This article is going to be a little long but it is a must read for ALL small business owners. I repeat this article is a must read for all small business owners.
No one knows your small business better than you. Most of you have poured your time, money, energy, blood, sweat, and tears into starting, building, and managing your small business. You’ve passed up jobs that have an attractive six figure salary and have missed moments with your family and friends because you want to make your small business succeed.
A cornerstone of making any small business succeed is marketing. Without some form of marketing it is extremely difficult to drive new customers in the door. Whether you are a bakery, electrician, doctor, attorney, dentist, chimney sweeper, landscaper, or anything in between, you need new customers in order to survive and compete.
As many of you may already know, the internet is taking shape as the number one authority for finding a new product or service. Whether searching for a hot new electronic or searching for a local business, the internet has replaced calling “411”, replaced the “operator”, replaced the “Yellow Pages”, and replaced nearly all older forms of advertising. It’s estimated that over 80% of consumers take to a search engine before trying out a new product or service.
So what does this mean for your small business? Well, it means you sure better be ranked at the top of that search engine when your potential new customers search there. But this article is geared towards our current SEO clients so we won’t bore you with how important SEO is–you already know that–you’re sitting there waiting to see results. Many of you already have seen results–we’ve driving our clients to page one and even position one for keywords with as much competition as 204 million other websites. As we speak The Marketing Masters is working to dominate our own search terms–and trust me with the amount of competition among other SEO companies getting ranked on page 1 for our competitive keywords is a true accomplishment.
Here’s the number 1 problem with SEO that most small business owners don’t understand: SEO takes time. SEO is a long term investment. Results don’t happen overnight. The unfortunate thing in the SEO industry is a lot of SEO companies bank off the fact that they can do little to no work and continually tell the client that “SEO takes time give us a few more months”. Quite honestly there’s a very easy way to spot this type of b/s: While getting to page 1 and getting to position 1 will take a long time, seeing small improvements every quarter is something you should definitely see.
To keep you, the business owner or marketing manager, informed of our progress, The Marketing Masters has implemented a brand new monthly reporting system. Every month we will provide you with a detailed report outlining the work we’ve done, showing you a snapshot of your Google Analytics account to show any traffic improvements, showing you a snapshot of your current rankings along with search engine impressions, and providing you with notes directly from your personal SEO specialist on our team. These reports take us additional time to put together and it’s above and beyond what most other SEO companies do, but we want to make sure our clients are fully informed on what we’re doing and are also able to see the progress we make every single month.
So now I will try to answer the million dollar question about SEO: How long will it take to get my website to #1? In short there is never an answer to this question and anyone who answers it is flat out lying to you. This is where a lot of people get turned off by SEO because they cannot grasp a tangible project scope for getting their site ranked. We can provide you an estimate, but ultimately there are two things that influence how long it will take to get you ranked: Your SEO budget and the amount of competition for your keywords.
Let’s take a quick look at an example from one of our actual clients. We were going after 5 highly competitive keywords in the financial services industry. Initially the company had a very low SEO budget, and after about 5 months of work we had them ranked between pages 3 and 6 for their various keywords. The company saw our progress and decided to invest more in SEO and increased to what we would consider a relatively large budget, and within 3 months we were able to get all their keywords on page 1. From here the compatition kicked in and it took us an additional 3 months on the higher budget to get ranked in positions 1-3 for their keywords. So ultimately this SEO project took 1 full year, half of which was on a small budget and half of which was on a large budget. If this company had more time available, we could have continued on the lower budget and probably would have gotten them ranked within 2 years for all their keywords.
So as you can see, we need one of two things from you: Either a large amount of time or a large budget. As long as we have one of these two things we will be able to get your website ranked–we’ve done it before, are doing it now, and will continue to do it into the future. SEO is not the same as pay per click advertising where you see instant results, but SEO is far more cost effective in the long run than really any other advertising mean out there.
Another important thing to remember is that there are literally hundreds of aspects that go into search engines deciding where to rank your website. Some of these aspects are always changing, while others have been the same for years. As part of your SEO package, we take care of EVERYTHING–optimizing literally everything possible to get you ranked. But there’s one main thing we don’t control: The age of your site. Search engines like websites that are older and that have well established content. While we provide content with every SEO package, search engines are usually looking for older, aged content on aged domains. So if you have a brand new company with a brand new website, don’t expect us to get you ranked immediately. It takes time to gain the trust of search engines–after all they want to provide their searchers with the most relevant content possible. There’s one main thing we can do though to build trust even if you have a young website: build quality content. We provide content with all our packages, but with our entry level silver SEO package we only are writing 1 article per month. On a new website we really recommend at least 4 articles a month, and quite honestly the more the better as there is no such thing as too much content as long as it is unique, quality content. So if you can’t afford to upgrade to a higher SEO package or can’t afford to purchase additional article writing services from us, do us all a favor and spend just 20 minutes of your time each week to write a 400-600 page article for your website. Not only will it give your site visitors something to read, but it will also dramatically help with your SEO efforts.
With that being said, I want to close this article with a reminder: You should always be seeing quarterly improvements on your company’s rankings, but it may take some time depending on your competition and budget to get to page 1 or position 1. Be patient with SEO and before you know it you’ll be seeing new leads coming straight to your website–and in some cases you’ll have too many leads to be able to handle! If you ever have any questions about your websites progress, about your SEO package, or anything marketing related–just give us a call at 888-918-1665 and we’ll be more than happy to answer your questions.
Congratulations on being a small business owner–the backbone of this country–and congratulations on making the decision to help build your company further through search engine marketing.