Well if you’re a business owner that has decided to turn to the internet to generate leads I believe it’s probably in your best interest to educated yourself on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and find out how it can help your business. What is a search engine you ask? Google, Bing, Yahoo…etc. are just a few of the top search engines being used today.
In the past, traditional outbound marketing tactics like tradeshows, telemarketing, email blasts, and magazine ads were frequently used to fill the top if the sales funnel. As outbound marketing becomes less and less effective due to changing marketing trends, inbound marketing practices have become more and more attractive as the internet has completely changed how we shop for products and/or services.
As a business owner you should always put yourself on the other side of the fence. Here’s an example…You’re at work and you’ve had a hard day and the only thing getting you through it is the anticipation of tonights Monday Night Football game and a cold beer (Patience, there is a point to all of this). You can’t wait. Finally it’s here. You get home and kick off your shoes, crack a cold one and sit down in your favorite chair. Ding Dong! The doorbell rings. You answer the door to find some door to door saleman trying to sell you a vacuum. The chances of that salesman selling you a vacuum at that moment is about one in a million.
You don’t want that salesman to be your employee as it’s a waste of time and money. Door to door sales is a popular outbound marketing approach that has little return. Inbound marketing techniques would be more like utilizing social media, blogging and probably close to the top of the list, if not the top, Search Engine Optimization. Yeahhhh. I told you we’d get to the point sooner than later.
Search Engine Optimization is allowing you to reach out to potential clients when they are READY to learn more about what you are selling. Think about it, if Bob gets on Google today because he’s interested in purchasing a swing set for his daughter and comes across your company, which happens to sell swing sets, you stand a waaaay better chance of selling Bob a swing set than if you were to bug him at his home during Monday Night Football. This type of marketing is very powerful and allows you to target specific keywords that relate to your product and/or service. In turn, attracting targeted traffic.
Here’s the bad news, it’s not as easy as targeting a few top performing keywords in your industry and watching the leads roll in. There is a huge technical component to the whole equation of Search Engine Optimization. Not to mention, that your competition is probably optimizing top performing keywords as we speak which makes getting to the top of the search engines even harder.
There’s 2 ways to go about this: One, you can crack a cold one, get online and start learning about SEO yourself. If you choose this route you should probably pick up a case as there is a lot to learn. Or two, you can hire a professional SEO company to optimize your web presence for you. If you have chosen option 2 we provide one important piece of advise. Do Your Research! There are literally 1000’s of SEO company’s out there promising you the world when it comes to rankings and getting you to the top of the search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo…etc). Make sure the company is professional and has a proven track record.
Besides partnering with a professional, legitimate and reasonably priced SEO company, it is very important to be optimizing the right keywords. This is done via keyword tools, available online, that will generate reports providing you with updated data showing the most popular searched keywords within your industry both locally and globally. These reports are the building blocks to a strong SEO campaign. All legitimate Search Engine Optimization companies will be able to provide you with these reports as well as give you advice on how to go about starting your project.
When it comes to cost, partnering with an SEO company will run you anywhere from $600-$2000.00 a month depending on the level of aggressiveness. Meaning that, if you are a medium sized local business, you should expect to pay this monthy retainer and allow at least 6 months for full optimization and the best possible rankings. SEO does not happen overnight and requires attention and patience.
Well that’s it! This is a brief overview of “Search Engine Optimization” and we hope that it has helped educate you on the importance and effectiveness of such a tool.
Good luck with your online business strategies fellow entrepreneurs!