The demand for digital commerce and SEO services has grown exponentially across Ireland.
As a result of the COVID Crisis, SMEs have been struggling to retain their customers and have needed to delve into the world of eCommerce & SEO in order to survive.
Rolling lockdowns have permanently altered the way we consume information, the online world is now well and truly part of our day to day lives. With this in mind, your website and online SEO efforts must not fall by the wayside like some of those lockdown hobbies we took up! Did you know that 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine?
The Role of SEO –
Organic SEO is called a process, because it consists of a variety of different actions that are done inside and outside the site, all in order to improve the user experience of the visitors to your website. It is believed that there are still a number of SMEs who do not see the relevance of a website – those who do, however, are reaping the rewards of a lengthy process that shapes the way in which businesses operate.
Think of it like this, if your business were a houseplant, the website would be the soil which allows the roots (SEO) to grow out in many different directions and strengthen the plant. SEO is a constant process that continuously evolves each month; and when companies neglect this process, their website can slip through the cracks of Google searches.
How to change this quickly –
We offer a range of services to businesses who wish to thrive as we exit this pandemic. Whilst better days are seemingly on the horizon, SEO efforts and online marketing should be considered daily. With web design, Google Adwords and the implementation of a digital strategy, your business can explore new opportunities and develop further, despite this difficult 18 months.
We also offer a FREE SEO audit, which is vital to any company. If you are unsure of what this is, see it as an overall diagnostic test for your website. Many sites fall short of what they need in order to achieve better Google results. When they fail to do so, your website may end up on page 35 of Google searches as opposed to page 2 or 3 for the most popular choices.
What are the first steps to good SEO?
SEO is something that most companies seek assistance with. It’s a long process that needs continuous care and attention, again, the houseplant analogy – If you keep nurturing it, providing it with water and sunlight it will flourish – but if you drop off and neglect it, things will begin to wither.
Links are the backbone of SEO. External links are links that exist on various websites and webpages across the web, clicking on which leads the surfers directly to our site. Since these are additional channels through which surfers can reach and be exposed to the site, there is no doubt that this is a necessary step in establishing the sites status as accessible, reliable and high quality, in the eyes of Google.
When Google recognizes that there are various sites that embed links to ours, it works as a type of verification for them that our site is based in its domain and has a list of recommendations from various other sites on the web. It can be said in fact that those external links are testimonials about our site. The more testimonials there are across the web, the stronger our site becomes and improves our ranking in the Google search engine.
Earning backlinks is an essential component of off-page SEO. Some backlinks are inherently more valuable than others, popular, trustworthy, high-authority links are the most desirable whereas low authority, potentially spammy sites typically linger at the lower end of the spectrum. Here at Digital Funnel we focus on white hat techniques to ensure you’re getting excellent quality links, as opposed to other SEO services that might offer lots of links but at a lower cost. Often times, these links are of a poor quality and can actually detrimentally effect your site. Toxic backlinks can reduce your page rank and in some extreme cases get you removed from Googles index altogether. So be careful and always choose a reputable, transparent SEO provider.
Where do we come in?
We can assist with all of the above. Once a plan is created, you can optimise your website to ensure that it hits the criteria that Google search for. Did you know that you’re 53% more likely to show up on the first page of Google if you have a video on your homepage?
Multimedia plays a huge role in ensuring that companies’ SEO efforts pay off and when you incorporate a range of new ideas and campaigns to your plan, you’ll see results in multiple ways. Our services that we run across our offices in both Cork and Dublin, can play a pivotal role in assisting you through this crisis. Not only will SEO offer a short and long term solution to your business, but also instil the confidence into your potential customers so you can really see a ROI this year.
Don’t halt your campaigns:
A halt of regular SEO optimization is certainly a treacherous road. It is a constant battle for SMEs (which make up a large majority of businesses), to keep their brand relevant. Coming out of an extended lockdown period, the SEO plan should be continuously updated to ensure that you are informing potential customers about changes, then Google will continue to favour your efforts. If done right, SEO can drive a 14.6% conversion rate.
Sometimes, you may feel you’re happy with your current ranking and want to take a break from SEO campaigns, but your rankings will inevitably slide. When you prematurely end a campaign or place it on hold you can expect to see a drop in site traffic and rankings. You’re also pausing your ability to go after new competitive keywords. In an SEO campaign you’ll traditionally identify your targeted keywords and secondary “halo” keywords. Targeted keywords are the ones you’re using intentionally to rank. Halo keywords are the words that also rise as a result of your work. By stopping a campaign, you’ll initially start to see these “halo” keywords or phrases drop off. Then, the targeted ones will swiftly follow. Why does this happen? Because the competitors have begun/maintained targeting these phrases and have moved ahead.
Google’s algorithm is constantly changing, literally on a daily basis. Thousands upon thousands of updates roll out each year. Now, you may not notice every single one, but overall they add up. By keeping your campaigns active with us you’re ensuring you won’t fall foul of the latest google update. Some examples of this would be the Panda update in 2011, which ensured that websites providing low quality would rank lower in the results, this reportedly affected 12% of all search results, 12%! Another such incident was the Mobilegeddon update of 2015, this decreased the ranking of non-mobile friendly websites and had high-profile casualties such as the Huffington Post.
By keeping your SEO campaigns you’re securing your online presence.
What not to do :
With SEO, don’t focus on going 0 to 100 – focus on going 0-10. Then go from 10 to 20, 20 to 30 and so on until you get to 100. SEO is all about building sustainable habits through a very gradual process. Stopping an SEO campaign early will cause you to miss out on other opportunities. Yes your primary webpages may be ranking well, but more than likely there are tertiary pages linking off of these that aren’t doing as well as they could be. As the process keeps ticking over, the secondary pages begin to rank more positively, this in turn will bring in long-tail keywords which will then supplement your main keyword.
If you prematurely halt your SEO efforts, chances are your top ranking pages are going to plummet. This change won’t happen overnight, but just as it goes up gradually, it will come back down gradually. Search engines do not reward dormant sites that lack an on-going SEO strategy. To compound this, if you’re not actively engaging in SEO work you are handing your competitors an open-goal opportunity to overtake you. Even if you re-start SEO at a later date, your competitors will have built a significant advantage since they have continued their efforts. It won’t be an insurmountable task to reach the top spot again, but it will definitely be far more difficult.
Company Director & SEO Specialist
This article was written by Ian Carroll,
Company Director & SEO Specialist