SEO is undoubtedly one of the more important aspects of web marketing. If people searching on the web can’t find you, what good is a great website? One of the biggest misconceptions is that you must spend loads of money and time on SEO to get a decent ranking for your business. This is not necessarily true – it all depends on your market, industry and what your web goals are.
Is your business in a large competitive market where the stakes are high and the main place people look for your goods or services is online? Then yes, SEO is time consuming and expensive. Or, are you in a small or medium sized market and just need to give your clients and customers an easy way to find information on your business? The truth is that every company does not need to go with a big, elaborate SEO campaign to get results.
Before any SEO campaign should be started, there should be clear goals on what you want to see happen from that campaign. Who do you want to reach? Why do you want to reach them? What does your company/organization do? What is unique about your company or business? Answering these basic questions can really help define the specifics of a campaign and keep you on track. Ultimately, the goal is to define what kind of web presence you are looking for. Think of it this way: on one end of the spectrum you may want to use search results to drive new customers to your website and sell your goods online, and on the other end of the spectrum you might just need search results as a way for existing clients and people who have seen your traditional marketing to contact you and get information.
If search results are your sole tool for driving new customers to your business, and you are in a large competitive market, then get ready for the long haul.
It takes time and knowledge to come out on top of search results in a larger competitive market, but it can be hugely profitable and rewarding. Smaller competitive markets, on the other hand, are often a great place to be as there are sometimes only a couple businesses competing for the top positions and the value of those top spots have not yet been realized. Regardless of the size of the market, if you want to be at the top spot in a search result in your industry, it takes planning and putting in some time.
If you are a unique business in a small market, getting ranked at the top of search results should be fairly straight forward. Optimize file sizes, correctly label content, have a schema mark up, have quality content, make the site cross device compatible and a have quality links – these are just a few of the basic things you can do to help your search engine performance. Another great way to get you moving up the rankings on search engine results is to make sure to register with industry listing sites and any other reputable website registries. The other sometimes overlooked strategy for getting better rankings is to use traditional marketing to direct people to your website (the more clicks and quality visitors you have, the better).
If you are a start up business in a large competitive market, getting to the top of search results can be incredibly difficult. Trying to compete with industry leaders and the giant marketing machine they possess is really not something anyone should try without knowing what they are getting into. Companies like Amazon and Ebay spend millions and millions of dollars to make sure they stay at the top of their industries. This being said, even as a small business, you should make sure you look who your competitors are in your market and industry, figure out what makes you different, and use that to your advantage when it comes to your marketing and web presence.
No matter if your are in a big market or small market, search engine optimization has become much more straight forward than it used to be. You just need to have some knowledge, time and a good plan. Remember the first step to a good search engine ranking is just making sure your site is geared toward its visitors. You want to engage your visitors, get them to stick around and come back again later. With a little know how and some elbow grease, your website should be able to find itself ranked at the top of search results and bringing you more business.
Here are some great links to articles and information about SEO and Search Results:
What is Search Engine Optimization