Except, for most of us, the “rolling in” part never seems to happen. Sure, we get a call or two, maybe even find that a few people contact us to ask where we are or what our prices are. But for the vast majority of businesses, the end of the rainbow simply doesn’t point at the proverbial pot of gold. Want to know why?
Web Marketing Can Separate You from the Huge CrowdThere are many reasons, but the quickest answer is that, depending on who you ask, there are between 344 million and 644 million websites on the internet. That means almost no matter what product or service you offer, there are a LOT of other people in the world offering it, too. Unless you do something really unique or really spectacular, you’re going to have to find clients the old fashioned way – through personal contacts, networking, and word of mouth. That can make it tough to earn enough to pay your overhead.
Another reason – closely related to the sheer number of websites out there – is that consumers are overwhelmed by all the advertising they encounter every day, not just on the internet, but on TV and radio, in their reading material, on billboards, and surrounding them while shopping or sightseeing. If you want outstanding sales, you’ve got to find a way to stand out.
Page One of Google is the Best Place to be on the Search EnginesOne way to stand out is to be sure that your website appears on or near page one when people search Google or one of the other search engines. As we stated above, there are millions of websites, but only around ten of them appear on page one when you do a search. As we pointed out in this article - What is Search Engine Optimization?
According to some experts, 95% of real traffic to websites comes from the results on page one of search engine results. That means if your business appears on page two, you are competing for the leftover 5% of potential customers. If this seems extreme, think about the last few times you searched for a product or service on the Internet. Like most of us, you probably went to Google and typed in a word or words that you thought would get you to the businesses you wanted. When you found one or two likely listings, did you keep scanning through the results? No? We don’t either, and most people who use search engines (which is almost everybody these days) click through to the first likely listing they see.
It May Not be Enough to Have a WebsiteSearch engine optimization is the science and art of adding the right things to your site and in other places on the internet to help the search engines find out how important and relevant your website is. Even if your business is the only one in Ann Arbor offering purple and green widgets, there may be other businesses in other parts of Michigan or the US offering purple and green widgets, and if they’ve had competent SEO work done, they may well appear above your business in search engine results.
Web Marketing Means Never Having to Say You’re SorryWe don’t want to assume that you’re like everybody else, but in our experience the vast majority of business owners overestimate the “natural” importance of their businesses on the internet. We probably notice this because we made the same mistake when we started out. You’re rightfully proud of your business and hopefully you’re optimistic about the chance to make millions this year, but the noise of advertising is getting louder and louder with each passing year. Great results on the internet are made, not born, and the process of making them is called SEO.
You Can Do All Your SEO Yourself … MaybeYou can do a lot of the things that an SEO expert will do for you, if you have the time. You can do research to determine which words and phrases people are most searching for when they look for products or services like yours. You can cull out the words and phrases that don’t relate exactly to what you’re offering. You can write keyword-rich text to include on your home page and on other critical pages on your website. You can include appropriate keywords in your URLs, page titles, meta-descriptions, and text. You can seek out partner websites to link back to your site. You can write cogent, keyword-related articles to post on your site.
You can create and manage social media campaigns on sites like Facebook, Twitter, Youtbue, Linkedin and Pinterest. You can check your HTML to make sure that it is error-free. You can ensure that you use CSS appropriately, and that your site is submitted to all the relevant search engines and listing places. You can manage your Google Places and other geographical listings. You can develop and manage mobile versions of your site or apps that help generate traffic for your business. And you can do any dozen or two of the many other things that ensure you a steady flow of potential customers for years to come.
Do It Yourself SEO is a Great Idea for Some Businesses, and Terrible for OthersIf you’re actually a lot better at doing the thing that your business does, and you make decent money while doing it, then you should probably consider hiring experts to do your web work, SEO, and social media management for you. We’re fond of saying, “If you have more time than money, do your own SEO. If you have more money than time, hire someone to do your SEO for you.” It turns out that most good business people can make a lot more money doing their thing than trying to do DIY SEO.
We do SEO everyday, and we’re pretty good at it. Our clients’ websites get to page one of Google, either quickly or over a reasonable period of time. Because we work with SEO every day, we know what to look for, and we have efficient ways of doing it. We’re also local, so if you have questions or concerns you can sit across the desk from us or call us on the phone (in the same time zone!) and we’ll make sure your questions are answered. But whatever you do yourself, or whoever you decide to hire, make sure you understand and use SEO. It can make all the difference to your success! If you’d like more information or have a few questions, feel free to call us today!