SEO for business owners can be frustrating. It’s hard to sometimes quantify what a successful SEO campaign looks like. It’s not as cut and dry as if you flip a switch, that it will suddenly open up this magical revenue stream. Most of the time a business owner can’t see what an SEO company does to the back end of a website until they are finished.
If you discover and implement the correct SEO tactics it can help your business become more profitable than ever before! It will also create long term growth and new avenues of revenue that weren’t readily available if you didn’t use the right SEO tactics.
When print advertising ruled you could see an immediate return walk right through the front door of your business. You can still see billboards and also still hire companies to send out coupons in the mail but the effectiveness of all this is extremely low. The average conversion rate on a classic mailer is 1% return on investment.
That means for every 1,000 mailers you send out only 10 will convert. By conversion that doesn’t even mean a sale it can also mean a lead that gives you an opportunity to make a sale.
Most business owners are used to seeing something in the physical world as proof their advertising is working. With a mailer campaign someone who brings in the coupon is a good example.
Most business owners struggle to buy into SEO because they can’t physically see everything an SEO company does from point A to point B. Even when the results are readily apparent and immediate many still doubt it’s effectiveness in the long term. There are also black hat companies who still implement tactics that could hurt your website.
The most frustrating issue with SEO for business owners is that search engines are always changing their algorithm. The search marketing field is dynamic and not static. When you tell business owners about this they often times get cold feet as well as an SEO companies effectiveness. Business owners start out at a disadvantage as 8 of every 10 business fail within 18 months (Forbes.com)! Not knowing if something works is the last thing a business owner wants to deal with facing those odds.
How can someone invest in something that won’t stay the same and may be obsolete in a year or less? Before I answer that lets go into why search engines are constantly changing the rules.
When search engines first began rolling out in the mid to late 1990’s the tactics used to rank were extremely exploitable. You could manual submit, adjust a few meta keyword tags and also stuff your page with keywords and watch your website shoot up the rankings. You could have your website rank for anywhere in the world for something completely irrelevant for that particular area.
Most business owners would embrace this but as we’ve all discovered over time this isn’t a very effective approach. Ranking in a place where you can’t convert is a waste of time and energy and also distracts from what customers want which is to find a relevant solution to their problem.
Fast forward to the year 2004. This is when you could bomb a website with links and anchor text and also purchase links from link farms. There was also blog comment spamming as blogging about yourself and how great your life is was standard procedure in the blog world. You could also create link farms and interlink a network of websites to yours and have it rise through the rankings quickly.
Companies were in for a rude awakening as thousands of websites either disappeared or dropped down a search engine abyss never to be heard from again.
Millions of business owners who used these sketchy practices were angry and frustrated as their online business model went belly up over night.
You could say this is unfair for Google and other search engines to implement. Why was there no warning? There was a warning in the form of their suggested standards and practices which are made public for everyone to follow and implement. If websites and webmasters went against these rules and regulations they would be penalized and eventually were. It just doesn’t always happen immediately.
You could also say that Google had a right and were justified in doing so because this form of ranking was dishonest and hurt honest businesses trying to rank using Googles suggested standards and practices. Why should a business playing by the rules suffer while others thrive thanks to backdoor/black hat tactics designed to manipulate?
Search engines were invented to both organize the internet’s data while also creating a user experience where you could find the answer to your questions or a solution to your problems. Not only is it supposed to provide this but it has to do so in the most relevant and efficient way possible.
You could say that the reason that SEO is constantly changing is to keep the search engines from becoming exploitable. They are also designed to reach that goal of providing you with the most relevant answers to your questions where ever you are in the world today. Your location now plays a huge part of which results show up and where.
As mentioned above you used to be able to rank if you were a plumber in Denver for plumbing in New York relatively easily. While most people would think this is good most plumbers don’t sell anything online. They have to do in home calls to make money. A Denver plumber isn’t going to fly to New York for a plumbing job and a New York resident isn’t going to want a Denver plumber to fly over to de-clog their toilet.
So if you search “Plumber Near Me” you’ll get a plumber near you. This means you can establish a very strong and relevant local presence which will increase your conversion rates as well as your revenue. You can still rank in New York as a Denver plumber but only if it’s relevant.
Any small business owner understands that it’s all about money as well. Google makes money priming their search engines to generate revenue for themselves as well as other businesses. Leveling the playing field through an updated search algorithm generates more money for everyone.
While Google and other search engines do have an agenda to make money helping other businesses make more money more efficiently helps them also make more money efficiently. If their search algorithm was full of exploitable and dishonest practices it would hurt both their bottom line as well as the bottom line of honest straight forward companies.
By rolling out new updates to help these business grow and thrive they also help their business model grow and thrive. A by product of implementing these changes is that it also weeds out bad business practices. It slowly fades out the dinosaurs of the business world who are more focused on their bottom line and taking advantage of people than providing a solution. When companies do business honestly with a solution oriented mentality both sides benefit. Both Google and that business end up making more revenue.
The customer gets what they’re looking for and the business generates revenue to thrive in the short and long term. Dishonest ranking tactics as well as dishonest business tactics go hand in hand. Often time you’ll run into a business owner who’s mindset is to take advantage of the consumer as well as take advantage of search engines.
The changes to search algorithms are a microcosm of the change in progressive business practices. These changes helps everyone including businesses and search engine companies like Google. There is enough to go around for everyone whether you’re a big company like Google or a small company just starting out.
At the end of the day when you’re searching for someone to do your SEO, whether it’s an individual or a company, if you follow their Googles guidelines you won’t ever have to worry about losing rank.
Furthermore if you hire the right SEO company a big part of their job is not only establishing that ranking but also maintaining it.
They are installed to anticipate and implement a working SEO plan to both follow Googles algorithm and adjust to any changes.
Google releases updates to their algorithm regularly which means there are several shifts in SEO philosophy throughout the implementation of your SEO plan.
Sometimes you can look for clues and anticipate them much more seamlessly. Other times the algorithm changes are sudden and unforeseen leaving an SEO company scrambling to implement new policy changes. What Google never does is release the variables that go into the algorithm. They will periodically throw search marketers a bone but a big portion of an SEO companies time is adjusting to these changes effectively and on the fly.
At the end of the day if you hire the right SEO company they will do all of this and more. They will steer the ship while preparing to weather a storm.
The one constant in life is change and the same goes for SEO. Finding an SEO company to embrace this change and learn how to use it to your companies advantage is more important than it was in 2004 when the algorithms were easily manipulated.