This is a guest column from Shyam Bhardwaj, a small business SEO consultant. He also writes on ShyamBhardwaj.com and contributes his knowledge on Startup Grind, Tweak Your Biz, and Site Pro News publications.
Many young folks think that is SEO a perfect long-term professional career option for them. This applies specifically to those thousands of new guys who are in the initial days of their blogging sphere. If you gain more exposure and right set of skills, yes, in-house SEO, as well as freelance SEO jobs, can have amazing salary perks.
Creativity, great communication skills, web programming principles, data analytics, and problem-solving attitude make you the right guy for this profession. I wrote about it in-depth earlier here.
But the Problem is… The Mindset of Businesses!
The outcomes from the recent Clutch survey made me do this post. The results are shocking and reflect how big brands adopt the digital marketing channels in their current advertising model.
Threat: Percentage of businesses who incorporate SEO into their digital advertising efforts – 44%. What does it mean for us? Well, 56% of businesses rely on social media marketing, email strategy, display advertising, and PPC clicks instead of SEO.
Note: The survey included responses from 501 in-house digital marketers across the United States to get their preferences of digital marketing platforms.
Key-Findings Out of this Survey:
1. Social media is the top-rated digital platform for businesses (81%) accompanied by the website (78%), Email (69%), Display ads (55%), and mobile apps (53%). Even PPC is not there in the top 5 list. The content strategy had a decent share of 53%.
2. SEO was the least used marketing channel according to the survey participants.
3. Increasing web traffic wasn’t the primary success metric for most of the businesses. Their primary goals were very specific – increase revenue and brand awareness.
4. Large enterprises (with more than 5K employees) have a focus on stand out from direct competitors.
5. Focusing primarily on social media and email (in conjunction with PPC, banner ad, and content), nearly 83% of businesses claim to meet their marketing goals.
Why do Businesses Show Resistance with SEO?
The reasons may be more, but in my opinion, it’s due to:
1. They had a negative experience with SEO in the past.
2. They do not understand the modern SEO mechanism, or
3. Their marketing approach is aggressive with intentions to see immediate results. Other channels (with good spending) can get them exposure, and they feel stable with it. SEO takes time, and it's more like an investment.
What Should We Do to Change the Scenario?
SEO marketers have mixed reactions on it. Justin from MI DesignzSEO agency says, “We shouldn’t worry about this outcome. This isn’t global phenomena and came from large firms only with more than 100 employees. Small businesses do think about SEO more than social or PPC strategy.”
I agree with Justin’s opinion, but still, we need to go back to basics:
– Do not make false promises – SEO shouldn’t have guarantees. If you’re selling guarantees, you’re doing it wrong. Ethical businesses shouldn’t live around false commitments.
– Keep Transparency – Whatever you’re planning or implementing, keep a track record of website log and history, and report back it to clients.
– Go Clean – No Grey or Black Hat. Ethical work wins. Do not get inspired by websites following wrong things to climb the SERP positions. It can get your client’s website de-indexed in Google. Please be aware!
– Set Short Milestones – Number 1 rankings for 10 keywords isn’t the short goal. It’s a long-term goal. On second thought, number 1 rankings sort of goals are not the ideal ones in today’s competitive edge. Getting queries or leads is the primary goal, and your efforts should be aligned with matching that goal. Rankings or traffic are the secondary things.
– Add Value – The clients should see the direct benefits of your services. It may be integrated with content strategy, newsletter sign-up, or your PDFs download. Add value through-out the campaign to help other channels.
We can't change the overall marketing landscape but can do amazing things for us as well as our SEO clients. Let's make SEO side rock-solid for every business we are associated with!