Danielle, great article; ah, yes, they are coming out of the woodwork, aren't they? Just wanted to add some thoughts. If you use the right words, you can see a top placement for most websites, so be wary of screenshots that are showing top placement- it could be that very few if any are searching for those terms that show your website in the top positions. Yes, Facebook has 600,000,000+ members, but, most people I talk to that spend an inordinate amount of time there, are playing games, socializing with their friends and sharing photos. Everyone from Starbucks to Walmart has a Facebook page, now. A million likes, doesn't necessarily translate into a million sales. Before dropping a boatload of money on the lap of a 'SEO Expert', realize that there are many free services and resources on the net, if one just does a search. Thanks for the article. Here is another helpful link; http://www.seobook.com/
Does Small Business Need SEO?
I recently met with an SEO expert! Yes they seem to be coming out of the woodwork lately! I have spent a lot of time researching this area over the last 6 months.
1. If you go to a expert or a company it is going to cost the average small business $300 to $600 per month if they go for an SEO package that is maintained. What does that give you? Well the IT geeks in the back ground will optimise your site with key words, build links, and set your site up well so google can crawl your site and select you in the top five for a particular statement. I found out that it is very expensive to rank for one or even two works and the most you can hope for is a phrase like small business marketing consultant.
2. I found out that pay per click which is google ad words is very expensive and perhaps Facebook is a better option depending on your target market but is getting better conversion for click through.
3. That most of this you can do yourself but you need to do it consistently so there is a cost associated to this. Tools include google analytics, google key words and google resources.
4. That there are some free tools out there to get you started. Hubspot has a web grader that is a good place to start. See below for tools and tips.
5. That there is some value in doing some paid SEO if you are in a small niche and need a large number of visitors to your site. The example was given to me of a car dealer that spends thousands per month but gets many more thousands to his site and converts enough to make this advertising spend worth it.
I am suggesting for small business a starting point is to ensure the following is done before you go down the road of SEO via a company.
1. Optimise your site for key words your target market uses to find you. Try it.Type in words into google and see if your competitors and you are listed.
2. List the key words in your headers and in the alt tag for pictures and through the copy. Do every page of you website
3. Have a call to action on every page. Contact phone number and form to collect email details.
4. Do a little bit often. SEO is a changing landscape. A little bit often is the best strategy. Link to your blog. Post articles on other sites that link back to your website. Keep an eye on your google analytics and tweak things to optimise your site being found by your target customers. I have increased my web and blog exposure from hundreds to thousands per month (thank you) and all by tweaking things using the tactics above. Love to hear if you are looking at your SEO?
Tools and Tip:
Google places – video on how to do this
How to get found online – podcast by Tim and Luke
How to build a website – thanks Luke some good optimising tips like start with wordpress which is search engine friendly!
Learn more about the author, Danielle MacInnis.
Comment on this article
Posted by Chas Wyatt, Gladstone, Oregon |
Jun 14, 2011
Posted by Nadir Zulqernain, Ph.D., Kirkland, Washington |
Jun 15, 2011
Great article on an all important subject. You are so right - just about every third person is an 'SEO expert' these days.
Your tips are right on point and easy to do. I have used some of these things with excellent results. Call to action and frequency of tweaking are key.
It is also important to keep in mind the nature of one's business. Most small businesses tend to be more localized and need to rely on other methods of getting the word out.
- Add tags to make this article more relevant.