30 years ago back In 1991, the very first website went live – but this wasn’t when SEO was born. In fact, it took a further 6 years before Search Engine Optimisation arrived. Before this, ARCHIE, an FTP site that was basically a primitive directory was the only “search engine’ (and we use that term very loosely) Unlike the search engines of today. it was barely able to search itself, let alone content from other places.

So what happened in 1997 to kick start the complex world of SEO? Google happened – albeit the year before. Yahoo was super popular, but unlike Google, it was more of a favourite websites list. Google introduced crawling and indexing, and all of the rules to play by.

So now we’ve got the history lesson out of the way, let’s take a look at why SEO is so important for your business in 2021 – and why it’s not a one size fits all package.

The Benefits of SEO for Businesses

With literally millions of so called ‘experts’ publishing SEO guidelines and best practices on the interweb, who really knows what strategies to use. From golden word counts to killer keywords, internal and outbound links, copy structure, metadata and everything in between – everyone’s an expert, yet so few seem to be winners.

When done right, SEO offers some pretty significant benefit to all types of business. For a start, a well-executed SEO strategy can place you on the first page of Google and Co’ – without needing to pay to play with the big boys. It can help you reach a wider audience and tap into brand new ones. It can build brand authority. It can literally take an underperforming website and turn it into a powerhouse of leads and conversions. You just need to know what works for you.

The key here is ‘you’. No SEO strategy is ever going to deliver winning results for every single business. It’s all about knowing your goals, analysing your strengths and weaknesses, looking at your audience, and then pulling a plan of action together.

How COVID-19 Changed the Business Landscape

COVID-19 forced many businesses to reassess their current situations, with many taking the leap toward establishing a solid online reputation. The problem here is that every business had the same idea and now it’s one of the most competitive landscapes around. SEO separates those who are serious from those who are not, with a proper SEO strategy sealing the deal for many.

Sure, you could head down the PPC and SEM route, but the results you get will only last as long as your budget allows. SEO, on the other hand, builds a roadmap for the SERPs and your audience, delivering long-lasting results that work for you, not against you. 

Launching a website without SEO is like building a tower on sand – it’s only a matter of time before it crashes down to the ground. Build it on solid foundations and you can go higher and further than ever before. Capture that online real-estate, then SEO the bones out of it until it becomes a premium property everyone wants a glimpse of.

Ultimately, the pandemic will pass. However, the way consumers now shop is set to stay. The convenience of online shopping and services is cemented into everyday life – you just need to decide if you want your audience to see you or your competitors. (The answer is you, by the way).

The Main Elements of SEO

There are many moving parts when looking at a well-rounded SEO strategy, and choosing the ones that work for your business is the first step to success. Content is always going to be king, as is keyword research. Without these two main elements, a website is simply a blank page nobody will find. But what other aspects of SEO play a role?

  • Keyword research and implementation
  • Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI’s)
  • Technical SEO (crawling and indexing)
  • Onsite SEO (content and copy optimisation)
  • Offsite SEO (GMB, social media, etc)
  • Content – creating value-filled copy
  • Mobile SEO – making things mobile-friendly
  • User intent and customer personas
  • Syntax and verbiage relevant to your brand
  • Call to Action (CTA) and lead generation
  • Competitor and content gap analysis
  • Strategic planning and cross-platform linking
  • Smart content – Alexa, Google Dot compatible
  • EDM – (email marketing content)
  • … Plus 101 other things as well! 

It’s easy to see why so many businesses fail at SEO. With limited manpower and time constraints, plus a lack of insider knowledge – many people find themselves going round in circles focussing on just one or two things. In all honesty, your business will probably benefit from all of the points mentioned above. It’s just about fine-tuning them and knowing where to focus your efforts on any given day, which requires the right software and key skills.

Building a Strategy That Works For You

We’ve said it once, and we’ll say it again. What works for Peter won’t necessarily work for Paul. Businesses are customer-driven, and it’s those customers who will determine the routes you need to take. SEO is more than writing in a way that pleases Google or Bing. It’s about creating something that humans get value from, using a language that is written for them. 

It’s a little known fact, but the search engines can understand content and context much better than you’d think. A few years ago you’d have to create unnatural and artificial-sounding content loaded with weirdly placed keywords. Today, it’s all about being conversational, natural enough to be read out on a smart device. Of course, there’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes and it can be impossible to get right if you don’t know what your goals are.

Your SEO strategy is everything. It creates a plan of action, sets a timeline, allows you to track your progress – and then tweak as and when you need to for maximum reach and success. 

The easiest way to look at SEO is to think of it as the paint Monet used to create his water lily painting. Take away the paint and you’re left with something invisible. The work is there and it took forever to complete – but nobody can see it. Add that colour back in and you have a work of art that people are happy to visit, spend time with and share. Choosing the right colours is just as important as the creation itself, and the same is true with SEO.

Snatch Every Opportunity (SEO the TALK Way)

At TALK, we see SEO as Snatching Every Opportunity. With a highly-experienced team of SEO specialists who know how to work the SERPs and get content in front of the right people at the right times, your goals are our reality. 

Why spend months trying to learn the ropes (only for the SEO goalposts to move) when you have a powerhouse of SEO wizards at the ready? Let us sweat the big stuff so you don’t have to! Reach out to us today for a convo and get ready to exceed your SEO expectations.