness of your products/services and your value proposition. SEO is very important to most companies, but it is still highly neglected because of its “free” reputation and mysterious practices.
Shifting Budgets Before the Recession
And as we sink into an economic recession, less funds will be thrown at pricey online advertising campaigns and more will be invested in content creation and free organic search engine optimization and social media. Well, Facebook and Google can see all this too, and you’ll need to be excellent in your use of search engine optimization.
SEO is an art/science with onsite and offsite factors, hinging on quality content, good branding, matched with audience preferences. SEO seizes on the fact that the customer is actively searching for a specific solution and puts your website/brand in front of those prospects.
Many factors impinge upon how Google/Bing interpret your webpages and other online assets. Given there is plenty of confusion, misinterpretation and deliberate misrepresentation, you need to cut through it all with the right questions.
Questions done strategically can help you hone in on the truth from multiple angles. The goal is the truth about what to do, how to do it, what to spend, what to expect, and how to make it consistently successful.
Let’s get to those questions now!
1. Is SEO still worth utilizing?
SEO has proven to produce the most visibility, traffic and is responsible for almost 60% of sales revenue for online companies. It’s essential but it’s competitive and advanced strategy is how you take your unique value offer to the next level and make customers believe you’re the only provider on the planet.
Given the economic slowdown, it’s imperative to capture free organic traffic and to remain top of mind to your customers. Never give your competitors the opportunity to lure your customers away.
2. Should I hire a company whose SEO expert has less than 5 years experience?
The answer is no. It takes a good deal of study across a large range of industries before you get a feel for what really works. SEO courses and classes can’t convey all you need to know in SEO strategy. There is branding, design, engagement, along with the SEO factors themselves that actually create high rankings. Even if you’re relying in your giant promotional budget, expertise is still needed to win against tough competition.
3. What are the essential ingredients to reliably rank high and get lots of relevant traffic?
That would research, impactful content, and active promotion. You must know what search engine users expect and want, which content engages them, and persistently promote to them to stay top of mind.
4. How much should we spend on SEO?
It depends. Do your research on PPC keyword per click prices which indicates how much others are paying and how much they think search engine exposure is worth. You should be spending 20% of revenue on marketing, and likely 10% on SEO. SEO isn’t free. Spend twice as much on SEO as PPC spend. It takes time, resources and expertise which have a dollar equivalency. SEO has lasting, long term value (LTV) which needs to be nurtured and it actually helps PPC conversions and email campaigns too.
5. If an SEO provider has no experience or knowledge in my industry and niche, are they going to be good?
Likely not. The key today is knowledge of the customer and industry. Just applying SEO theory and standard practices won’t work because the audience responds to what is most significant to them. Ranking high isn’t enough. Those with industry insight and expertise are going to be the authorities customers/bloggers/journalists cite, refer to, and link to. Expert level content and then expert level engagement with your audience is vital now.
6. Is Search engine optimization sufficient to be your complete digital marketing effort?
It could be a major portion. Google and Bing bring a lot of relevant traffic. Those views on their search results pages and clickthroughs offer big, underrated value. Yet, content quality, unique value propositions and full lead funnel engagement are needed. SEO can’t do it all. You must bring sector leading value to the table.
7. Do Google Rankings affect Perception of the Quality of Content?
Yes. If you saw a listing down in the 3rd page of results, you’d assume it wasn’t as relevant. Since the searcher saw your competitor’s content and marketing messages first on the results pages, it would diminish whatever your pages indicate. Most sales conversions happen via the first 3 rankings because search users believe they are credible and relevant enough.
8. Can I survive on Facebook ads and Google ads alone?
Sure, some companies live on that, but with the recession coming, conversion rates will fall as consumers search harder for what they want. The ads are just a few of things they click on to find low prices or the exact solution they seek. Focus on your solution, value proposition and yes, promote via Facebook and Google still.
9. If my Brand and UVP suck, will SEO be able to achieve serious success?
Likely not. If your brand is that bad, no one will cite your content or link to it. Engagement will be minimal and they’ll bounce of your site. Consumers link to Apple.com because they like the brand. It’s almost like they’re under hypnosis. Branding is essential. A poor value proposition that isn’t competitive, impactful, engaging and satisfying will erode your rankings and traffic despite your SEO pro’s best efforts to save the day.
10. What is the total value of SEO for my business? Depends on your industry.
In the hotel, travel, sports products, marketing, and software industries, the end sales value is enormous, in the millions. The more you put into it, the more audiences see your excellent product/service and then, with repetitive impressions and engagement, will come to be your loyal long term customers. Stats show SEO can produce almost 60% of your gross sales.
11. Will SEO work with Crappy Content?
Likely not. Even if you rank at the top, the poor content will drag you down, confuse your audience, and establish your brand as second best. Great content is exciting, relevant and helpful. Crappy content means you’re irrelevant and others are better.
12. Will I need Promotion to Make SEO Work?
Absolutely. For people to see your content, like it, share it, and link to it, you must promote it strongly. Promotion helps you discover what works best and provides some direct sales leads too. High rankings happen after you do your great promotional work. If competitors flood the media with their brand and messages, you’ll need to work harder to be seen ahead of them.
13. If I hire an agency, will I get the best SEO expert available to be competitive?
Likely not. The best search engine optimizers work solo. They don’t want to be leveraged by an agency for low wages. Solo SEO pros can do whatever is needed to get you where you need to go. Agencies don’t want to over deliver because it doesn’t maximize needed revenue. Agency operations are expensive and most of your fee goes toward operations like office rent, admin, and staff pay. Solos working at home offer a sizable price cut and intense expertise. Find a good one.
14. Is Advanced SEO Worth It?
Your UVP and product/service might be great, but you’ll still be competing with the competition. Advanced is the level few others will climb up to. Because they don’t value it, nor believe in it. That means that extra reach into advanced expertise creates wins in every aspect of your search engine optimization campaign. It let’s you climb above them, instead of fighting on the same level. Advanced SEOs create a next level platform for you to meet and engage with your customer — just you and them alone.
16. What is the Biggest Trend in SEO Currently?
It is paid link building and gaining SEO success within other marketing channels. Paid guests posts on high domain authority websites is in the thousands of dollars per link. Bidding wars, and it’s changed the indexed content landscape within Google, who are fighting paid spam and promoting certain types of content. And traditionally, SEO was kept separate from social media, email, ad campaigns, print ads, events, and more for many reasons. But SEO tactics can be represented effectively in other media. Consider that keywords are a form of branding that customers can remember, and a visual of a website is valuable to customers. Customers access the web to your website or Facebook or Linkedin site constantly. Advanced SEO has to be included in all your marketing to ensure those visits happen.