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.
New Business Online
If you want your business website to attract new business for you, to attract potential customers who would not otherwise know about your business, 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 small business, and most every other small business, does not have the luxury of brand recognition. Most people are not aware of your business, let alone your website. So you have to spread the word.
SEO, search engine optimization, is the means for getting your small business website included in one of the largest streams of free customer traffic there is: the search engines. If you are able to get your small business 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 business will be a big small business before long.
But you already know that SEO will benefit your business. 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 small business websites are presently online? Thousands, if not 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 never a one-time effort. Beyond this success with SEO typically comes after, at the earliest, six months; and often takes even longer than this.
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. Business owners who invest in SEO often expect some form of guarantee about their investment (understandably). A guarantee in this case however is not possible, for this simple reason: no one doing SEO has control over what the search engines should, or should not, do.
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 determines SEO success is how much time and money you have to invest in your SEO works. But there are no guarantees.
Here are some solid SEO tips for any 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 about your business, establish your brand, you will not need to do anything to generate visitor traffic into your website; it will come on its own.
Below are some resources for learning further about, and implementing, SEO. The final resource is an automatic display ad which may offer something SEO related — or may not.
SEO All-in-One (beginner book)
Learn SEO (beginner book)
Google Semantic Search (advanced book)
SEO Secrets (advanced book)
Hire For SEO
Hiring someone to handle SEO is a solid idea for small business. Why? Because putting forth a good SEO effort is a lot of work. Do you have time to run your business and run an SEO campaign? Do you want to do this? If so, the tools above will be helpful.
If you 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: $60 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 get in touch with IThinkSEO about running your SEO campaign.