Over the past several years, search engine optimization (SEO) has become increasingly popular for businesses of all shapes and sizes. Although large scale corporations and well-known retailers may rely primarily on TV and print for most of their advertising efforts, many companies also supplement their marketing campaigns with SEO-based operations online. What used to be a relatively unknown advertising method has now become a common business strategy for countless retailers, restaurateurs and service providers the world over.
Seeing recognizable companies using such innovative and forward-thinking marketing techniques is food for thought for any small or medium business owner. As such, many mom-and-pop and entrepreneur companies are jumping onto the SEO bandwagon in hopes of getting more customers to buy their goods or services. Inevitably, many interested people research search engine marketing only to find themselves overwhelmed by the amount of information they need to absorb. While SEO certainly isn’t the most approachable online marketing field, there are a few reliable methods that SMBs can use for becoming more search engine-friendly. In particular, business listings are a quick and easy way to engage web traffic for any SMB owner.
Get your Business Listed with Popular Search Engines
A major detriment for any company, remaining unlisted with a search engine is a surefire way to getting overlooked by potential customers. Anyone who has ever searched for a business on Google has no doubt noticed how the first few search results often display contact information for potential keyword-to-business matches. Search engine users often click on these results for quick contact information such as phone numbers, addresses and business hours.
Scoring the high traffic spot on the SERPs is easier than some SMB owners may realize. By going to Google Places or Bing Local and setting up a listing for a company, one will be able to contribute the necessary information to show up well on search results. Although having a business’ name as the search term doesn’t allow for much in the terms of keyword rankings, the users who use that keyword are far more likely to click on the link and contact or interact with the company in question. For added effect, be sure to add plenty of photos for a more robust listing.
Once a Google Places or Bing local profile has been established, a SMB owner will want to look further into potential SEO services or PPC management options. If readers have any further questions about how to get a listing set up, I can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I recently had a business concern with my cellular phone provider. I took it upon myself to contact corporate headquarters. I want to be heard. Unfortunately, it took weeks and several actions to get the result I was working toward. At first, I used emotion and frustration to cloud my logic. If I sought the proper channels first, things would have progressed in an expedited fashion. Such a dynamic is related to a client’s SEO campaign. Established channels are there to ensure the service supplier’s company runs smoothly as well as attends to client matters in the most efficient manner. Consider the following search engine optimization campaign suggestions.
The Size of the Firm
SEO firms come in all shapes and sizes. Just because a firm offers one to a few experts does not mean it lacks insight or resources to help. Conversely, a big firm with a lot of resources does not necessarily designate ‘quality’ performance. Consider size when choosing a firm; the size of the firm will shape proper channels of communication.
For instance, if you desire regular, close communication, you may want to seek a small SEO outfit, perhaps one with a small number of workers. Small firms may only address a few clients at one time, allowing for regular, intense communication. In another instance, a client may address a number of SEO-related tasks in-house, only needing a provider for a few implementations, implementations requiring little micromanagement. Regular interaction with a provider may stymie your company’s respective day-to-day activities. Consider the size of the sought firm beforehand; it makes a communicative difference.
Point of Contact
Some search engine optimization providers assign clients with a point of contact (usually a project manager). However, the point of contact may depend on a provider’s organization. Some have assistant project managers, some allow for direct communication with designers, writers, link builders, and so on. Adhering to the agreed dynamic benefits both the provider and the client. You don’t want to end up frustrated (like me regarding my cellular phone provider). Lines of communications are put in place to benefit all. We all feel personally important; providers think all clients are important; yet, proper lines facilitate order.
Ensure you, and the SEO provider, clearly illustrate proper points of contact before the start of the campaign. More importantly, ensure you (and the provider) are faithful to established agreements. Otherwise, miscommunication may rear its ugly head into the relationship; no one wins in that scenario.
Are you currently seeking search engine optimization resources and services? Are you at least curious? Direct your attention to our WebiMax contact form to learn more about our services and potential partnership with you.
I recently posted a “SEO 2011 Year in Review” article on Search Engine Journal, which sited many of the exciting algorithmn updates this past year as well as other items supporting the proclomation of Mobile and Social being key SEO performance mediums this year.
This becomes ever increasingly verified with the latest 10 algorithm updates direct from Googles official blog. So whats important for search moving forward? Direct from Google:
- Rich Snippets – especially e-tailers pushing product data – this has been a huge help on BING and now we are told increasing support for Google)
- Freshness – Serving up the latest content to meet user queries is adjusted to support short span News sites vs. long life span niche articles and e-com sites
- Refinement of “official” page detection – This is a clear movement toward what we have been hinting at all year; the ever increasing “brand” rank. Watch for Brand Optimization in 2012
So, mobile, local and social will continue to drive forward into next year. Googles entry into Business Pages for Google+ (see WebiMax Google Page) is rather limited and soft as a launch. At the time of this article we have seen two additional updates to Google+ Pages features and different interpretations of Google+ badges, buttons, circles and support.
Checkout/Wallet will really make some heavy movement this upcoming year along with search-less search. With all of these movements we are consistently seeing possitive movement on organic SEO efforts with foundational efforts (On-Site tech, Off-Site links/content and social engagement), so continue with your digital strategies but look to introduce schema.org and HTML5 support – now is that time.
Let’s say that your company thrives on seasonal revenue and you want to maximize sales this summer. If you’re a small business that has a specifically defined geographic market (i.e. golf course, marina, shore resort) then consider using a search engine optimization (seo) company for your most important sales months.
Take, for example, a family owned restaurant that operates in Ocean City, NJ. When it’s Saturday afternoon and people are searching on their iPhones for a “local restaurant, Ocean City, NJ), you want to make sure your restaurant is the first result on Google. Furthermore, you want your address, phone number, and menu to be the following results. Contracting with an experienced seo company can be most beneficial to you in vital sales months.
SEO provides an extreme competitive advantage. This day-in-age where competition is fierce in all industries, and people want information on the go, making sure your website is high in search engine ranking is vital to staying ahead of the competitive.
Consider another example; if your business is a marina, and your best sales months are also focused during the summer months, you want to make sure that you maximize sales so that you can stay afloat during the winter when there is no boating. If people can’t find you, they don’t know about you!
Using an affordable seo company is the first step. At WebiMax, we’ve been rated #1 in the U.S. in SEO by TopSeos.com, the independent authority on internet marketing vendors. Locally headquartered in Mount Laurel, NJ, WebiMax proudly serves clients both domestically and internationally. In a press release dated last month, Ken Wisnefski, Founder and CEO, announced a major expansion and commented on the company’s success in 2011.
Although the results of a seo campaign are instantaneous, companies and small businesses that are looking to maximize their summer revenue should consider now to be that time to contact a seo company.