Almost every time I meet with a new client to audit their site and discuss SEO I hear this familiar refrain, "I want to be on the first page of Google!" I actually am glad to hear this because it gives me a chance to explain SEO...to educate my client about how search engine marketing works.
These days anyone can have a business website built in a couple of hours using popular providers like GoDaddy, Vistaprint, Wix or Weebly. However, once it's launched, the real work begins and many new business or small business owners don't even know what SEO is, let alone what to do or the impact it will have on their business growth. Even worse is being taken advantage of by paying for services that promise top ranking, extra packages or add-ons they may not need or understand.
SEO is about optimizing your site to deliver search engine friendly content so you can be found quickly by your prospects, make it easy for them to interact with your site and ultimately do business with you. Let's break this down:
There are two more important points I want to highlight:
Time: It's going to take time to rank on Google and other search engines. Regardless of your strategy, unless you are paying for ads, you may not see results for a few weeks (depending on your business and competition). Remember, even if you become #1, your competition is likely doing the same work on SEO you are and will outrank you if they can!
Voice Search: In case you are thinking you might get away without an SEO strategy, the future has already arrived with voice search. 31% of smartphone users worldwide use voice tech at least once a week. If you are a local business, let's say a plumber, you don't want to be left out when someone stands in their living room and asks their Echo, "Find me a plumber in xxxtown with a five star rating."
SEO isn't rocket science, but it takes planning, execution, persistence and maintenance. Google search rankings are important, but if you are getting sales and growing your business then this is the real measure of success. As a small business, you might consider hiring someone to help you with SEO, so make sure to find a trusted partner that has your best interests in mind.