SEO is tricky to navigate, especially for small business owners and freelancers. SEO Survival Tactics for Small Business and Freelancers is our attempt to help you see through the fog of technical terms used by experts.
While medium to large companies can afford to buy expert knowledge to optimize their websites and social media sites for search engines, small business and freelancers lack the time or deep pockets to compete, and are often squeezed out of the market when it comes to SEO. Repercussions from this mismatch include both minimized presence on the Internet and limited lead generation from searches on Google or Bing.
Think global, act local
But, even if small businesses don’t have the same budgets as medium and large companies to compete for top rankings on search engines, they should remember a few things:
- A website is a basic part of marketing these days, and to be successful it requires both upfront and ongoing investments.
- Although the Internet is worldwide, your business is regional or local, so you need to concentrate on being found in local and regional searches.
- Websites are always evolving and your key words and key phrases need to do the same.
- Search engines try to provide the best answers to a query, so if you do not provide relevant content, they will ignore your website.
The Internet can be your greatest marketing tool if you stop acting like a fool
So how can you stretch your company’s small budget to include effective search engine optimization? Luckily, the situation is not hopeless. As an entrepreneur, you need to
understand that the Internet can be your greatest marketing opportunity, if you stop acting like a fool, hoping to learn everything you need to know about SEO in a few hours. As is true with anything in business, success is all about putting in the work – a lot of work.
A two-hour seminar is not enough. Anyone who can think a bit logically and is not a complete technophobe can teach him or herself enough SEO to bring their websites and social media entities up to speed. The web contains a lot of literature on the topic, including plenty of blogs and online tutorials. But beware that trying to read all of the information you can get your hands on can cost you more than just your time, it can also draw focus away from your core business.
So where should you start?
If you operate a local business, a Google Places listing is a good first step. Registering your business will create a connection between your physical location and your website that search engines, makes it easier for them to find your site and place it higher in any local searches in your business category. This simple step can increase your search results in a fairly short time frame.
Another thing you can do is to create meaningful headlines on your website. These will providing Google and other search engines with relevant key words and phrases from your site’s content that can then be used to provide useful search results. Use keyword tools such wordtracker.com or übersuggest.com from Google.
A more costly alternative is to use Google Adwords. Although effective, make sure that you have a clearly defined budget and understanding of which key phrases and words are effective for your business before you embark on this path. But, if you are very disciplined with your budget, this option can generate a lot of traffic and leads for your business or website at a reasonable ROI.
Leaving SEO to that friend of a friend can cost you more in the long run
SEO for Non-SEO specialists is a bit of an uphill battle, but you can master it and succeed if you have are tenacious. But, keep in mind that you are competing with a well-honed online marketing industry with a successful track record of helping medium to large business succeed. Running effective internet marketing campaigns are not easy – or free – and that friend of a friend who can help you out could cost you more in the long run.