We all know there are many costs associated with starting and managing a business. One expense to add to the list for many businesses is SEO or Search Engine Optimization. Questions you might be asking are: Why is it so expensive? Do I really need it? Do I have to pay for it ongoing?
The quick answer is yes, you most likely need it and you should add it to your long-term budget. Here’s why. For businesses that need to be found online, SEO is a necessary evil. If your business is super successful with word of mouth and referrals, you’re ahead of the game and may be able to forego the expense but if you need to people to find you when they search Google, Yahoo or Bing, SEO is going to be a line item for your business ongoing.
SEO is labor intensive, ongoing work. There are many components that contribute to SEO and most of them require time, energy, and resources to maintain.
Let’s assume you’re starting with a pretty great website, if not, you’ll need to consider taking some steps to getting your site up to par. To start, you’ll need quality, relevant content, working HTML code, links that function properly and a SSL certificate. Here’s a list of 6 items beyond those basics.
- XML Sitemap
Wikipedia defines sitemaps as, an XML file that lists the URLs for a site. And, according to Yoast, “ a good XML sitemap acts as a roadmap of your website that leads Google to all your important pages”. And, keep in mind, if your site changes, your sitemap should be updated.
- Key Words
Key words are the words, terms and phrases someone is likely to use to find your site. For example, “dog grooming” or “gel manicure”. You’ll want your site to use the key words that represent your services throughout your site. You can also use variations on the key words and synonyms, “pet grooming” “puppy grooming”. The key words in your site show Google and other search engines what services you provide. This is where quality content and blogs come in. Blogs are a great way to talk about the services you provide using variations on key words.
- H1 tags
H1 tags, are the first header tag visible on a page. This is another way the search engines learn what your site is about. These tags should be included on all your pages and updated when new content is added.
- Google My Business
Finally — something that won’t break the bank! Creating your Google My Business page is free. Check out our blog to learn how to create one easily. This listing will help your ranking so be sure to keep it up to date and add detail.
- Ongoing Quality Content / Blogs
Websites are not set it and forget it! For the best results, you should be updating content regularly – whether you’re adding social media shares, video content or blogs, fresh content matters. Be sure to incorporate your key words.
- Meta Titles and Descriptions
Meta Titles and Descriptions are bits of HTML code in the header of a web page. These titles and descriptions are yet another way search engines determine what your site is about. These should be up to date on all your pages and maintained ongoing.
These 6 items are just a quick overview of a few of the things that go into ongoing SEO. As you update your site, you’ll need to update to 1, 3, and 6 (XML Sitemap, H1 Tags and Meta Titles and Descriptions). In order to keep your site fresh and relevant, you’ll need to continue #5, ongoing quality content. This ongoing quality content will revolve Around #2, Key Words. And as your business services, locations or hours change, you should update #4 Google My Business.
All this to say, your website and blog are not one and done. To achieve top ranking, you’ll need to be on top of them regularly. If you haven’t done any SEO work, they’ll be quite a bit of catching up. Once you do achieve the first place ranking you’re looking for, ongoing maintenance is necessary. Your competitors will be at your heels putting in the backend work to get to the top. If you’re not a techie but would like to achieve page 1 Google Ranking, you’ll need to hire a professional.
About Delegate It Digital
Delegate It Digital is a boutique digital marketing agency in Somerville, New Jersey specializing in search engine optimization. Their clients range from small, local businesses to national ecommerce sites. With Delegate It Digital, your business receives local relationship management with national resources. Visibility is everything.