As a digital marketer or a business owner, you already know optimizing your content for search engines is one of the essential ways to ensure you are getting traffic. It ensures you reach your target audience, thereby generating meaningful leads and conversions. Search engine optimization also known as SEO is a key part of content marketing, and your SEO strategy will determine if you attain success or not.
SEO has become so popular that you must have come across or heard about it in one way or the other. Whether you have in-depth knowledge or superficial knowledge of SEO, the fact remains that you would naturally have expectations. SEO has very much changed from what it used to be, as it has long since evolved. The best part of SEO, which may also be scary is that it keeps changing every day. There are new changes implemented every other day, and search engines become smarter to give users the best possible results.
The truth is, it can be a bit hard to keep up with all the best practices while still benefiting from the process. Given the constant change and regular update of SEO, there have been some false tales and expectations proposed by various sources. For a newbie, these false expectations make it hard to identify which is true and right for your brand.
To get the best results from your efforts, you need to be able to tell the difference between what is true about SEO and what isn’t. Here, we’ll be discussing some likely expectations that are not necessarily true about SEO and the actual reality of SEO.
Expectations and Reality of SEO
As mentioned earlier, it is only natural to expect certain things of SEO, especially when you have heard how much people talk about it. Many people make the process seem easy and only talk about SEO when they have attained success, leaving the hard part out. It has unfortunately built the hopes of many, and maybe you’re one of such expecting great things of it from the start. Here are common expectations we have found to not be true or realistic about SEO so far.
Expectation 1: Immediate results
Contrary to the belief, SEO is not a one-page setup, it isn’t a quick fix, and it certainly does produce the desired results within a flash as soon as it is done. Most people tend to think and ultimately expect that their SEO strategy will yield instant results. You may have read blogs and articles from acclaimed SEO experts that tell you the minute you implement your strategy you begin to see results, no matter how small. Sadly, this has now become a common expectation for so many who delve into SEO, even without a deep knowledge and understanding of the intricacies of SEO.
Reality: SEO is a long-term goal
What do we mean by saying SEO is a long-term goal? It simply means that you should see SEO as a long-term investment in which you only start reaping the benefits of your strategy much later on. The fact remains that SEO is time-consuming, from the setup to its implementation, and up until results start rolling in. your SEO strategy will need constant tweaks and improvements, especially when the results start coming in after you’ve kick-started the process. The same way SEO constantly changes is the same way you’ll need to make some changes to meet up with the new standard. You will have to stay on top of new trends and plan your SEO strategy based on the latest trends and metrics. All this simply means that SEO will take quite some time before you begin to get the most out of it. While you have that time, you can update your strategy, refine a few things, and ensure your website complies with all the necessary guidelines given by search engines.
Expectation 2: Large traffic equates to more sales
As much as you need high traffic to get sales, it isn’t a guarantee of actual sales. You need quality traffic and not just a large volume to make headway within your sales funnel. Some people generally assume the more traffic they get the more conversions they’ll have as well. That is a very false assumption. Your traffic may be the wrong audience who don’t really need your product or service but view it either way. This set of people will make very little impact where conversions are concerned.
Reality: Increased traffic isn’t guaranteed leads
Having more users or viewers on your platform isn’t a guarantee of more conversions. Anyone who has been deep in SEO knows that this is a common misconception about SEO. While the desire of most businesses is to gain more traffic, the quality of the traffic matters just as much. If you notice that you are getting a huge influx of traffic but little or no leads, then it’s time to change your strategy and redirect your content to actual paying customers. After all, what good is having huge traffic if you don’t make sales or profit from it? You need to offer quality content that converts users into paying customers. You need to have them hooked and provide reasons for why they would want to stick around. The quality of your content is very crucial, and making use of the best forms of content such as videos and audio clips that are more interactive can be of great advantage to you. Other features such as your website’s layout and speed are also factors that could affect your conversions and should be looked into.
Expectation 3: On-site SEO is all that is needed
A well-designed website is nice but isn’t enough to get you seen by the right people. It makes the usability of your website possible and ensures users get a good experience when on your website, but there is more to it than just functionality. People have to resonate with the content on your website, and these contents have to be useful to other websites as well.
Reality: It’s more than on-site SEO and more of blogs, citations, and backlinks that show trustworthiness
For every website to do well and to be trusted by search engines, there have to be a few added things asides from on-site SEO. For starters, you need to have very relevant content on your website that not only benefits users, but also other websites as well. Search engines give more priority to websites that are packed with content and provide users with the information they need. Including backlinks and citations from other websites is also a great way to get search engines to notice and trust your website. You can create guest posts for other prominent websites, as this helps to put your name out there and spread the word about your own website. If you run a business, you might want to consider putting up a blog section where you’ll create useful content for your customers in relation to the goods or services you provide. It ensures that your website gets indexed faster, and is shown to the right audience.
Expectation 4: After all the SEO efforts are put in place, it runs on autopilot by Google
Optimizing your website is not a one-off thing, and expecting Google to do the rest of the work won’t help you either. As much as you wouldn’t mind taking your hands off once you’re done with SEO, you can’t, and there is only so much Google can do for you.
Reality: There are constant updates to SEO
As earlier stated, SEO is ever-changing and this is because technology changes constantly as well. With each passing day, there are really new updates that vary from the last release, all in a bid to provide users with the best experience. If you want to stay relevant then you also need to constantly update your website and SEO strategy. Whenever new changes are implemented to search engines, it means optimization can very well change overnight. You need to keep your content fresh, relevant, and monitor your website’s performance over time. Also, you need to update existing content on your website so they meet up with the latest standard. Search for new and related keywords that can be implemented into your website content to help you maintain your ranking. You would basically need to make a few adjustments and tweaks to ensure that your website remains noticed by your audience.
Expectation 5: Get new leads
Most people expect to get more new leads as they go on their SEO journey. Although it would be great to get new leads differently from existing ones, it is also important to learn how to manage existing leads.
Reality: Nurture leads
With SEO, you need to nurture and grow your existing leads to get the best out of them. Untiring your leads are something that is essential to increasing sales. If you are aiming to increase sales, then SEO is definitely something you want to go deeper into. Retargeting ads, sending more personal emails, placing phone calls, and so on are some of the ways by which you can nurture your leads. It ensures that you’re always in their subconscious mind and that you care about them beyond wanting them to purchase from you. The process may seem time-consuming, however, it’s one of the easiest parts of the sales funnel. In all, make sure your message is directed to the right people, and that the message contains valuable information for them. If done right, lead nurturing will yield great results in the long run, especially when coupled with other SEO efforts and best practices.
SEO is not a one-size-fits-all approach, and the journey isn’t always that smooth. It is a time-consuming process and takes a great deal of effort to attain desired results. It is never-ending which is one of the most important things you need to have in mind.
Why SEO is Very Important For Your Website
Simply discussing the presumed expectations and the harsh reality isn’t enough without reiterating the importance of SEO. Knowing the importance of SEO will further increase your efforts and give you a better understanding of what the fuss is about.
Get organic results
While there is nothing wrong with paid ads, organic results are preferable if you wish to see results in sales. People are naturally turned off by ads simply because they don’t like being sold to which makes paid ads a bit tricky. Many people want to feel like they have a choice, so they go for organic results that weren’t shoved in their faces, even though a lot went into getting these organic results. Organic traffic is the heart and soul of any online marketing venture, and knowing what is true and what isn’t about SEO will help you do the needful to achieve these results.
Build a lasting relationship based on trust and credibility
Because SEO involves backlinks to other notable resources, you earn the trust of your users and build your credibility within the disbursal space. Users can come to your website knowing that they will surely get more resources, and ultimately more answers to their queries. The more users that search for your content based on trust, the possibility of your website ranking higher. Plus, your audience can share your content on various social media platforms because they know you provide relevant information, which will in turn boost your traffic. Trust also goes a long way if you intend to have an economic store later on, as people know they are getting value for their money.
Shows your expertise on a particular subject
SEO takes time and this means providing consistent content related to your field. Doing so establishes your wealth of knowledge about your niche and presents you as an industry expert. The key here is to constantly put out content that is fresh, relevant, and very well optimized. Being an industry expert allows you to gain the trust of your audience which was mentioned earlier, and it also enables other top industry professionals to refer their users to your websites. That is more traffic for you in the end.
In today’s digital world, the importance of SEO can not be overemphasized. There are so many other benefits of SEO, and when done right it provides a win-win situation for all parties involved. You get to benefit immensely while still providing quality services and content to your audience. The crucial part is to have the right strategy in place and provide your users with the value that is hard to match anywhere else online. If properly implemented, SEO holds great benefits for your business and will joist be what you need to get that positive change.