For most businesses with a website, the foremost source of traffic to their website is user searches. Over 70% of users click only on the top 10 results from a search, and ignore the search results that fall further down on the page or beyond the first page. How do companies get the number one spot? Or one of the top 10? Or at least one in the top half of the first page? Answer: by recognizing the power of optimizing their websites for search engines. Search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc., use complex algorithms to determine the order in which companies will appear in the search results. These algorithms include hundreds of ranking factors that determine the position a company website will appear when a user search is made.
SEO – search engine optimization – is one of the most important marketing tools a small business can invest in. SEO can produce an extraordinary return on investment (ROI) by increasing a website’s online visibility, thereby attracting visitors who convert into customers. Company listings displaying in the top half of page one search results capture 99% of consumers, which could mean hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue per year. Most business owners miss out on the vast majority of internet traffic, and sales, that would otherwise be theirs if their website was optimized for search. Small business owners must not underestimate the value of SEO and its impact on the bottom line.
Online marketing success requires setting goals and developing a strategic plan to achieve those goals. Some of the elements of search engine marketing – SEM – strategy include:
- creating an attractive website with rich, constantly updated content
- developing a carefully researched and employed keyword list to use in headlines and copy
- properly designing video, photos, graphics and other website features
- having all of website code reviewed and optimized by an SEO expert
- developing a strategy to acquire high quality inbound links to the website
- using metrics to track traffic and rankings
A well executed SEM campaign assures your advertisement and website link appear immediately at the top section of page one in the search engines. How sure can you be that SEM will work? How long will the process take? As with other forms of marketing – newspaper, yellow pages, TV, radio, direct mail – there are no guarantees. However, unlike other forms of marketing, SEM allows the small business owner to track rankings, traffic and sales to see quantifiable results.
Let’s go on a short journey into cyberspace and review an example of what this might look like.
- Let’s pretend you are a hair stylist.
- You cater to the Phoenix, Arizona market.
- Your business name is “Swank Salon.”
- A Google search for “Swank Salon” lists you at Page 1, Rank 1.
As the owner, you might be overjoyed that you rank well for that search term, but does a high ranking on your name profit you? Probably not! Searches on your company’s name will rank your company high in search engines. But searching on your business name only works when the user already knows it. Usually, new customers will not know the name of your business. They may only be searching for a company that can help them fulfill a need and will instead search for a keyword or phrase that describes what they are looking for in their own words. If your goal is to increase traffic to your site and attract new clients, you need more than high ranking on your name – you need to rank well for the right keywords.
Are you using the right keywords in your content for your local market and target audience? Let’s Google “hair salon phoenix” to find Swank Salon. Are you attracting the largest number of local visitors possible to your site with these keywords? At this point, comprehensive research is needed to determine the search terms your business should be ranking well for based on the amount of search engine traffic tied to those terms. This research draws upon specific information collected from the business owner about the top competition, target client, and the industry.
As we conduct deep research for Swank Salon in SEO for the hair stylist industry, we learn:
- 2.8 million people search for “haircut salons” every month
- 2.3 million people search for “haircuts” every month
- 1.8 million people search for “hair salon” every month
- Fewer than 100 people search for “swank salon” every month
From this research, the company that can gain the most business from online shoppers is optimized to rank well for “haircut salons.” Only a proper SEO review can ensure that your website is using the correct terms to rank well. If Swank Salon relied on the keywords “beauty salon haircut” for SEO or the keywords “swank salon”, they would get fewer than 300 searches per month. The salon would lose out on the 2.8 million other consumers interested in their services who are searching on “haircut salons.”
So how does Swank Salon rank in “haircut salons phoenix”? Doing a Google search places them near the top of the list. But they are not the top. The sites at the very top are pulling in 70% more traffic from these 2.8 million consumers. Swank could use an SEM and SEO campaign to get the number one spot. Is search engine optimization all you need to bring in business? Not quite…
What happens when you click on the link to the Swank Salon website? Ugh! The poorly designed website will cause most of those 2.8 million visitors to back out of the page and find a salon with an attractive website that is easy to use. For a small business to achieve a high return on their SEO efforts, visitors must both (a) see the site listed near the top of search results and (b) like what they see so they stay on the site long enough to make a purchase. For example, take Cloud 9 Spa, a competitor to Swank Salon. While Cloud 9 Spa has a superior website design that appeals to their target client, their ranking is horrible. By appearing on page 2 for most relevant searches, they are getting very little of the total traffic available. Their website may be superior, but they suffer from low visibility. They could benefit from increased SEO and SEM that would place them above Swan Salon. Their superior website design would then capture thousands of dollars in increased revenue as a result.
SEO is one of the most successful marketing tools today. To take advantage of the tremendous online opportunity to grow your small business, you have to invest either money or time. As a small business owner, do you have time to become an SEO expert? SEO success takes a lot of work and time to achieve, even with the most sophisticated SEO techniques and skills. You may be able to learn the basics, but your business will grow much faster and you’ll see a greater ROI much sooner by using an online marketing firm experienced in web design, SEO, and content writing. You will also save a lot of money, by investing your marketing budget into the proper areas immediately via the expert strategy and guidance your SEO team provides.
In addition to expert search engine optimization, you should find a firm that will do more than promise to drive traffic to your website. As demonstrated in the example above, money spent to drive traffic to a poorly designed website will most likely result in lost sales. The professional team at seenBest Web Design in Phoenix, Arizona, provide you with comprehensive online marketing services at affordable rates. We provide you a complete team of experts in the fields of online marketing, content writing, web design, SEO, SEM, programming, and social media. We will design the best website for your business. Then we will drive traffic to your website, and get your website ranked above all of your competitors.
Can you afford to let your competitors capture the bulk of the sales from your target market? Give us a call and let us design the best website for your company, and then put expert online marketing strategies in place to get your website seen first, before the competition. We offer a free one hour consultation and will sit down with you to learn about your business and provide a custom plan tailored for your needs, call (602) 456-0150 to learn more.
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