There comes a point where every CEO or principal must flip a coin and ask themselves, Small Business Search Engine Marketing or SEO?
With all of the emphasis on going green, the same could be said in reference to how you promote your brand with search marketing. Instead of depending on PPC for lead generation and traffic, perhaps it’s time for your business to go organic, with organic SEO.
Often small business websites are plagued by complacence in search engines by two main factors, either (a) the fear of change or (b) the lack of knowledge or expertise to implement and impact positive changes (than benefit positioning and relevance).
The notion that budget is everything and always looking for short term ROI (return on investment) has instilled the fear of change and resolve to keep the blinders on and stick with short-term solutions that provide marginal yet measurable results (such as pay per click).
As a result of conditioning and dependency, it is not uncommon for small businesses to do nothing to add value to their websites or even worse, dabble in strategies rather than commit to a path of clear action or intent. This dated perspective is like having a leak in your vessel that is taking on inertia and sinking your chance of streamlining your pitch or breaking free of PPC dependency.
For example, if you are sitting on an aged domain name (older than 3 years) then your site has passed the initiation stage for gaining the trust of search engines. As a result, your pages are poised for courtship from search engine spiders to see what value they contribute.
The more you offer back to your industry, the higher search engines reward your content. Just think CNN for a moment (that is an example of an authority site), any time your site is a resource, that has traffic and provides value, the ranking algorithm kicks in and identifies that page as a select landing page for organic search.
Instead of trying to game the system or utilize unethical methods to inflate rankings, just give the search engines what they want, “quality content” and you will gain traffic and a higher relevance score for your main keywords in exchange when combined with other optimization factors. This is the essence of small business SEO, make each page count.
When asked about how we acquire such competitive rankings, the simple fact remains, keep it simple, if it doesn’t work don’t rely on it and stick to timeless principles that help to define an optimal web experience *(usefulness)
It is not just changes to your website that need to occur, the real change required is the way you think about search engine marketing and search engine optimization.
Write content, write more content or have someone write it for you. Building your reputation one page at a time is a great SEO strategy, which starts at the core, your content and extends from there.
By taking hold of your ability to contribute content, and determine the visual options for your brand statement are all a byproduct of search engine marketing.
A tightly honed series of landing pages using regional, city and state modifiers may be far more effective than your one page approach from 1999. Search engines expect more, so don’t get lazy. Each page presents a new layer you can add to your multiple optimization strategies.
If your website is created and cultivated with a specific purpose in mind, based on a solid foundation (site architecture), themed content (for consistency and core relevance) and is promoted properly (through social media and link building), then your chances of achieving your goal far exceed wishful thinking, ranking complacence or PPC marketing.
The takeaway in closing is:
1) Invest in a new / optimized web design - if you have a dated site, or a site that is not optimized, then instead of chasing ROI, you could invest in usability and a crisp new SEO web design that enriches the user experience. Forget flashy bells and whistles, but something so simple that “even a caveman could use it” no puns intended.
2) Add a blog - But more than just adding a blog, actually use it. Search engines have become rather adept and spidering new content if it pertains to a subject that has high search volume. The more relevant and themed content you provide as well as link back to other pages buried deep in you site, the more opportunity you provide spiders to assess and integrate new and related information about your site into the index (which equates to elevation in traffic and pre-qualified prospects).
3) Build trust not just links – It is the authority sites that skip in line on the way to the top 10, authority sites have VIP access, by simply mentioning a topic, they rank for it. Not the old way where you pay for it and hope someone clicks. Change the mold of how you view the value of search engines and see their transparency as a blessing in disguise.
With traditional marketing putting the squeeze on small business, the obvious alternative is to go organic and focus on providing a quality user experience. They say they best things in life are free, organic rankings can be acquired with time and effort (that is what you are paying for when hiring and SEO). It is not to say you cannot do it yourself, but then again, if you spent your time worrying about when the next Google algorithm update is, or how the block level analysis or each or your links potential is then who would be running your business?