SEO: The One Who Gets Seen First Often Wins

SEO means being seen online. Above Promotions Company. Tampa, FL 2014
SEO means being seen online. Above Promotions Company. Tampa, FL 2014

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:

  1. Google Authorship
  2. Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin
  3. Moz Get Listed
  4. Ubersuggest
  5. Google Analytics
  6. 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.
  • 81%

    of Mobile searches are driven by speed and

     convenience.

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.

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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.

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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.

Company Policies vs The Public

Glenwood Gardens. Image courtesy of KPIX and CBS. Above Promotions Company. Tampa, FL 2013.
Glenwood Gardens. Image courtesy of KPIX and CBS. Above Promotions Company. Tampa, FL 2013.

On Sunday morning I watched the TODAY Show share a story that went national and outraged many. A story that disturbed the public and one that made me wonder, even as a publicist who studies and practices crisis communications techniques, is there a right way to discuss a company’s policy once it is facing the public? Can the brand survive the public’s feelings?

Here’s the story.

Lorraine Bayless, an 87-year-old resident of Glenwood Gardens, an independent living facility in Bakersfield, California that is owned by Brookdale Living, died after a nurse refused to conduct CPR on the patient. Now we will never know if CPR would have saved Ms. Bayless, however, the outright refusal of a nurse during a 911 call does not settle well with the public. In spite the operator begging the nurse to help the 87-year-old woman by administering CPR, the nurse would not do so nor, allow anyone else in the facility to attempt the life saving technique. Here it is, someone who is thought to help maintain and preserve life, not doing what their job typically entails.

According to the nurse during the call, it is against Brookdale Living’s policy to perform CPR. In fact they released a statement providing condolences to the family, but said its “practice is to immediately call emergency medical personnel for assistance and to wait with the individual needing attention until such personnel arrives.”

This isn’t something you would expect a facility to say since they employ health professionals, however, after some reading online on other homes, this isn’t an anomaly and perhaps if you have family members in a home, you should learn their policy prior to them taking residence there.

Nonetheless, the twist of the story is that Bayless’ daughter is a nurse and is satisfied with her mother’s treatment. However, the public is not and has taken to the internet to voice their thoughts on the topic.

The public court is loud and fickle. Mistakes in personal or business judgment seem to roll off much easier than policies going against the preservation of life or happiness. Think about PG&E and Chromium VI (the case that made Erin Brockovich famous) and their practices that led to people getting sick. Or what about something as simple Yahoo’s announcement of no more employees working from home. The public has a way of wanting to help others decide how to run a business.

So what does a business owner do when they’re faced with a potential loss of business over their own internal processes? In most cases you’ll find the business, like this one did, say they will carefully review what happened to find out if things were conducted properly. That’s in the basic pr toolbox. With the use of the internet, that excuse only holds for a short period of time. Businesses must be prepared to show why their policies benefit their customers or be prepared to change their services or practices.

It will be interesting to see how Brookdale Living recovers from this death and news story. With facilities across the U.S. they will need to do some extensive crisis communication steps to recover with minimal loss to revenue.

What do you think? How should Brookdale move forward?

Please comment below with your thoughts. They may be used for future articles.

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Above Promotions is a full service publicity, 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.

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Ebony T. Grimsley is the Creative Director and Owner of Above Promotions Company. She is also the recent author of “Because You’re Small: Effective Marketing Strategies for Immediate Implementation.” To find out more information on the book, please visit http://www.abovepromotions.com or purchase online at Amazon, Booktango and other online bookstores.

 

Zig Ziglar is Still the Trend

Zig Ziglar quote, Failure is a detour, not a dead end street. Above Promotions Company, Tampa, FL 2012.

Although out of the public eye for some time now, Zig Ziglar’s passing away yesterday was still a shock to many. As a teen, I can recall seeing him speak to a large audience in a venue in Tampa. Even then, I realized this man had something to say. He sparked interest in me to be an effective and productive person in my business and personal life. What can you say about a legacy, an icon for the world that continues to inspire people to achieve their best while encouraging others to do the same along the way.

Zig Ziglar who started his motivational speaking career in his 40’s, published 30 books and spoke to thousands along the way. His way with words made him one of the most quoted speakers. His quote, “Failure is a detour, not a dead-end street” has been engraved into the minds of many who directly listened to him or followed others that did. Before social media, there was good old fashion word of mouth and traditional media outlets. Ziglar’s words were shared exponentially. He has been setting trends within the business community for decades through presentations. Meeting presidents and dignitaries around the world was a part of his life and if those high profile individuals could share their experiences, we would see his positive effects constantly being spread to others. His death and the news of it going viral through Twitter, Facebook, Google and Yahoo, simply shows Ziglar is still able to and will continue to trend.

So many lessons can be learned and expounded upon with his life and teachings, but a huge one from a marketers perspective would be that when you have a solid brand you’ll never stop trending.

Do you have any in-person memories or even ones from recorded lectures you would like to share?

Please comment below. Your reply may be used in a future article.

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Above Promotions is a full service publicity, 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 recent author of “Because You’re Small: Effective Marketing Strategies for Immediate Implementation.” To find out more information on the book, please visit http://www.abovepromotions.com or purchase online at Amazon, Booktango and other online bookstores.