SEO: What Your Clients Need to Know

BY Rachel Cagle
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This year, less than half (44%) of businesses are investing in search engine optimization (SEO). Of the businesses that are investing, 17% are small businesses. That is how Jenna Ahern, President and Owner of Guardian Owl Digital Boutique, began her presentation at the third annual Women in Digital National Conference in Columbus, Ohio earlier this month. Her panel, “Your SEO Elephant. What you need to know and master now,” covered major issues companies face when deploying SEO and why professionals are best equipped to solve them. Here are a few tips:

First off, SEO is obviously important to companies. It’s how your client’s website and content is found. So, keeping it updated is critical to staying relevant. With that being the case, why are less than 50% of businesses investing in SEO upkeep? Ahern says that it’s because SEO is not instantly gratifying. That it takes time and consistent partnership. She goes on to say that a business’ new website needs at least 70 days to experience exponential traffic growth. At the 180-​day point, companies with sites that are taking root should see 50% to 100% traffic growth. Ultimately, the growth rate companies should aim for month-​over-​month is 10 to 20 percent.

If your clients have tried to maintain their own SEO, the lack of immediate results may have made them think twice about continuing. In their inexperience, they may have hit some speed bumps and become frustrated or even given up. The do-​it-​yourself approach with this medium can be challenging. “Think of someone trying to build a house with an old school toolbox versus the tools professional contractors bring to the job,” Ahern said, comparing DIYers to SEO professionals. “A great SEO team comes with a remarkable array of software tools. These are the essential tools of the SEO trade. Even if you know just what to source, they’d cost you tens of thousands of dollars to purchase, much less use.”

This is where you come in. SEO takes time, money, connections and know-​how. Ultimately, it’s just easier to hire a professional, like you, with the tools, connections and know-​how in order to save time and money.

Less than half of businesses are using SEO. The companies that are utilizing this form of marketing have a significant advantage over the competition. If your client’s faith in SEO is shaky, sit down with them and have a talk about how starting SEO works. Explain to your clients that SEO can help them be seen, even if it takes a few months to roll to a start. That rolling starts are normal. All good things come to those who wait. Restore their confidence in SEO and it will become one more service you provide for them.

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