Gone are the days when all of your ad copy existed on paper or the TV or radio waves alone. These days you have to be online, and when you are online, you must establish a viable presence among your many competitors. Even if you think you are doing everything right–you have a website that you update, send newsletters, etc.–that will all count for nothing if you don’t end up at the top of search inquiries for products or services in your location or industry. And what happens if, perish the thought, some negative press about your company enters the online realm? Chances are good that these bad reviews could be the first thing that potential clients and customers see when they search for your product. SEO can not only help you achieve higher visibility in your market; it can help you control your image online.
What is the Role of SEO
SEO works because Google, Bing, Yahoo! and other search engines do not work by magic. They operate through complex search algorithms. Many search engines place pages in which a search term or keyword is used more often at the top of their results. So, say you own a hot dog restaurant in Seattle. If your current website only has your name, a brief description, and a PDF menu, you are out of luck. Google and other search engines are often unable to search PDFs , and if your website says “hot dog” once and never says the word “Seattle,” you will not be likely to top searches for “hot dog restaurant Seattle.” So, SEO content literally optimizes your website’s capabilities to achieve good rankings in online searches. No matter how much attention you put into your site, your newsletter, your mailings, etc. you will lose sales if you cannot establish a presence in searches in your industry.
Why SEO Pays
This type of marketing strategy pays off because consumers look to Google and other search engines to make decisions about how they will spend their money. If you are the fourth business listed in a search for products in your area, you will have trouble grabbing the attention of potential leads. SEO can also pay off if your company has been mentioned in relation to unfavorable reviews or press. By generating increased content with your company name mentioned frequently, you create a greater density of keywords in comparison to the bad press. Thus, when a customer searches your name, a negative review is not the first thing that they see. Managing your reputation and maintaining your visibility online will undoubtedly translate into increased revenue.
Hire A Pro or DIY?
The real answer to this question depends on your budget. If you are a small company with limited resources, you could start by producing short blogs with updates on your business that is linked to your webpage. Frequently using important keywords associated with your company in posts with help you gain more prominence in your field. If you have the resources to employ a consulting firm or bring on a specialist, this move will boost your business. Pros can teach your staff how to implement SEO practices in your online marketing, and they can teach you how to measure your success. Pros can also enlighten you about pitfalls, such as generating duplicate content, that could actually hurt your chances in web searches. Most importantly, they can get you on the right path to take your business to the next level.
Linda Michelle is a freelance writer on business topics related to tech and marketing. She’s currently working for Invenio Marketing.