If customized SEO seems confusing and complicated, that’s because it is. But, it’s also an immensely useful tool for SMBs looking to plant their flag and grab their slice of that delicious organic traffic.
All businesses want successful marketing campaigns, steady website traffic, quality leads, and healthy conversion rates.
They don’t want to learn, understand, and navigate the ever-changing, endlessly complicated technobabble and half-truths that are part and parcel of SEO.
The dizzying amounts of techniques, strategies, lousy advice, conflicting ideas, and software solutions are enough to make the most stalwart entrepreneur cower.
Yet, SEO is not something a business can choose to ignore, however tempting that is. The ostrich method won’t stop your competition from getting that cherished top spot on Google.
What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is organic marketing at its finest. It can help visitors, or potential customers, find your business when searching for specific keywords and phrases in search engines such as Google. Because Google is the world’s leading search engine and controls much of the content that meets your target audience’s eyes, we’ll focus on Google in this post.
Here’s how it works. Google frequently crawls websites and rewards those with relevant content, effective use of keywords, and navigable and user-friendly structures. How are they rewarded? With high rankings on Google search.
It’s impossible to overstate how the first-page ranking on Google can boost engagement and conversion rates, as first-page results get over 90% of the traffic.
What is Customized SEO?
Custom SEO involves a strategy built to suit your budget, business, and goals. Cheap SEO packages offer flat rates and one-size-fits-all approaches, but every company is unique within its industry and niche, so it needs a unique, thought-out process. Often a company that buys into these “cost-effective” packages gets exactly what they pay for out of their SEO campaign – not much.
Any SEO service provider worth their salt wants to go on a deep fact-finding mission within your business and your industry.
First, they will get a firm grasp of the basics like understanding your budget, assessing the competitiveness of your industry, and the current status of your SEO, e.g., rankings, sanctions, or Google penalties.
This is where affordable packages stop – if you’re lucky.
Custom SEO services that aim to improve your business outcomes will go beyond the bare minimum. They’ll want to determine the demand for your product and services and understand your business goals to measure their performance against those benchmarks.
In the thunderous cacophony storm of internet noise, customized SEO is a fog horn that sounds clear through the racket, while a basic SEO strategy is a tin whistle lost in the din.
If you want to know how Clash Creative improved the site health and keyword rankings of a leading IT MSP, read our case study here.
Custom SEO is not cheap, it’s not easy, but it’s well worth the investment.
Here are five reasons you should lean into creating an SEO strategy that works for your brand:
1. Enhances Website Usability
One of the by-products of optimized SEO is improved website architecture and usability. The website characteristics that Google rewards, like fast load times and high-quality content, are things visitors need – otherwise, they’re clicking off your website before it even loads. Google’s enigmatic algorithm also loves internal backlinks, alt image descriptions, content clusters and pillars, and effective use of HTML.
Google isn’t trying to make you jump through hoops for no reason. Instead, Google prides itself on curating the best search results for its billions of daily visitors. Website usability correlates with quality content, so the Big G considers it a top ranking factor.
But, what exactly is website architecture?
Website architecture is the hierarchical structure of your website, like a rooted tree, which guides users intuitively from your homepage via internal backlinks to every subsequent page on your website. The information on your website is laid out logically so users can easily navigate your website, engage with your content, and, hopefully, make informed buying decisions.
Well-structured site navigation encourages users to explore your website deeply, helps search engine crawlers understand relationships between pages, increases the website’s authority, and, ultimately, increases engagement and conversion rates.
2. Provides a Competitive Edge
If your competitors are concerned with SEO, you need to be. A custom SEO strategy improves your web pages, increases visibility, and leads to higher revenue. Even getting this halfway right can get you head and shoulders above most other brands in your space.
3. Boosts Engagement and Conversion Rates
When SEO is customized and optimized, it improves the user experience as well as the visibility on search engines. This means that items like fast-loading web pages, savvy web architecture, and content marketing work in tandem to attract visitors to your website, keep them there longer, and create an environment where clicked CTAs become more likely.
SEO leads to more visitors. More visitors means more engagement which in turn means more conversions.
No SEO agency or custom SEO campaign can promise that a lead will become a customer, but they can promise to bring in an audience and engage them with your brand.
4. Reaches People Beyond Your Target Audience
You can never know every kind of buyer who could find your product appealing. Email marketing campaigns, social media engagement, and targeted ads with the help of persona marketing can work in tandem to reach your target audience, but what about potential customers outside of this?
For example, if you sell steel-toed, faux leather work boots and target only people who work in the trades, then you could miss out on buyers who just think they’re totally metal!
SEO solves this problem. If you rank high for the long tail keyword “steel-toed work boots online,” you will capture all users searching for that term, including blue-collar workers and punk rockers alike.
All targeted marketing efforts are missing something. So let SEO fill in some of those gaps.
5. Outperforms PPC
SEO and Pay Per Click (PPC) are often compared against each other because they’re both used in search engines, but the former generates organic traffic while the latter garners paid traffic. Both are great tools, but SEO is the only one that is truly indispensable.
What is Pay Per Click?
PPC platforms, such as Google Ads, directly target your ideal client quickly and precisely using demographic information, keywords, locations, and even the time and day you want your ads to pop up in search results.
You only pay for these ads if users click on your ad. You can appear alongside your competitors if you bid for competitive keywords, so this is a quick way for new businesses to make a big splash.
What’s the catch? In excess, it can tank your credibility and bank balance because 70% to 80% of users completely ignore paid ads. People paid brands like Spotify and Youtube for the privilege of an Ad free experience, so it’s no surprise they’ll steer clear of ads if given the option.
If implemented yourself, SEO is completely free. And even if you hire experts, SEO will be cheaper and more effective in the long run. That’s not to say there is no place for paid ads, but there is no substitution for a custom optimization strategy.
Whoever said that digital marketing was easy deserves a pie in the face. This stuff is tough. Business owners need to dabble in many professions, from amateur accounts to unpaid therapists. But, they don’t need to be SEO experts. Outsourcing your marketing will save you time, money, and emotional energy contending with finicky, technical pursuits like website design and SEO.
At Clash Creative, you will be paired with a group of marketing and SEO experts who feel like part of your team. Talk with us today about how we can help you improve your website performance.