3 REASONS NOT TO BOTHER WITH SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION
Alert! None Hold Any Water!! Be Sure to Read On.
Small/mid-size business (SMB) owners are simultaneously bailing and paddling to stay afloat while frantically striving to move forward to beat the competition in attracting and converting prospects to customers. Sometimes, in the heat to meet and conquer these challenges, it’s easy to fall back on less than accurate assessments of how to proceed with digital marketing to grow your business.
Here are three common reactions we hear … followed by some solid reasons why search engine optimization (SEO) is critical to:
- drive more visibility for your business;
- establish you as a thought leader, and
- convert more qualified inbound leads who are seeking what you offer.
Comments That Don’t Hold Water
- Being on page 1 of Google is overrated.
- My business is known locally … word of mouth is all we need.
- SEO sounds way too expensive for my marketing budget.
Google and Your SEO Success
Where do you, your suspects, prospects and customers first go to find out about a product or service? Yup … online … and when it comes to online searches, Google remains the 800 pound gorilla. If you are not at the top of the vendors list, i.e. Page 1 of Google, then you just lost a customer to a competitor who has successfully done what is necessary to occupy that critical position.
It’s very clear …People start their search for a product or service with Google. That underscores the importance for you to be visible where folks are looking for you … and that means your website.
SEO is directed toward getting better rankings in the Google search engine results pages. Success with SEO is realized in the longer term as it takes time to be recognized by the search engines as delivering relevant content.
“Content is king” is the mantra to embrace … meaning be sure to include details of all your products and services and other related information on your website to improve your site’s visibility to search engines and their users. That will help your site to show up more often in searches by folks seeking what you offer in products, services or education.
The good news is that SEO is free. You may choose to do-it-yourself or enlist the aid of an expert to guide you through the process. In addition to search listing being free, no one can “buy” their way in to a better ranking. Google is committed to search content being maintained as useful and trustworthy.
You can further demonstrate that your site and content is relevant to the interests of online searchers by having other sites link to yours, e.g. testimonials, product/service reviews and informational blogs.
Delivering on “I Want It Now” Marketing
Whether your business is B2B or B2C, your customers are increasingly impatient, impulsive and often demanding immediate action & gratification. Welcome to the 21st century mobile device consumer.
For the first time in human history, knowledge is at your fingertips. Just lay your hands on your smartphone. What do you want to know?
- 10 day weather forecast
- Hottest new movies
- Restaurant reviews in your area
Now, virtually anything that enters your head requiring an answer or more information may be instantaneously accessed through your mobile device. For that moment of truth when someone picks up their mobile device to learn, do, find or buy something right now! Google coined the term “micro-moment” to identify that “right now” experience. That’s really good news for consumers … and really challenging news for marketers.
Consumers have higher expectations than ever for right here, right now experiences. Mobile is not the wave of the future … it is the reality of now. To successfully position your brand, keep these facts in mind:
Google indexes websites based on their mobile sites rather than desktops. That means your SEO is significantly influenced by how quickly your mobile site loads and how nice it looks on a smartphone.
Your content must be compelling and perceived as valuable to keep your audience engaged.
Word of Mouth in the Age of Digital Marketing
Google is first stop in today’s version of word of mouth marketing … featuring online reviews by customers sharing their best and worst experiences.
Local search engine optimization (SEO) is heavily influenced by online reviews from crowd-sourced online review sites like Google Maps, TripAdvisor and Angie’s List – among others.
Takeaway: The more reviews you enjoy on these sites drive a greater probability of your business ranking on the first page of Google. And that is huge especially for SMBs striving to thrive in local markets. The first line of inquiry by consumers is to seek info online and to rely on the accuracy of online reviews from strangers as strongly as from a trusted friend.
Think about it … When you look for a local business, you have probably compared companies online. If one business has one 3-star review that described a mediocre experience, and a second company has a 4.6 star review across 25 reviews – most of which talk about a great experience – which company would you call?
The Marriage of SEO and Pay-Per-Click (PPC)
PPC is paid advertising on a search engine’s results page to drive traffic to your website. The advertising company that bids the highest price for a click on its ad gets placed at the top of the Google search results page. That page placement will enjoy the highest number of clicks and the peak likelihood of conversion to sales.
You want to be present in as many online entry points as possible. PPC delivers a trifecta function:
- First, it allows you to buy search results before you are regularly ranking high with your SEO organic efforts.
- Second, Google allows more data to flow when paid-for ads are initiated through Google Ads accounts.
- Third, PPC is an excellent way to test the validity of your SEO campaigns. Buy what you consider are the keywords and use PPC to confirm your choices before jumping into an extended, and time-consuming SEO series of promotions.
What To Do?
Now your choices are do-it-yourself or enlist the aid and invest in third-party, professional SEO services. It is likely that you are already wearing several hats as a business owner and ladling in yet another marketing responsibility is probably not an option … particularly if you have to master the learning curve of effective SEO.
Why not rely on a resource that delivers proven, successful strategies to maximize the effectiveness of your Google Ads, improve your SEO strategy, feature you on page one of Google and drive pre-qualified traffic to your website? That means you will be at the top of the vendors list when your customers, prospects and referral resources are searching for what you can deliver.