If you run a small business and you have a website, your goal no doubt is to be found on the first page of the Google organic (unpaid or narual) search results. If you’ve achieved a first page ranking for your website and your targeted keyword, then congratulations ! …. And there is probably no point in you reading any further, because chances are that you will know all this stuff.
We will focus upon Google here, because they retain the lions share of search engine enquiries - however the ideas still largely apply to being found by Bing and Yahoo
On-site optimisation is about ensuring your website design and construction is done in a way that will have optimum appeal to search engines The off-site strategy is about generating links from other respected sites to your site. If this seems a little cryptic, don't worry - we'll explore this further as you read on.
There are certainly many of these SEO firms around …. Just enter SEO, or Internet marketing, or digital marketing into Google as a search term and you will find quite a large list of potential suppliers providing SEO services. You may even receive spam email from SEO companies based in India, with grandiose promises that they can achieve a number one Google ranking for your website ! (I automatically delete them into junk mail)
Here are seven basic guidelines I have learned and would like to share with you, that small business owners often seem unaware of .......
These seven tips certainly do not constitute all there is to know about SEO, but they do offer you some of the most essential ideas for gaining organic (natural) search engine ranking for your small business website.
- Paid advertising
Again, pay-per-click advertising is something that you can either manage yourself, or hire an agency to work on your behalf. Search engine marketing agencies tend to use a combination of both SEO and paid advertising to achieve visibility for your website. My suggestion if you decide to venture down this path is to initially place a strict limit on your advertising budget (it can be as little as $10 / day if you manage it yourself) - and regularly review whether you are gaining a sufficient return on investment to justify continuing with a paid advertising campaign. If possible, speak to other small business owners in your network who may have some experience with online advertising and can offer you useful tips on getting best value for your online advertising dollar.
- If you decide to outsource your SEO
Have a careful look at their track record, speak to some of their clients - and see if they are willing to be engaged on the basis of a success fee (ie. a payment formula based on results and improved search engine ranking performance for your keywords).
And by the way, if one of these experts says they can get you a number one Google ranking, check what keywords this result would be achieved for. There's not much point being ranked number one for a search term that is so obscure that no-one will ever actually enter it.
You will find some other useful marketing ideas at Marketing for Small Business.
- An insider reveals what Google is looking for in your website
By the way, if you check out Google Webmaster Tools then you will find a treasure chest of tips and advice from Google that will help you gett your small business website found by search engines