As a small to medium size business owner, you are inundated by companies telling you that they can get you on the first page of Google. All of these telemarketers or so called “online experts” promise to help your business explode with new customers from the internet. Clearly this is not the case, since you are now on our website looking for answers. So let’s discuss a few things.
There are only 2 ways to get onto the first page of the search engines to drive traffic to your website. These two methods of driving traffic to your website are known as Pay Per Click Marketing (PPC) and Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
This method of online advertising is best used for immediate results. There are 2 main platforms in which to manage Pay Per Click marketing campaigns. They are Google Adwords and Yahoo/Bing Ads. Pay Per Click marketing is a way for a business to allocate a daily, weekly or monthly budget, bid on specific keyword phrases within a local market, and display your ads or message to individuals searching for those keywords. It is called Pay Per Click Marketing for a reason. Every time your ad is displayed and someone clicks on it, your account is deducted a specific dollar amount based on your bid amount for that keyword. It is a good way to increase your exposure online and drive traffic to your website.
The downside to PPC is that the cost can get overwhelming for a small business or a business with a limited budget. The average cost per click can range from a few dollars per click, to well over $100.00 per click for specific industries. The other problem with PPC is that roughly 30% of all the clicks online go to the paid section. So if a business solely focuses their budget and effort to the paid section, they are now missing out on 70% of the online traffic.
SEO is the other method to expand your reach online. SEO is defined as the process by which a website is optimized to increase its rankings organically on search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing. SEO is a much more economical and effective method of online marketing. The vast majority of individuals shopping for a product or service online click within the organic section of the search engine results page (SERP).
Think of the search engines as a wife. They take your money and tell you what to do! Just joking, we know this content is EXTREMELY BORING so we need to throw a little levity in the mix. Search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing set all of the rules. Their sole focus is to provide a consumer with the best online experience. They do this by serving up results that not only are the closest to the individuals query, but provide results that can also be predictors of user’s intent.
As a business owner you may be thinking to yourself how is my competition ahead of me? What are they doing that I’m not? How can I compete in the local market? These are all common questions. Most business owners have asked themselves these very questions. Now that we have identified that you need more business, let’s discuss the process by which we can drive more traffic to your website.
Search engines heavily influence our buying habits as consumers, creating the necessity of online advertising for business owners. In order to reach the overwhelming majority of consumers who use the internet to shop for a product or service, you’re almost forced to invest in internet advertising.
Several variables need to be complied with in order to be ranked organically, so that search engines like Google can deem your website important for a specific search result. The search engines utilize over 200+ variables when ranking a website organically. Think of these variables as rules from which to comply with. We are not going to list all 200+, but we can categorize these variables into 3 primary buckets: Technical SEO, On-Page SEO, and Off-Page SEO.
Technical SEO is the foundational component for your SEO strategy. You must have a quality website in order to compete in today’s online eco-system. Many small businesses think of a website merely as an online flyer. They are completely missing the point of a website and how much it truly impacts their business. Let’s use a home re-modeler as an example. Most individuals in this industry have showrooms to highlight their work. They may have spent tens of thousands of dollars on their showroom to portray quality workmanship and competence, leading to a consumer’s confidence in their ability.
A website’s function is even more important. Regardless of the industry, your Jacksonville website is typically a consumer’s first interaction with your business. If your website is poorly constructed, all of the money you spent on your show room has become irrelevant, because your digital showroom just lost you that consumer.
Many small business owners are reluctant to re-build their website. If you are in this category, then we recommend you answer some of the following questions.
If you notice your website is not up to code, then your first priority needs to be to fix these issues. If you need a new website or would like to discuss options, call 4 Elements Agency today at (904) 480-6395.
The most important part of any SEO is the content. A properly structured website with quality content will serve you well, not only with the consumers who are visiting your website but also with the search engines. Content serves as an important ranking signal with the search engines. If your website has poor content or you scraped content from someone else’s website, it could have disastrous consequences on your placement.
The key to a well written website it to have content that is unique, helpful, informative, well organized with a bit of salesmanship to keep the consumer engaged. Here are a few of the on-page techniques that we employ for our customers:
Choosing the right keywords to be optimized for can make or break your online strategy. Most small businesses want to be found for the most popular terms.
However, this is not always the best strategy due to high competition, cost, and low closing ratios. First, let’s define the different types of keywords.
Short Tailed Keywords: These are keywords that are between 1-3 keywords in a string. An example would be “Jacksonville SEO.” These keywords are highly competitive, drive high search volumes, and typically have lower conversion rates.
Long Tailed Keywords: These are keywords that consist of 3+ keywords in a string. An example would be “SEO for small business in Jacksonville, FL.” They are not as competitive and have less search volume, but they typically have a much higher closing ratio.
Think about keyword strategy in terms of buying habits. For example, I know nothing about cameras. If I were to buy a camera, I may go to Google and type in “Camera.” This will give me millions of search results. I am not interested in purchasing anything at this point, though. I am simply researching more information about the different types of cameras on the market (brands, lenses, model types, etc…). As I learn more, my query will get much more specific (ex: Canon EOS Rebel T5 Digital Camera). This type of search will garner a much higher closing ratio than my previous camera query.
Prior to implementing any campaign, we will learn more about your business model, your needs, and any opportunities for growth. Then, we will research the local market and see which keywords will provide the best returns for our customers.
Off-page SEO aspects are the tentacles that help your business spread and connect to 3rd party websites. Building quality links from authoritative websites such as National & Local Directories, Vertical specific websites & Organizations, Government Entities, or News Organizations will help provide more relevance to your business, thus boosting your link juice.
The first key to off-page SEO is making sure your business listing is consistent and accurate across the board. You want to focus on your NAP (name, address and phone number.) The search engines like consistency and accuracy. If you have inaccurate information on 3rd party sites, the inconsistency triggers them to look at you as an unreliable source, thus you can be penalized.
SEO has become widely adopted by small to large businesses as an integral part of their online marketing strategy. There are numerous benefits to SEO. Below we have listed our top 7 reasons why SEO should be implemented by local businesses:
As the digital landscape continues to grow, placement online will become more important for businesses to capture market share. At 4 Elements Agency our core business is SEO. We have successfully helped small to medium size businesses grow their business and profits, increase their brand awareness, and test new products and services… all because of their dominant placement online.
4 Elements Agency is an SEO and Web Design company. We cater our business model to small and medium size businesses. Our primary goal with every new client is to help you capture more market share. There is no extravagant show or fancy salesmanship. We keep it simple! Unlike some of the larger conglomerates who like to bundle outdated products that do nothing to help your business grow and lock you into one year contracts, we focus only on the things that work. Our model is designed on common sense and practicality. We know the business environment it tough for small and medium size businesses. So rather than try and sell you, we would rather learn about your business, and model a strategy around your goals and needs. There is no one size fits all approach. Every business is unique and we tailor our approach only to what we know will work for your business. Most importantly, we are local. When you reach out for help, you will be speaking directly with the owners of 4 Elements Agency.
If you would like to learn more about our services or speak with us regarding your business goals, please call us at (904) 480-6395.