It is funny how everyone wants to be on top in internet searches, but rarely anyone wants to put in the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) work to get there. It makes sense why you may dread keywords, links and overall guidelines for listings. Perhaps you need to see the physical return of investing in SEO or just truly feel clueless to how it all ties in to sales. Some of you may even be tired of receiving those mass emails from “reputable” strangers telling you your site is failing horribly. Either way, carrying disdain for SEO and ignoring it will not benefit your business. Here is the more obvious bad news, the one who gets seen first often wins the opportunity to gain the business. If you are not being seen, you are more than likely not getting the greatest possible chance to win customers.
Let’s face it. After consulting peers for referrals or places previously purchased from, the internet is the go-to place for your potential customers in need of your goods and services. They will visit Google, Yahoo or Bing with the hopes of seeing what the numerous algorithms will recommend. Sure ads have their place online, but since “79% of search engine users say they always/frequently click on the natural search results.” Plus, “80% of search engine users say they occasionally/rarely/never click on the sponsored search results”, per the Search Engine Journal (SEJ), it seems as though you can’t even escape SEO by just purchasing ads.
As if those numbers were not enough SEJ also shares, “SEO leads have a 14.6% close rate, while outbound leads (such as direct mail or print advertising) have a 1.7% close rate.” Now, this should speak to the sales side of anyone.
Here’s the thing. If you have great content and have invested in a killer website within the last 1-2 years ago, why not ensure it is still giving you a chance to make money in your sleep? Even if you built your site yourself from a WordPress theme, take a day or two and make sure you are giving your potential leads a chance to find you “on their own”. Just think of SEO as your word-of-mouth pal. The search engines cannot talk about you to others if you do not tell them anything about you.
Now, are you caring about your SEO?
So now you are wondering how you can you at least address your SEO issues before or while seeking additional professional assistance. Here are just a few tools to consider using:
- Google Authorship
- Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin
- Moz Get Listed
- Google Analytics
- Bing Webmaster Tools
(This list simply addresses some resources to assist in measuring and making improvements. Load time, text, images, etc are also vital in SEO.)
I am sure many SEO professionals are probably wondering why I would even share such a basic list of extensive tools. The DIY business owner reading this article will inevitably attempt to tackle this list on their own at some point. If that’s you, the DIY business owner, more power to you. You are more than capable of doing your SEO. However, if you do not have the time to keep up with the constant changes search engines are making, you will find a professional will help you out greatly. However, always remember one small change can get your site dropped due to algorithms classifying your changes as an attempt to manipulate the system. Some changes can even get you higher on certain keywords and lower traffic. SEO can be the prickly porcupine if not handled correctly.
Wondering if your small local business needs to worry about SEO? The answer of course is a resounding, “YES!” Your potential local customers are undoubtedly searching for businesses specifically in their area to shop with or go in and visit. If you cannot be found during the mobile or desktop search online, you can forget being seen. If you’re simply happy with being on page 10 behind several of your competitors multiple page search results, then you may need to carefully evaluate your business in this digital age. However, if you are looking to grow your small business, at least with the rate of the economy, local SEO will be crucial to sustaining yourself in a digital marketing world.
With all of this SEO talk you may be still wondering if it will benefit you to climb the ranks online. You may have been focusing on creating your own mobile application for Android and Apple devices instead. Well here are some additional statistics thanks to Google and Nielsen.
- 3 of 4 mobile searches trigger follow-up actions, whether it be further research, a store visit, a phone call, a purchase or word-of-mouth sharing.
- On average, each mobile search triggers nearly 2 follow-up actions.
- Mobile search is always on, happening on the go, at home and at work.
- Mobile searches are strongly tied to specific contexts.
- Mobile search triggered follow-up actions also happen very quickly of mobile searches occur at home or at work; 17% on the go.
of Mobile searches are driven by speed and
Do you really think someone will scroll to page 10 to find you while they are on the go? This sales and marketing game is and always has been about the easier to be found, the better chance to increase the profit margins. SEO, especially local SEO, is how you can help your brand be one of the first to be seen.
Still not convinced? Chitika, an online advertising network, shared data in 2013 about being on top when it comes to Google searches. The top listing on Google’s first page in organic search results can expect to receive around 33% traffic. While the second listing receives 18% and the third listing gets 11%. Of course the percentage falls to less than 1% by being the tenth listing. (The results of your SEO would be based on your keywords, intent of search and competition online.) These numbers are not one-size-fit-all and simply only reflect how the lower your listing appears, the less you will be seen.
So are you ready to be seen now? Probably. But the real questions are how soon you will be willing to tackle it and are you ready to dedicate resources to it? Monitoring and updating is a constant work and sometimes can be done quickly and other times it simply takes time. More importantly after you are seen, are you ready to impress them? Well, that’s another article for another day.
What do you think? Is grabbing the most leads online really about being seen first or at least on the first page or two?
Leave your comments below. They may be used for future posts.
Above Promotions is a full service publicity, digital marketing and promotions company, founded with the purpose to serve an array of clients that are looking to expand their presence in the marketplace. From a local to international market, Above Promotions Company can provide the exposure that goes above your expectations. Visit http://www.abovepromotions.com today.
Ebony T. Grimsley is the Creative Director and Owner of Above Promotions Company. She is also the author of “Because You’re Small: Effective Marketing Strategies for Immediate Implementation” which is sold on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other stores and a contributor to various media outlets.