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Getting your business online is the first step in connecting with your customers, but typically, in the beginning, you’re only likely to be connecting with existing customers until your website starts showing up in Google/Bing search results. Enter: SEO, also known as Search Engine Optimisation.
So how can you ensure the SEO process does actually happen and have your website begin to appear in Google/Bing (etc.) search results as quickly as possible?
Outsourcing Your SEO
First up, you could spend the money and outsource this task to a dedicated SEO agency. If you have the budget, this would definitely be the best way to go as you’ll get a professional result in a shorter time frame. If you do choose to go down this path, we’d recommend going through the following checks when picking an SEO agency to put your trust in:
- Ensure the agency has a physical office location within Australia that you can actually visit. Be aware that offshore entities will sometimes pretend to be Australian businesses with rented postal addresses in major Australian cities. Ensuring you can actually visit a physical office should safely filter these providers out.
- Read through your potential provider’s Google and Facebook reviews. It’s important not to expect a 100% perfect record, as there are always going to be people out there who are difficult to work with, or misunderstand the service, and leave undeserved negative reviews. However, your potential provider should still have a good proportion of recent, positive reviews.
- Ask for a list of past/current clientele that you may contact for a reference. Whether you actually go through with contacting these references is up to you. But it’s a great sign if the company can produce this information for you.
DIY Your SEO
If your budget doesn’t stretch to fit in a dedicated SEO agency at this time, don’t worry! There are still plenty of things you can do to get the right foundations in place and start having your website pages appear in search results.
We’ve written two detailed blog posts outlining 6 completely free actions you can take to start improving your SEO right away. Check them out below:
- 6 Easy Ways To Improve Your Website’s SEO For Free! (Part 1 of 2)
- 6 Easy Ways To Improve Your Website’s SEO For Free! (Part 2 of 2)
How long can SEO take to be effective and how much ongoing effort is required?
There are a few important considerations to keep in mind when starting your SEO journey.
SEO never ends!
One of the most important factors to know is that your SEO work should never really end. Many people make the mistake of thinking that SEO is a once-off task that can be checked off and never thought about again. Unfortunately, the reality is that SEO is an ongoing task that needs continuous work to maintain. If you stop working on your SEO, but your competitors keep going in their efforts, they will (sooner or later) overtake your hard-earned rankings. Ongoing tasks can include continuously building your backlinks, publishing blog posts and sharing your website content on social media.
SEO goes hand-in-hand with paid advertising (SEM)
SEO can go hand in hand with SEM (Search Engine Marketing), such as paying for pay-per-click adverts on Google AdWords or Bing Ads (or similar). Putting effort into both SEO and SEM simultaneously can give you excellent results.
How much SEM costs will depend a lot on your industry. Crowded and highly competitive industries such as insurance, loans and lawyers can cost over $50 per click! However, for the average small business, you might expect only to pay $1-$5 per click.
SEO takes time… a LOT of time.
It’s important not to expect your SEO efforts to take effect overnight, or even by next week or next month. SEO results may take up to a year to really gain traction, though you can potentially reduce this time by hiring a professional SEO agency.
That’s it from us! As always, if you have any questions about this post or our shared hosting, VPS, reseller or dedicated server plans, simply call us on 1300 MY HOST (694 678) during business hours, or submit a ticket through our Support Portal and one of the crew will be in touch!