Writing a blog is inexpensive and is a great way for an owner/founder to get in touch with their brand. It allows you to look internally and analyze your business in a different light. But how do you make money with this? How do you get Customers? What are SEO prices like?
SEO is a great way to take your business to the next level by finding customers who really want you are offering. But how do you do this in South Africa? Can you do it yourself?
The Power of Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is one of the most spoken about, and probably least understood, marketing concept. It has the ability to supercharge your business for a much lower long term cost than Paid Ads or PPC.
SEO is the process of getting your business to appear on the Search Results. This means when a person searches a specific search query such as “Marketing Agency in Cape Town”, your page could come up. This allows the searcher looking for your product or service can be led to your webpage. These viewers often have a better intent as they were looking for your product or service when they came across your web page. SEO prices can vary depending on how hard it is to aim for these keywords or words with search intent.
In our studies conducted on our own brands and brands we managed, we found that web visitors who came in through search funnels stayed 200% longer on our websites and had much higher engagement and conversion rates.
How can you use SEO in your Own Business?
SEO in your business can seem very complicated. With many professionals using Big words like Backlinks, SEO optimization, Black Hat, White Hat, Website Speed and more. While these may all be important, we am going to give you the basics to get started in doing SEO for your business. This guide is going to use Free tools and will be focused on small service based businesses in South Africa.
Step One: Keyword Research & Content Plan
The first thing you need to do is understand your brand. In order to rank on the search engines, you need to create content. You need to know and understand your brand in order to create content.
Once you understand your brand, you can go ahead and start with your keyword research. This involves using tools to find keywords or search terms that your customers are looking for. This helps you design your content to include and revolve around these keywords. Using one of our clients in the insurance space as an example, we would look for keywords around Car Insurance, Home Insurance and similar products that they offer.
To do this research we recommend using an website such as Uber Suggest. This free keyword tool lets you do three searches per day to find keywords around your business. Look for keywords with a low Search Difficulty score. Preferably less than 20. Make sure to aim for keywords that have a search volume (Number of people searching this term every month in your selected area) of 50. As this ensures it is worth your while. Copy these keywords and store them in an excel sheet with columns for keyword and volume.
Once you have your keywords, you can start planning your content. Make sure to include your keyword in the heading and get as creative as possible. An example for my insurance client would be, keyword: “Car insurance in South Africa”; Title: “Should you have Car Insurance in South Africa?”. These titles will help you to write high value engaging content for your readers.
Step Two: Content Creation
The most important thing to note is that Google is focused on providing value to its users. So make sure your content is high value and answering the questions the searcher is looking for. This will help you climb up the rankings and to make more conversions.
A few key points to take into account when creating your content:
- Your content should be 400 words or longer. Preferably at least 500 words. Less than this and Google will skip over your content as it is considered too short to be of value.
- Make sure your work is grammar and spell checked. We all make the odd mistake, but it is vital to check your work. As you can be assured that Google will.
- Link back to your sources. If you were to mention a company or product in your article, make sure to link to their website. This has been shown to increase rankings. Limit this to a maximum of 3 links per article.
- Link to other pages on your website. Link to your home page or any other relevant page in your blog. This helps with your websites SEO as it creates a web of data for Google Bots to find.
Step Three: Repost
This section forms part of backlinking to your website. Having links from other websites back to your own says to Google that your content is good. The more links the better. But how do you get these links?
The best way to get lots of links is to work with an agency, as it is quite complex. But when you are doing your own SEO, the easiest method is to repost your content on other websites such as Social Media, Tumblr, Medium, Blogger and others linking back to your website. Wait 7 days after you post it on your website before reposting it. This ensures that Google marks your blog as the original.
Step Four: Analyse & Repeat
Now that you have got into the string of things you can analyze the results and repeats the previous steps. The best free way to monitor your results is using Google Search Console. Below is a guide on how to use it and set it up:
One important thing to note is that SEO does take time. It can take 2 or more months before a page starts showing up on Google. This is because Google Bots need to read, analyze and rank your content before you start getting onto the search pages.
(Google Search Console Snapshot)
When Should You Hire an SEO Agency?
Now that you have seen how SEO works, you are probably wondering when you should look at hiring an agency. This does differ from business to business and is dependent on their products, goals and budget. SEO prices can vary from affordable to outrageous! At BRBD we try to be reasonable and affordable.
Hiring an agency can help you reach your results faster and more accurately. An agency can also help you with advanced SEO tactics that take time and experience to learn. Examples would be backlinks, page optimization, getting onto the top 3 pages and more.
SEO agencies like BRBD have experience and networks to get you better results. They also use more advanced SEO software to help monitor and find opportunities in the SEO world.
How much does a SEO Marketing Agency Cost in South Africa?
At BRBD, we have a 2 tiers of SEO pricing to try and help businesses of all budgets get the SEO guidance they need. We have designed these with the best prices possible to help your business grow. The two options are:
- SEO Consulting (From R2 000 per month) – This is when we help you from a strategic point of view. We do the keyword research, the content planning and the analysis. You do the writing, posting and reposting. We have been able to make this extremely affordable for even the most cash strapped businesses.
- Full SEO Management (From R3 500 per month) – This is where we handle everything. From planning to creation and creating partnerships to help you rank faster. We have recently helped a client get a page onto page 3 of Google within 3 weeks. This package is often paired with a Social Media Package as well.