In today’s business world, maintaining a competitive online presence is increasingly important, and this includes an effective SEO strategy that will place your business at the top of the list when it comes to searches conducted by potential customers.

With potential customers relying heavily on search engines to make purchasing decisions, SEO has become a key business tool, and as with any other tool, it is vital your business understands how to use it properly in order to achieve optimal results. If not used correctly, SEO is at least money wasted, and at worst can negatively impact your business’ online profile and profitability.

When designing a winning SEO strategy, bear in mind that your business is not operating in a vacuum. That said, it is important to take a united approach to SEO strategy from the start. You need all of your departments working together harmoniously to attain the best results and benefit your business. A cohesive SEO strategy, both off- and online, vastly improves conversion rates and your business’ chance of growth.

With conversion being your ultimate goal, it is necessary you get to know your customers and their search behavior—without them there will be no conversion at all. This involves research, which is where an SEO specialist comes in. An SEO specialist is able to analyze data from multiple sources and suggest techniques that will assist your PPC experts to bring about increased turnover. Likewise, PPC provides the opportunity to test novel marketing ideas, and see how they perform regarding conversion rates, prior to financing long-term SEO tactics.

Competent and comprehensive planning and execution is vital to a successful SEO strategy. An experienced SEO analyst will also take into account archived data, and by comparing it with current and future trends, be able to advise as to which markets are already inundated and/or which are likely to produce low returns. When you understand your customers and have identified their needs and wants, your marketing communication will become far more clear and consistent.

An experienced SEO analyst is also key in helping prevent costly and common errors, such as making code changes to your website that have a detrimental effect on your SEO or installing plug-ins that make your website load more slowly. An SEO expert can also offer advice in the planning stages of your website, advising on such aspects as the information and internal link framework, as well as running regular SEO audits. While it can supplement, a plug-in is no stand-in for an SEO expert.

However, SEO is no substitute for a top quality product or service. What your customers think of your product or service counts—their user experience and feedback matters—and will ultimately have an impact on your business’ search engine rankings. No amount of SEO, no matter how well done, can fix a product or service that does not meet the standards you have claimed or your customers’ expectations.