CREATIVE MODERN MARKETING FOR SMALL BUSINESS

What Is SEO To You?

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]WHAT IS SEO TO YOU?

 

Take Control of Your Business Destiny

With Next Generation Organic Brand Marketing

 

by Craig Sutherland

 

As the internet assumes a more prominent role in retail sales and business marketing, the ability to generate traffic is becoming more and more important.

The competition for the business and loyalty of consumers is more intense than it has ever been. There are no boundaries in business anymore. You’re not just trying to stay ahead of the guy down the road. Unless you’re in an exclusive niche, pushing a product or service that no-one else can match or beat, you are now in an international market place.

You need to be ultra competitive in ALL areas of operations, because most of your customers are shopping online before they even decide whose door they’re going to walk through. They want to know who has the product they want, how close to home they are, or where they can find them, and of course, what’s their best price? They get their answers, and make most of their buying decisions, before they even leave home, so who and what they find during that search is pretty important to you.

You want them to find your website asap. Preferably on the first page of their search. Unfortunately, so does everybody else.

Consider your own internet use; when you do a search and your results come up, how many pages will you scroll through before clicking onto a site? If you’re anything like me you won’t go far past the first. There may be hundreds, thousands, even millions of sites below that don’t even get a look in. That’s the situation your site faces when you line up against the multitude of competing sites. And while it’s definitely a danger to your business future, it’s also your biggest opportunity.

The power of keywords

So how exactly do you take this huge opportunity? By writing the search engine optimization into your site content. By setting up your site organically from the outset, to get the most attention possible from the search engines and get your ranking high up on their search results pages. So how do you drive traffic to your site? How do you attract the attention of the search engines in the first place? It boils down to organic SEO or pay-per-click advertising.

Organic SEO refers to gaining rankings based purely on how the HTML text within your site pages uses the keywords you list in your SEO set-up. It’s the free version of web advertising. But it’s not exactly free. It takes a lot of time and effort to set it all up, and expense if you sub-contract the work out.

Basically, if you don’t do your research and identify your best keywords, if you don’t then incorporate them into your copy, you give yourself no chance of a good ranking with the search engines. This greatly reduces your ability to generate traffic and attract new business using only your website. You will be restricted to customers who already know and support you, prospects referred to you by existing clients, or leads generated by your other advertising media. Which is all very well if that volume of business is enough to satisfy you. It ignores though the full advantage of the potential for new business the internet offers you.

If, on the other hand, you take care of it in the planning and design stages you can have your ranking established strongly and early, well up the top of the results pages. This can be achieved through a combination of carefully choosing your keywords so you don’t go head-to-head with the big players, and creating content that includes good use of your keywords. Writing your pages with your keywords included from the start is smarter than going back and re-writing after you’ve realized your omissions.

And whether you choose to go organic or PPC, it’s the keywords that will get you the search results, the traffic, and the corresponding click-throughs you need to have a chance to convert visitors to customers.

This is organic as opposed to the pay-per-click advertising model Google’s Adwords program uses. Pay-per click advertising is where you place ads with a search engine (Google in this example, although Yahoo and Bing both offer similar programs), who index your ad by comparison with other sites using the same keywords. It’s set up like an auction, where you’re asked to place a bid value on your keywords and phrases. Whichever site has the highest bid for each respective keyword, and the highest quality content, goes to the top of the page.

Your bid will depend on the value you place on each potential customer that clicks onto your site. Google will charge you for every click-through, the cost of which must also be deducted from your net profit on each potential sale. Which emphasizes the importance of researching your keywords thoroughly.

When you do your keyword research you’ll discover how hot the competition is for ranking priority on some keywords; some people are willing to pay a high premium to gain the front page, which tells you a lot about the value of being there. Of course, that value is relative to the value each customer brings to your business, which helps you determine your choice between PPC and organic SEO.

How the net has changed the game

Marketing has taken great leaps forward with the help of search engines. Information that used to be very difficult to come by, extremely expensive and often unreliable, has been replaced by powerful tracking and analytical tools. We now have access to the search habits of everybody who visits your site, even the marketing tactics of your competitors. We can narrow down the market demographics and psycho-graphics by tracking the types of sites they visit. We can quite accurately know whether they’re tyre-kickers or if they’re ready to buy, by the keywords they use in their searches. All very valuable marketing information.

We now have plenty of statistics that give you huge opportunities to get specific about how you promote your brand and your products. Current statistics that are updated daily, even faster. You can monitor trends and respond quickly. You can compare what your competitors are doing and make changes if necessary. You can identify what keywords and phrases are driving the most traffic, how they may change due to new market circumstances, and get onboard fast. You can attract business by using these trends in the copy of your blogs and social media posts, in real time. Again, marketing gold.

All this information comes to us from search engines. And so it’s the search engines we bow to when writing web content. By using what we learn from them through research it’s possible to design (or re-design) web pages to maximize your search engine recognition. Then instead of going head-to-head directly with e-marketing giants (and losing), with their big budgets and marketing teams, we find a keyword niche where the keywords become very valuable and powerful tools.

By defining the most effective keywords for your particular niche, page copy can then be written to incorporate these words, which is what the search engines look for when they rank pages. You’ll want a good understanding of how to write copy this way. If you’re not confident it will pay to hire a professional copywriter to do it for you.

You can research keywords using software from sites like wordtracker.com or keyworddiscovery.com. You can take a free trial to see how they work and maybe check what your competitors are doing. They’re very useful tools if you’re writing a new website, adding new pages, or for monitoring the effectiveness of the keywords you’re using, which is an important part of maintaining your site. The effectiveness of your keywords is a dynamic thing; the net changes so quickly, the keywords popular today can be replaced tomorrow if a new product, service or technique suddenly changes the game. Information spreads so fast, consumers become aware of changes almost as soon as they’re released. There are also new players entering the market all the time, so competition for keywords can drive your site down the rankings if you don’t monitor it constantly.

 

 

For more information, or if you’re ready to get specific about SEO in your business, you can reach us here.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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