In today’s business landscape, it’s really difficult to imagine someone making it in any industry without a high-quality website. Even if you have a small shop and only sell locally, some form of online presence can help you reach a wider audience and grow tremendously.
But when it comes to having a website, most of your focus will likely go into an SEO strategy, which is a lengthy process of getting a site in pristine condition in hopes of receiving a good ranking in the search engine result pages. The idea behind that is when your website ranks well, you can experience an increase in search traffic, and a boost in interested customers looking at your product or service.
But SEO takes time, and it takes effort, and some business owners can’t really afford either. So, can you grow your business without SEO?
Unfortunately, the answer isn’t so straightforward.
What Does SEO Actually Mean?
If you don’t take a deeper dive into the subject, it’s easy to assume that SEO is just one specific thing or a component of online marketing. However, it’s much more than that.
Search engine optimisation is a digital marketing method in its own right. It is not just one thing, but a collection of different, intricate methods that work together towards reaching the same goal, that of improving your position in the SERPs. Break it down, and some components of SEO may even seem surprising:
- Content marketing
- Social media marketing
- Email marketing
- Website improvement (both in terms of backend and frontend)
The reason why so many marketers advise all businesses to focus on SEO is that it inevitably makes for better websites, better content, and better user experience. That’s really the essence of SEO.
A well-designed SEO strategy could potentially help your business:
- Improve website rank
- Increase quality traffic
- Get valuable leads
- Boost conversions
- Reduce website bounce rates
- Increase time spent on page, etc.
SEO works, and it could potentially get you a lot of amazing results, and you can keep an eye on these results right in your Google Analytics account. The problem is, SEO takes time because at its core it is about organic methods to improve a site and reaching potential customers. And when it comes to the organic versus paid debate, paid online advertising manages to help businesses grow much faster.
Non-SEO Business Growth Strategies
Let’s get down to it: is there a way to increase traffic to your site, and grow your business without SEO?
Yes. However, as we’ll go through some of the different methods to achieve this, you’ll see that SEO still may play in a lot, even if you’re technically trying to avoid it. Here are some of the non-SEO ways to improve how you promote your business online.
1. PPC Campaigns
If you can’t afford to wait until you organically reach the first page of the search results, a pay-per-click ad campaign can potentially be a way to speed up the process. Google Ads is one of the most known examples of PPC advertising services, but most of them work on the same principle: driving traffic to your site, only paying per each click the ad gets.
With Google Ads, in particular, you can take your landing page straight to the top of SERPs, and reach new audience members who may be interested in your products and services. This way, you could potentially increase your targeted traffic, which is the kind of traffic that comes from users who are planning to convert.
For a practical view on how Google Ads and help your business grow you can check our case study page here.
Running PPC ads without also focusing on SEO is a bit tricky. Google, in particular, looks at the quality of your site during the auction process, when it decides if to deliver an ad or where. Still, you may be able to get some results from it without having an extensive SEO strategy.
2. Social Media Campaigns
Social networks are powerful marketing tools in their own right, and in some cases, a good Facebook page or Instagram account can help your business grow, at least up to a certain extent.
Through social networks, you can:
- Increase brand awareness
- Create a loyal and engaging customer base
- Build trust with your consumers
- Increase conversions
- Acquire valuable leads, etc.
And just like with the PPC ads, you can run social media campaigns to speed up the process and get the results you’re looking for faster. For example, Facebook ads allow you to choose a lot of different goals you want to achieve and even have special ad formats to help you reach them.
Let’s say you want to run a campaign to acquire leads. Well, Facebook ads have a special format to make it easier to present users with a contact form. The ad will contain an instant form users can quickly fill in and submit without requiring people to leave Facebook. This can help you create a very valuable email list that will come in handy in the next item on this list.
This is a great benefit of Facebook ads, especially if your website design still needs work and you don’t want to lead people to it just yet.
3. Email Marketing
Say you gather an impressive list of contacts from your target audience. To get them to visit your website and take a type of action you desire, you can run an email marketing campaign and get your special offers, blog post news, and other content directly to consumers’ inboxes.
You have a lot of tools like MailChimp to send these emails, even for free in some cases, so it’s a cost-effective strategy as well.
Through these tools, you have the option of segmenting your email list, provide your customer audience with offers or content that speaks directly to their needs, increasing the chances of them taking action and converting.
You Need SEO for Long-Term Growth
PPC campaigns, Facebook Ads, email marketing – these can all bring your business amazing results. But, if we’re talking about business growth, all these online marketing methods are designed for quick, short-term benefits.
SEO is a fight for long-term growth, and even the success of those three non-SEO methods may still depend on your website optimisation. Google’s ranking factors overlap with its ad requirements regarding the quality of the landing page you want to take people from the search query.
Additionally, you may get some good results from Facebook ads or newsletters, but if your website is not optimised, users will likely not return, and it will be very hard to transition them from a one-time buyer into a loyal customer.
So even if your goal isn’t to improve your ranking in the SERP, an SEO strategy may be unavoidable. Aspects such as website technical improvement or having high-quality content, which are very much components of SEO, are basically non-negotiable in 2020 online marketing.
Technically, you can grow an online business without SEO, but it really depends on how you define this business growth. SEO extends to many layers of online marketing, and not to get nitpicky with definitions, but one could easily argue that most marketing efforts are connected to SEO directly or indirectly.
If you don’t want to focus on SEO yourself, you can outsource such marketing services from an agency with experience in fixing SEO slip-ups. And that’s us!
Book a free 30-minute strategy session with a Search Engine Optimisation Expert at Australian Internet Advertising now to get started.