Beating your competition:
Why SEO is key for online success
Are you a Dublin-based business that’s competing online for market share? For Irish Small and Medium Enterprises (ISMEs), there’s fierce competition online – and its growing by the day. Don’t believe us? Just head on to the Irish Domain Registry website and check out the stats there (Number of new .ie registrations). At the end of 2019, there were over 280,000 Irish domains registered – over 50K of them in a single year. That’s approximately 137 new potential competitors daily, whom you now have to compete against.
Why SEO Matters for Dublin SMEs
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a widely misunderstood term. Typically, it is construed as a verb – which signifies the act of doing “something”. This is a rather narrow interpretation of what SEO is, and how it can support ISMEs. In reality though, SEO involves a series of well-thought-out, targeted strategies that help online businesses move from obscurity to broad recognition.
Perhaps, thinking about SEO services in “old world” terms might help give you a better perspective of its importance. Here’s a scenario to envision:
As a retailer of St. Paddy’s Day party supplies, consider what it would mean to you to have your company featured on page 1 in:
- The Sunday Independent (circulation 130k plus); or
- The Irish Farmers Journal (circulation 60K); or
- The Herald – a newspaper published in Dublin (circulation almost 32K)
Since more “eyeballs” catch you in the Sunday Independent, compared with the other two newspapers, you’ll likely receive more inquiries. But if you are Dublin-focused, you’d rather get mentions in a local newspaper, even though it has one-fourth of the circulation. Many prospective customers across Ireland might hear about you through the Sunday Independent. And other readers (mostly from the farming sector) might notice you in the Irish Farmers Journal. But Dubliners (who hear about you in The Herald) will be those visiting you and buying your goodies.
As an online-only merchant, more “eyeballs” mean more potential sales – regardless of what the source of those “eyeballs’ may be. However, if you also have a physical store, many more prospective walk-in clients from Dublin will find your mention in The Herald useful – and you’ll better monetize your advertisement investment.
And that’s what matters most for any business.
THE DUBLIN SEO VALUE PROPOSITION
Just as there is great value in getting noticed in the right newspaper, it’s equally valuable to get noticed online, and as in the case of newspapers of various sizes and socio-political leaning, receiving “eyeballs” from the right online platforms is essential. That’s because, when it comes to SEO, you think global but act local.
What SEO promises, for Dublin businesses, whether you are competing locally or globally, is:
- Better visibility for your online sales platforms, be they websites or social media presences
- Higher ranking for your products and services on search engine results pages (SERPs)
- Increased traffic to your websites and other online platforms
If you are a Dublin-based business, or any business in Ireland for that matter, competing locally, regionally and globally, making your online presence felt should be a high-priority imperative for you. Why might that be? With the largest number of potential online competitors in Ireland (over 45% of Irish domains are registered in Dublin), Dubliners doing business here face an up-hill challenge to grab market share from other businesses in their niche.
So, if you don’t do everything possible to get in front of your competition, your online presence won’t be seen. With so much competition to contend with, and limited visibility for your website, making that incremental sale is indeed a tough sell (no pun intended!). Moreover, in the coming years, that challenge is likely to turn into an even steeper up-hill climb.
Challenges and Opportunities
Since 2010, eCommerce revenues across Ireland have more than doubled, to over €2.2bn. And, along with that increase, came more competition. Businesses of all sizes are vying for each incremental sale. It is estimated that within the next few years online revenue will hit €3.8bn. Businesses, whose websites don’t show up front-and-centre for online shoppers, lose the opportunity to cash-in on that expanded online revenue. However, that opportunity isn’t really “lost” – a competitor with a better SEO strategy grabs it!
With over 90% of sales initiated online, the challenges for low-visibility online marketers are almost insurmountable. Additionally, in today’s online world, just a handful of large players command a sizeable piece of the online marketing pie. In Ireland, just three companies, Argos.ie, Tesco.ie and Amazon.co.uk claim over 20% of Irish online sales revenue.
With so many barriers to profitability, how might Irish SMEs claim a bigger share of the online marketing pie? Is there any way that smaller, locally-based companies might compete, head to head, with the multinational giants? How can a company, with just a fraction of Amazon’s marketing budget, win the battle for a bigger slice of the online marketing pie?
And there lies the opportunity!
With every challenge comes potential. It all comes down to intelligent strategizing to capitalise on those opportunities. What most online marketers might see as barriers to expand and gain market share from the competition, a great SEO partner can turn into an opportunity for increasing site traffic, promoting brand recognition and boosting sales.
SEO OPPORTUNITIES WORTH EXPLORING
Google searches alone, 88 million of them each month2, offer SMEs the potential to grab a significant number of additional “eyeballs” for their websites. When you integrate a holistic SEO strategy that contains elements such as:
- digital content marketing
- online advertisements
- keyword optimisation
- link building
- on/off-page optimisation
- …and more
…the doors to enhanced marketing and sales open wider than ever to Irish online marketers.
The opportunities offered by our SEO services, at Ryco Marketing, are tangible and measurable. Best of all, they have provided real benefits to companies from across the Irish economic landscape. Here’s just a sampling of the opportunities that we’ve helped some of our clients capitalise on :
- EJ Menswear.Com: The company had been trying for many years, before we partnered with them, to establish a strong online presence. We worked closely with company management to deliver a vision of a more robust online presence leading to increased online sales. As a result of our joint efforts, the company realised a 300% plus sales boost in a short period of time.
- Ireland West Airport: Serving over 750,000 passengers annually, the airport is the fourth-busiest in Ireland, and Ryco played a pivotal role in boosting its Google Search Results. Working within Google’s stringent SEO rules, and using a strategy of high-quality link building and other SEO best practices, the site saw a 64% boost in traffic within six months.
- CT1: Our two teams have been in partnership for over a decade now. During that time, the Ryco Team has helped the company through a number of initiatives, including building their internal and online digital platforms and developing their brand recognition. Today, they are the #1 recognised sealant brand online. With our assistance, CT1 created best-in-class social media content that went viral with 4.5 million Facebook views.
- Shamrockgift.com: Our team worked with the company to establish a Magento 2-based online presence comprising of retail, wholesale and multi-store environments, including a mobile presence, spread across the UK, Ireland and the USA. The result: A 287% increase in site traffic within a remarkably short time. Next steps: A comprehensive digital #marketing campaign to boost sales even further.
- Team Great Britain: Ryco developed a responsive, high-conversion, state-of-the-art website for Team GB, with an ERP-integrated webstore built for high-volume sales traffic. As a result, Team GB were able to process all the sales transactions during the holiday season, including online demand for merchandise as a lead-up to the Rio Olympics.
These businesses, and many of our other clients, have benefited significantly from the years of experience and expertise that our SEO team has to offer.
What to Look for in Your SEO Partner
Perhaps, the greatest advantage of SEO done right, for Irish businesses, is the ability to compete against the international “big lads” of online sales and marketing. They have huge budgets that sustain them over a long time, and that succeed in stifling any form of competition, especially from Irish SMEs. However, with the right partner working with you, even the largest competitors are no match – and with just a fraction of their huge budgets!
The Case Studies highlighted above demonstrate just a few of the things that online marketers may expect when they work with an experienced, full-service SEO company. So, what should you look for in your SEO partner?
- Proven track record
- Diversity of service offerings (SEO, AdWords, Content Marketing, Penalty Removal, SMM, Video marketing…and more)
- Well-defined/proven methodology
- Exceptional client support
- Minimal upfront and ongoing cost
- Industry certified (ISO 9001 and ISO 27001) consultants
SEO is broader than just optimising a website for search queries. For Dublin-based eCommerce vendors, and those looking to add eCommerce capabilities, this means having a service provider that can offer a broad umbrella of internet marketing services. Without the benefit of many of the qualities highlighted above, your partnership will likely remain one-dimensional: just a website developer, simply a web article writer and a company specialising in back link acquisitions.
To benefit from SEO, your prospective partner must have a team with much wider skills than simply website development. In real terms, the qualities discussed above result in a much broader set of tangible, measurable benefits, including reduced management and administrative costs – both initial and ongoing, more organic traffic to your site, and better sales conversion rates.
Great SEO partnerships also result in web sites, and other web presences that:
- are faster to load, resulting in less frustration for visitors
- produce fewer abandoned shopping carts
- are resilient, and won’t slow down or crash with increased traffic
- have built-in safety and security features
- are responsive, and equally functional on desktops as they are on mobile devices
If your SEO service provider is unable to deliver all of these elements to you, as part of an integrated SEO partnership, then perhaps you should be looking at other options.
It’s Time to Act
Whether you don’t yet have a substantial online presence, or have been selling online for some time now, there’s never been a better time to embrace SEO and expand your market share. According to IMRG, the UK’s online retail association, the UK has seen online retail sales grow by a stunning +32.7% Year-on-Year (YoY). That’s the biggest jump in annual sales in a long while.
There’s clear momentum behind those numbers, and online marketers, who have put the right SEO strategies in place, will be the biggest beneficiaries in the coming months. And that’s exactly what industry experts say. Louise Phelan, the former PayPal vice president for continental Europe, Middle East and Africa, knows a thing or two about the huge opportunity that lies ahead for Irish online retailers. In conversation with the Irish Times, Ms. Phelan noted:
“There is a huge opportunity for Irish businesses to take some of the expected €10.1 billion spend by consumers. Merchants need to make sure their websites are easy to use, mobile friendly and can facilitate payments,”
While such opportunities lie waiting for Dublin’s SMEs too, the only way to seize them is to pursue a vigorous SEO strategy, one that will ensure prospective clients, looking for goods and services in your specific niche, see your website ahead of your competitors. Through our fully-managed Magento 2 web store solutions, we’ve helped our clients:
- attract thousands of new customers to your ecommerce website design
- increase website traffic by triple-digit percentage points
- rank consistently higher in Google web searches
- significantly improve sales revenue
- generate meaningful higher return on investment (ROI) for every additional £/€ spent on SEO activity
And that’s exactly what Ryco Marketing promises to deliver for you through our strategic action plans. Our SEO team comprises digital content producers, online marketing specialists, video production experts, character design professionals, and experts in animation, 3D modelling, graphic design and creative campaigns. When you work with us, you get a results-focused team that acts in your interest.
It’s now time for you to act!