Do you have a small business that has to compete with larger corporations who are vying for prime market share on a daily basis? If you said no, then you may need to reconsider your niche. If you said yes, then search engine optimization (SEO) is something worth investigating.
When you conduct a search for your main keywords, who’s results are first (aside from Wikipedia)? Is it an aged site, a large corporation or a sleek and crafty competitor?
Regardless of who it is, the real quandary is how they got there and how they maintain their lofty position. Internet marketing, if done correctly can level the playing field in favor of small business, but the steps needed to set the stage are demanding.
If online positioning is an integral part of your marketing strategy then SEO has a place in your businesses. As a priority some companies rely on strictly off-line mediums such as trade shows, trade publications, newspapers, print/magazines, local or national television advertising and word or mouth advertising.
However, chances are a larger and less constricted regional, national and global audience that could benefit from your products and services, internet marketing should not be overlooked, due to lack of understanding, planning or execution.
Since finding the right audience to cater to is a major contributing factor to conversion. Honing your pitch to the wrong audience is an exercise in futility. The key to developing a consistent increase of traffic over time to your website is rather simple (a) creating unique content (b) ensuring that search engines know about it and (c) promoting it to increase visibility to those who haver a higher probability of acting on it.
Small businesses have a distinct need that supercede corporate conglomerates who may have deep pockets or revenue streams from a variety of avenues such as massive lines of credit, investors and the like. Knowing what you are up against is the first tactical element, what you do about it using however it entirely up to you.
Since the advent of new search engine filters and ranking criteria, as internet marketing evolves, the demands differ tremendously from what worked in the past to establish a foothold. Now, more importantly, a holistic approach towards small business search engine marketing, internet advertising and exposure are necessary in order to make an impact on an industry. These are some of the new criteria;
1) Demographics and GEO location are prevalent, so optimizing your content for local search marketing is an essential stage in converting local walk in traffic or referrals. Creating user friendly materials instead or dry selling (formal / technical) copy demands a more personal and engaging touch for consumers who are seeking to look behind the facade and truly want to get to know your business. For this reason, establishing your brand through the use of a blog can create visibility and create a loyal base that when appeased are now like evangelists that will promote your content virally if you create the ideal conditions.
2) Link building is still a crucial role but content creation and coordinated promotion is more of a boon than a chore. For example, through comprising a series of articles and strategically releases them using social media, press releases, electronic books (via pdf) the long term benefits rival a full scale SEO campaign that would have taken months in the past. Now, with the evolution of search, the same milestones can be accomplished in weeks to achieve a truly phenomenal response.
3) Use a blog as an interface for client relations, marketing, brand development and brand image as well as positioning is not just a theory, it is a bottom line inflating reality. A savvy team with great content and the right tools can accomplish what would have taken an entire advertising agency in the past, all on a shoe string budget in comparison. Employing a content ranking strategy is a very effective tool, not to mention putting a face on your brand can do more to establish trust than any sponsored equivalent. Try to create 3-5 posts/ articles per week if you want to see the fruit of your labors in 4-6 months.
As a result of the new ways to promote your business online, SEO companies and public relations / advertising agencies have to do more and provide additional value to warrant their lofty prices in the advent of the information age of business. Aside from this breakthrough in how search engines embrace content, the core value of exposure is truly starting with a solid foundation of great content, from there it is all about finding or implementing the ideal blend of Small Business SEO to capitalize or quarterback the components to ensure that your company does not drop the ball. It’s all about momentum, timing and execution, when any of those elements waver, then rankings plummet as a result. Not because you weren’t trying, but because your competition was trying that much more.