Do I need SEO?

 Well that depends on what you want.

Probably the most helpful answer is to explain what SEO is, and isn’t, and what it can do for you. Only then can you make a decision about what is best for you and your business.

Whether or not you need (or want) SEO is an entirely personal decision and only one you can make.. If you’ve ever found yourself saying or thinking any of the following, this article might just be for you:

1.    What is SEO?

2.    I’m already #1 on Google, I don’t need SEO

3.    I don’t need more clients. I already have more work that I can deal with

4.    My site is brand new and my platform/plugin does SEO for me

5.    I only want a business card (ie 1 page) website


1. What is SEO?

SEO, or Search Engine Optimisation, is how we set up our website on the interwebs to give it the best chance of ranking when someone asks Google a question.

Although there are hundreds of factors that contribute to SEO, they can be broadly categorised into 3 main areas:

a.    Technical SEO (all the technical/coding stuff that sits behind your site)
b.    Website content (all the written stuff that people read)
c.     Backlink profile (what other websites link to yours)


2. I’m already #1 on Google, I don’t need SEO

So many questions emanate from this statement.

For example:

a.    What does being #1 on Google really mean?
b.    What are you in the top spot for?
c.      How many keywords are you ranking #1 for and what types of keywords are they?

Let’s take a step back and work through them one by one


2a. What does being #1 on Google really mean?

Not much without some context.

The first question to ask is whether people are actually searching for the thing you are ranking for. If no one’s searching for it, it doesn’t really matter if you’re #1 or #100, it’s still not going to bring anyone to your site.

(This is another reason why guaranteed #1 rankings are a bit meaningless on their own)

But let’s get more specific:


2b. What are you in the top spot for?

Is it your brand name? Brand names are often the first thing businesses rank for – which is good and bad. It’s good because it’s more unique and easier to rank for.

 The other good thing about ranking for your business name is that it’s closer to the point of conversion.

 If people are searching for you, it’s because they know who you are and what you do and want to find out more.

 The down side is that people need to already know who you are before they can search for you. How many people already know about you to search for you by name?

 Are these past clients, or people who have been referred by your past clients now looking you up? 

 The whole thing about SEO when it’s working well, is that it brings people to you that may have never heard of you before.

 It opens up entire new sectors of the market that you may not have had access to before. People who may have been your competitors’ future clients could now become yours.


2c. How many keywords are you ranking #1 for and what types of keywords are they?

The other thing about SEO is that each keyword you rank for will bring its own stream of traffic. Rather than ranking for just one keyword, you could be ranking for 10, 100, or even more.

 But here’s the other thing:

 Not all keywords are created equal. Some will bring you more traffic than others, and some will bring you clients that are much closer to signing on the dotted line, otherwise known as qualified traffic. 

Your choice of keyword will select for the type of clients you actually want.

Another thing Google does is that it personalises searches. So if you’ve visited a site before, and of course you’ve visited your own site, Google will automatically push your site up in the rankings when you search for it.

 But this isn’t necessarily an accurate reflection of what other people see in the search results.

 Google can also offer results that are more localised to where the person is searching from.

 What that means, is that your neighbour may get a very different set of search results than your friend located across town for the exact same search query.

 The better your SEO, the better your chance of ranking over a larger geographical area.

Now you might be at the other end of the spectrum where you aren’t No.1 on Google, but find yourself saying:


3. I don’t need more clients.  I have more work that I can deal with

This is an awesome problem to have, but here’s a few questions you could consider:

a.    Are you happy with how much you charge for your services?
b.    Are you happy with your level of business growth?
c.     Do you ever worry about where your next clients and jobs are coming from?

SEO that’s working well puts you in a position to take control of all these things. 

Rather than working round the clock to service all these clients, you can start to put your prices up and start to put better processes in place. That whole idea of earn more, work less.

Testing out new pricing also puts you in a position to begin scaling your business – if you want to – allowing you to grow the size and types of projects you go after. You can begin to oversee projects using either sub-contractors or staff.

When SEO is working well, you should have a constant flow of enquiries – you should expect your phone to ring. If you want to take your business to the next level, SEO could be the thing to help you get there


4. My site is brand new and my platform/plugin does SEO for me

Some platforms and plugins may help you with aspects of SEO, but none will do SEO, in its entirety, for you – it’s simply not possible.

Even if your site is brand new, you will need to ensure it is set up properly to take advantage of these features.

Sometimes the easier a website is to set up and use straight away, the more baggage it brings with it – things that can ultimately impact your SEO and your ability to rank in Google.


5. I only want a business card (ie 1 page) website

Don’t assume you will automatically rank for your business or personal name even if you have it as your domain name. Unless people have your exact web address, they may still not find you.

When people search for you, even by name, Google may very well still put other websites ahead of yours.

 Every optimised page you add to your website helps Google understand what your site is about, and strengthens its ability to rank in Google. Plus, every additional page gives people more chances of finding you.

When SEO is working well it will give you:

  • A consistent stream of enquiries so you can pick and choose your next dream client or project, and name your price
  •  Round the clock advertising for your business you don’t even have to pay for
  •  Genuine clients, not tyre-kickers, coming to your site


So, you might not need SEO, but the question becomes, do you want it?


Comment below, let me know what you think…


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