Why do you need Search Engine Optimization?
I am so convinced about the efficacy of doing search engine optimization for almost any kind of website, that I rarely sit down and ask myself this very question. And well, I haven’t asked myself this question…but I did get this question from a prospective client the other day and it has been eating away at me ever since.
I know i shouldn’t be emotional about something as seemingly innocuous as getting good rankings in the search engines, but with my need to understand how search engines work, my desire to figure out how they can be used effectively by small and medium businesses (large corporations have whole teams on this kind of thing and still don’t get it right) and my seemingly insatiable competitive spirit, I can’t help but being a bit passionate about SEO.
Anyway, as I stared down this prospect, I thought to myself, yes, why indeed care about search engine optimization for your business?
While all the craze about the Internet, the web, and the information revolution, is that search engine optimization has become as necessary as having a fax machine, using the telephone, and taking credit cards. It is not only a necessary function for any small or medium sized business, it can and will be a critical and probably dominant marketing sector of this century. I don’t exaggerate. Over time, search engines will replace the yellow pages, directory assistance, and most other hard copy forms of information distribution. Why print this information when you can make 2 taps on your iPhone and get the information (or even your 1 cent freebie phone from your local cellular company).
Essentially, search engine optimization is a combination of building your website with the search engines in mind and keeping them happy with new keyword rich content. Building the code so that it can be used effectively by search robots, organizing the navigation, naming the pages, writing the content, optimizing the images, adding some “webmaster” tools like XML site maps, doing some basic submissions, getting backlinks, getting listed in directories, the list goes on…
The bottom line is that for whatever your business niche is; whether it is selling to an international or national audience or selling a product/service/software that is not geographically dependent; or you are just focused on serving your geographic area (for service, retail, or local businesses); your market can be expanded with search engine optimization and if you aren’t doing it, your competitors certainly will.
Every day, I find business segments in the search engines that are under-served. Our work with Able Paint and Glass recently demonstrates this. In just a few weeks, we are starting to dominate their local search engine traffic for their website http://www.ablevt.com/. We simply organized the pages, optimized the code on each page, and did some basic submissions and linking. 44 #1 positions for their top keywords on the Big 3 search engines (Google, Yahoo, and MSN).
Once we add hyperlocal blogging to the mix, we plan on increasing all of these numbers!!
In the end, much like paying your website hosting bill, your yellow page advertising, and your local chamber of commerce dues, paying for ongoing search engine optimization with fresh optimized content and keeping up with the every changing world of search engines systems will be more than necessary.
And ultimately, in my opinion, ongoing dedication to SEO will provide a very lucrative return on investment for your business. If there isn’t a return, I would never recommend it!