You’re a small business owner and your business has a website. Excellent move. In this day and age customers expect businesses to have a website, and some customers actually prefer doing business online.
Perhaps you don’t own a business but you do have a website. You’re hoping to generate interest in your site — you’d like visitors to come to your site and would also like to see some income. You too deserve credit, for putting in the work to get your website built and for pursuing your goals.
Visits and New Business
If you want your website to attract new visitors or business, to attract potential customers and generate income, then you must market your website. Microsoft doesn’t market its website; it doesn’t need to. People are already aware of the Microsoft brand and so would simply go to the Microsoft website if they had the need.
Your website, and most every other website, does not have the luxury of brand recognition. Most people are not aware of your website, and perhaps are not aware either of your small business if you should have one. So you must help to spread the word.
SEO, search engine optimization, is the means for getting a website included in one of the largest streams of free traffic there is: the search engines. If you are able to get your website listed highly in the search engines for a search term that a) generates traffic, and b) generates traffic that is inclined to buy, then your small website will be a big website before long. And if your business is attached to your website, your business will be forever changed.
But you probably already know that SEO will benefit your website. Perhaps you’ve known this for some time, or perhaps you’re just coming to this recognition. In either case it’s important for you to know about some SEO realities.
SEO is extremely competitive. How many websites are presently online? Millions. How many of these websites want to rank highly in the search engines? All of them.
SEO is long-term. In nearly every case successful SEO means an ongoing commitment and not a one-time effort. Beyond this success with SEO typically comes after, at the earliest, six months; and often takes even longer than this. It may take a website years to be highly ranked for a competitive search term. If you thought meaningful SEO success comes quickly, think again.
SEO is not short-term. See the description immediately above. If you want to have success with search engine optimization, settle in and be patient.
There are no guarantees. Website owners who invest in SEO often expect some form of guarantee about their investment, which is understandable. But you have to realize that a guarantee for success in SEO is simply not possible, for this reason: no one doing SEO has control over what the search engines should, or should not, do. No single person is in charge of the algorithm, the formula, that the search engines use for ranking websites; and this is by design, so that no single person can influence the billions of dollars in profit search engine results generate.
The best that can be done from an SEO perspective is to use established methods intelligently, to not attempt to cheat the system, and to put forth a consistent effort. Other than this the factor that most determines SEO success is how much time and money you invest in your SEO works. But there are no guarantees…
Here are some solid SEO tips for any personal or small business website.
Create much high quality, helpful content. Larger websites, or websites that have lots of pages, tend to rank higher in search. But putting lots of junk pages onto a website will not be beneficial — at least not for long — and may even lead to a search engine listing penalty.
Get links from established, quality websites. Links into a website are similar to votes of confidence, and links coming from websites that have already established their virtual worthiness are quite valuable indeed.
Build a brand. If you follow the Microsoft model and build recognition, establish your brand, you will not need to do anything to generate visitor traffic into your website; it will come on its own. Building a brand however has the same challenge as becoming established in the search engines: there’s an enormous amount of competition. This doesn’t mean, of course, that you shouldn’t try it; only that you should be aware of the challenge as you move forward.
Below are some resources for learning further about, and implementing, SEO.
SEO All-in-One (beginner book)
Learn SEO (beginner book)
Google Semantic Search (advanced book)
SEO Secrets (advanced book)
If you’re interested in the latest SEO news and trends, check out our news ticker below. This news ticker provides a regularly updated SEO info stream. Check back regularly, and stay SEO informed.
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- Take These 5 Steps Before your SEO Expert Ruins your Website Completely
- Ask an SMXpert — Advanced Technical SEO for Bing
- Search Engine Optimization for credit unions
Hire For SEO
Hiring someone to handle SEO is a solid idea, for small business or someone with a website who wants to, eventually, generate income. Why? Because putting forth a good SEO effort is a lot of work. Do you have time to meet your life obligations and run an SEO campaign?
If you cannot, or don’t want to, run an SEO campaign then hiring someone to run an SEO campaign for you is the only reasonable alternative — if you want to do SEO.
Why hire IThinkSEO? For two reasons. First, we’ve been successful with SEO. Take a look at the screenshots below for confirmation (click on screenshots to see full graphic).
Another reason to hire IThinkSEO is because we charge a reasonable, simple flat fee: $70 per hour. The more work you do, obviously, the more likely you are to see positive results. But do as much SEO as you’d like, within the hourly rate (our billing cycle is on a monthly basis; you decide upfront how much you want to do).
Use the form below to inquire further about IThinkSEO managing your SEO efforts.