Search Engine Marketing for Small Business

My phone and my email inbox have been burning up with solicitations for people offering to perform all manner of Search Engine Optimization and Marketing. So far they’ve all had one thing in common; they don’t know how to answer the real questions. So what are the “real” questions? We’ll get to that in a moment.

First, a bit of background. Back in in the day before twitter, youtube, facebook, and other information hubs existed, people needed a way to find what they were looking for on the web. Enter the big three; Yahoo, Google, and a little later Microsoft. If you had a product or service to sell, or an idea to promote, it was easy. All you needed to do is create some content, tag it with some relevant keywords and meta-tags, submit it to the various search engines and you were golden. Then, like everything else, the web was overrun by scammers and corporate profiteers and what was supposed to be something to level the playing field was turned into the ad driven and paid placement environment we see today. If you have a fat enough wallet you can own your niche and completely, or nearly completely, block out your competition. So how does the average small business person compete with all this?

seo-article-image-1Search Engine MarketingWell, they create a website, fill it with content about their products and services, and then they wait for the phone to ring and customers to flood their site. On rare occasions this actually works. But, more often than not, it doesn’t. Now what does the small business owner do? They hire a flashy SEO/SEM firm like the ones that have been burning up my phone and filling my inbox. These firms will promise all kinds of traffic, social media, blog posts, viral videos, etc. And then, when they got the small business owner’s eyes sparkling over potential profits, they talk about search engine ranking reports, and throw all manner of alphabet soup acronyms at them. Finally the small business owner signs the dotted line full of expectations of things getting better.

Now, the reputable SEO/SEM firms start out strong with updated content, social media post, blog posts, press releases, and more. These efforts all generate an initial bump in site traffic. Unfortunately, the phone is still not ringing and customers are still not materializing. Traffic equals profit right? What went wrong? The answer is simple. It’s because the “real” questions were never asked and answered, which are simply these: “How will the traffic you bring to my site affect my bottom line?” And: “What is the projected return on my investment?”

When I’ve asked these questions, the phone suddenly gets really quiet. Why, because they don’t have an answer. What most of these firms fail to realize, is that it’s not traffic that increases sales and profitability, it is the conversion of viewers into customers willing to buy the related product or service. The key to having a successful website is conversion, not simply traffic volume.

So now what is a small business owner to do? You need someone that knows how to take traffic and convert it to actual customers. That is where we come in. We can help you get more relevant traffic, and once they get to your site, we can help you convert them into customers. We do this by carefully looking at what happens after they get to your site. We work to adjust presentation, content, and whatever else may be necessary to convert viewers into customers. This is where most SEO / SEM firms drop the ball. They are not concerned about the viewer’s experience on your site, they just promise viewers. We work to get you relevant traffic and then, convince them through your site to become customers.

There are so many things that go into having a truly successful and profitable website. It requires time, effort, collaboration, and yes, an investment of capital to make it all happen. If your New Year’s Resolution was to finally wrestle down your company’s web site and work to make it affective, then I ask that you give us a chance to help you do just that.

Not only do we have the knowledge and expertise, but we have the experience and the depth that these SEO sales people just don’t have. We can help you manage resources and services that make the most sense for your company, and work with other firms to help you realize the right answers to the “real” questions; more and better customers, and a measurable return on your marketing investment.

Written By: Rick Eutsler, Jr.