If you’re even a casual observer of SEO trends (locally or nationally), you might get the impression that gaining organic rankings, competing in your vertical or growing your business online is getting exponentially harder each year. It’s not.
Yes, your competitors may be leveraging online marketing tactics like SEO, SEM or SMM. But there is no reason to assume they are running away with the marketplace. They may be dipping a toe in or doing the minimum. Heck, they might be throwing their online marketing dollars in a hole. Even if they are, you shouldn’t stay complacent. Start an experiment on your site…look for improvements and work toward your goals.
It’s true that the, ‘one fix can get you to #1 on Google’ days are long gone, but SEO isn’t getting exponentially more difficult…it’s just getting more ethical. If you and your online marketing team are diligent and ethical then Google’s crackdowns and rule changes shouldn’t have much effect on you. Frankly, if you’re earnest in your marketing efforts and hire well qualified SEOs the increased level of difficulty shouldn’t come into play. After all, it’s their job to identify and meet your online marketing goals.
Here are two examples of how proper research and smart SEO strategy led to fairly quick success for companies using tactics that are neither cutting edge nor prohibitively expensive.
Build a Blog
Blogging is nothing new, but you’d be surprised how many clients don’t bother.
The field is too niche.
We don’t have time.
Will anyone read this?
We’ve heard it all and the answer is: you won’t know until you try.
Investing in a blog and finding the resources to add original content is welcomed if it’s done well and it’s a very cost effective way to increase rankings and traffic. We recently launched a blog for a major outdoor retailer who hadn’t been using one and we’re already seeing positive results. In the first six weeks we’re seeing 5,000+ visits to the blog, with roughly a 5% click through to the ecommerce portion of the site and we’re even seeing some directly attributable sales.
Maintain Your Site
Another area that is ignored all too often is site maintenance. Many companies have a, ‘build it and forget it’ attitude with their websites. You wouldn’t skip maintenance on your car or your house would you? So make sure you schedule a time to review the site. Even if you don’t have complicated functionality, your website is your home on the internet, make sure it represents you.
We recently helped a client update their site after they had largely ignored it for a year or two. Past a certain point Google will ignore you back…so if you want to rank well and stay relevant, make sure you’re making time for your website, or engage with partners who will do that for you. The results of our design and SEO cleanup for this client have been impressive. In the first month since the site was optimized fully half of their terms improved, in fact, over half their terms now rank on page one of Google, with similar results on Bing.
Keep Up with Best Practices
Not every company needs to be on the bleeding edge of digital marketing or social media. That said, if you fall too far behind you’re likely to do a disservice to your brand. Schedule a time each quarter or every six months to engage with a professional and get an informed opinion on your online presence.
Online marketing isn’t as easy as sending out postcards or shaking hands at an in-person event, but in this day and age it’s probably essential to your business and it should be a part of your strategy.
Find the right partner to identify your goals and tactics.
Start where you’re comfortable starting.
Check some easy wins off your list and find the best ways to leverage the power of the internet for your business.