May 19, 2020

SEO - a one-off investment or long-term strategy?

Rob Marsden
4 min
SEO - a one-off investment or long-term strategy?

Rob Marsden, Head of SEO at international digital marketing agency, Search Laboratory, highlights the importance of a long term SEO strategy.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is an integral part of any business’ digital marketing strategy as it ensures your company achieves and retains a winning position in search engine results pages (SERPs).

So what is SEO and why is it important? 

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the collective steps taken to get your website in front of the relevant audience, with the goal of increasing traffic and, ultimately, online revenue. When a person searches for something online, the search engine aims to deliver the best possible website that will answer their query. They do this through a series of algorithms which identify what website content is relevant, and high quality. The pages are then presented in the order that the search engine deems to be most relevant. 

By optimising a website, we make it easier for search engines to identify whether the content is relevant, and trustworthy; the most authoritative websites from this list will then be displayed in the SERPs to the person searching. The higher up in the SERP, the more likely it is you will get traffic. 

There are multiple factors that help search engines decide if a website is trustworthy, including but not limited to:

  • If the site is mobile-friendly

  • If the site is secure (HTTPS vs HTTP)

  • The quality and length of on-site content

  • Editorial content and authors which have a high EAT rating (Expertise, Authority, Trustworthiness)

  • If the site has high-quality backlinks from relevant and authoritative websites.

Search engine algorithms constantly change and refresh depending on trends, search terms and content, meaning staying up to date with SEO is an ongoing process. By keeping up with Google, we find ways to get results for our clients in organic search whilst still adding value to other digital channels, the brands we work with and the customers they serve.


What are the benefits of SEO?

Compared to some digital marketing streams, it can take time to see the benefits of SEO; we can see ROI for PPC almost immediately, for example, while it might take some time before we see SEO content rank and gain traffic. 

However, there are many benefits to investing in SEO. Appearing higher up in the SERPs can increase brand awareness, drive qualified traffic, and lead to more sales, and compared to paid digital strategies, it’s a cost-effective way of generating leads in the long term. 

Brands who do not invest in SEO are unlikely to make it on the first page in the SERPs, which means they miss out on the majority of searchers looking to buy. Brands dominating the top position in the SERPs are most likely to get relevant visitors; this drops dramatically even within page one, and those on page two or three are unlikely to get a look in at all. 

As well as attracting visitors in the first place, SEO keeps them on-site for longer. Not only does it ensure they get the content that they are after, SEO typically makes a site more user-friendly, making it easier for site visitors to find what they are looking for and reducing the exit rate. 

The high-quality content which is necessary for SEO can also help to position your brand as a thought leader, instilling more trust in your customers, as well as opening up wider business opportunities.

Is SEO worth the ongoing investment?

It’s important that SEO is included as part of your long-term digital marketing strategy, rather than something to invest in as a one off or at particular times of the year, for example just before a sale. Because search engine algorithms are constantly updating, and new content is being uploaded to the internet daily, any increase in rankings delivered by a one-off campaign or tactic is likely to diminish over time. Ongoing SEO activity ensures that your brand continues to be at the top of the SERPs and in front of your target audience.

It can also take months or even years for the full effects of SEO activity to become apparent; this is particularly the case if we have been working on fixing historical search engine penalties. Looking at SEO as a one-off tactic undersells the value of SEO activity and prevents your brand from reaching its online potential. 

For more information on business topics in Africa, please take a look at the latest edition of Business Chief Africa.

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Jun 14, 2021

5 minutes with... Janthana Kaenprakhamroy, CEO, Tapoly

Kate Birch
3 min
Heading up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy is winning awards and leading with diversity

Founder and CEO of award-winning insurtech firm Tapoly, Janthana Kaenprakhamroy heads up Europe’s first on-demand insurance platform for the gig economy, winning industry awards, innovating in the digital insurance space, and leading with inclusivity.

Here, Business Chief talks to Janthana about her leadership style and skills. 

What do you do, in a nutshell?

I’m founder and CEO of Tapoly, a digital MGA providing a full stack of commercial lines insurance specifically for SMEs and freelancers, as well as a SaaS solution to connect insurers with their distribution partners. We build bespoke, end-to-end platforms encompassing the whole customer journey, but can also integrate our APIs within existing systems. We were proud to win Insurance Provider of the Year at the British Small Business Awards 2018 and receive silver in the Insurtech category at the Efma & Accenture Innovation in Insurance Awards 2019.

How would you describe your leadership style?

I try to be as inclusive a leader as possible. I’m committed to creating space for everyone to shine. Many of the roles at Tapoly are performed by women and I speak at industry events to encourage more people to get involved in insurance/insurtech. Similarly, I always try to maintain a growth mindset. I think it’s important to retain values to support learning and development, like reliability, working hard and punctuality.

What’s the best leadership advice you’ve received?

Build your network and seek advice. As a leader, you need smart people around you to help you grow your business. It’s not about personally being the best, but being able to find resources and get help where needed.

How do you see leadership changing in a COVID world?

I think the pandemic has proven the importance of inclusive leadership so that everyone feels supported and valued. It’s also shown the importance of being flexible as a leader. We’ve had to remain adaptable to continue delivering high levels of customer service. This flexibility has also been important when supporting employees as everyone has had individual pressures to deal with during this time. Leaders should continue to embed this flexibility within their organisations moving forward.

They say ‘from every crisis comes opportunity’, what opportunities do you see?

The past year has been challenging, but it has also proven the importance of digital transformation in insurance. When working from home was required, it was much harder for insurers to adjust who had not embedded technology within their operating processes because they did not have data stored in the cloud and it caused communication delays with concerned customers at a time when this communication should have been a priority, which ultimately impacts the level of customer satisfaction. This demonstrates the importance of what we are trying to achieve at Tapoly in driving digitalisation in insurance and making communication between insurers and distribution partners seamless. 

What advice would you give to your younger self just starting out in the industry?

Start sooner, don’t be afraid to take (calculated) risks and make sure you raise enough money to get you through the initial seed stage.


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