A Reminder: SEO is Marketing
Search Marketing has slowly but surely become one of those fundamental necessities that every small to medium-sized business has to plan into their marketing mix. Long gone are the days of relying solely on traditional forms of advertising (i.e. yellow pages and billboards) in order to see company growth year over year. Globally, the industry has seen a steady increase in marketing dollars shifting towards digital marketing, with that number projected to increase in the coming years. A CMO Survey recently projected that overall digital marketing spend will increase from an allocated 44% spend of marketing dollars to 54% spend by 2024. While a lot of this includes all forms of digital, roughly 5% of that spend goes towards paid search ads (i.e Google Ads), reinforcing the importance of organic and paid search engine marketing.
At the end of the day, if an SEO agency does a good job of rankings your site on the front page for your desired keywords, it does little to benefit your bottom line if your messaging, brand voice and conversions aren’t also being optimized. The industry’s full focus on rankings has created an atmosphere where all SEO agencies become homogeneous, devoid of creativity and valuable results that increase a company’s growth.
What good does it do a company to have more visitors to a website that doesn’t properly represent your business, and does not do its part in convincing that visitor that you’re the right business for their needs? While SEO is considered part of marketing, in practice much of the SEO world does not perform the basics of marketing.
The web has gotten increasingly sophisticated, competitive, and engrained in our society. These days, every business, small and large, must have a web presence because chances are people will research you and investigate you before choosing who to call. Having not only good rankings but a proper story to tell web users is crucial for online success. Every day, more competitors, foreign and domestic, appear in search results bidding for a share in the marketplace. Having an outdated, generic website, no analytical tracking, inconsistent copy and outdated imagery all play a part in putting you behind competitors.
SEO is not just about rankings. As much as many in the digital world want to emphasize the need for technical prowess and the ‘magic bullet to Google’, at the end of the day – your website will ultimately be the main reason why someone decides to submit that contact form, or pick up the phone and call you. Spend some time analyzing your site, your current SEO provider, and ask yourself – did I hire a marketer to market my website? Are they helping me properly tell my story and replicate the reason I see success with my current and past clients? What steps can you take to make your website your best salesperson – convincing your marketplace that you’re the best choice for their business. Times have changed, and it’s time for you to change with it.