Small businesses are often hard-pressed for time and money. As I read various small business blogs, it’s clear to me that there’s a growing interest in search marketing and understanding the benefits of SEO.
But there’s still a divide in whether or not it works. Mostly because working to ingrain SEO best practices in a company can take several months, and can involve a lengthy period of diminishing returns. To make things worse, clients and colleagues often expect a consistent improvement.
This is that really tough experience that many, many SEO firms go through where, essentially, you’re putting a lot of effort into improving rankings, improving content, improving keyword targeting, earning those links and mentions and social signals, user and usage data things, all the things that are going to help you perform on search engines, but you’re not seeing results.
It happens because, a lot of the time, Google has got many, many triggers in their ranking systems to check whether effort is worthy enough, or signals are organic and ongoing enough, to earn the site continued rankings, or whether there should be some sort of consideration and then evaluation and delay between when the effort is put in and things are improved and when results actually happen.
This is insidiously frustrating for lots of folks who want SEO results NOW.
A small business owner who has been around for a while is often especially unhappy with the migration to online marketing. The rules used to be simple. You set up shop, bought your yellow pages ad, and then had a modest budget for other media outlets such as radio, newsprint, fliers, coupons and perhaps local television.
Why are businesses so mistrustful of online marketing? And what is so special about SEO that has them particularly distrustful?
1. The Rules Keep Changing
2. The ROI Calculation is Difficult
3. Fear of Ending Up on Google’s Blacklist
4. SEO Seems Overly Technical
5. “SEO Doesn’t Work”
The final, and perhaps most important, reason that small businesses hates SEO is that it is often perceived to “not work.” Sure, the comments section will fill up with statements such as “not if you hire me” and “not if you do it right.”
But let’s get real.
The SEO game is competitive…. And on a competitive keyword phrase you can be looking at years of effort to make it to position 1, if ever. For a Fortune 100 company with billions of Wall Street dollars at its disposal, this may be OK. But not on Main Street.
Given the sharp traffic drop associated with position 2 or 3 (let alone position 7 or 8), SEO can be seen as a big ROI gamble – even when you do make it to Page 1. Misaligned expectations, poor tracking and reporting, and impatience often lead to the conclusion that money was wasted.
To create outstanding content you need to go beyond your own expectations. If it doesn’t ‘wow’ your clients, it’s never going to ‘wow’ your target market and get those highly authoritative, juicy links.
When you’re doing your site’s SEO, you have to be careful. The techniques that used to work will now get you penalized. The techniques that used to be a waste of time are now indispensable.
Now and then, we need to be reminded what works and what doesn’t. As it stands today, there are three SEO techniques that I need to warn you about. These techniques could be hurting your site.
Technique #1: Optimized Anchors
Technique #2: Keyword Heavy Content
Technique #3: Relying on link-backs instead of content
Truly effective SEO is about the sum of several parts — not one or two techniques pushed to the extreme.
Think about SEO as if it were a fork. A fork doesn’t work if it has just a single tine. A one-tine fork is a spear. A two-tine fork doesn’t work either. Effective forks have several tines — usually four.
SEO is the same way. In order to be effective, you have to use all four components of SEO.
For SEO Contact:
Iconic Genius, LLC
Real examples you can GOOGLE these yourself: