Small businesses cannot afford to compete with big business, when it comes to marketing. Likewise, outbidding big businesses on Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising would require substantial monetary commitments. Big businesses operates with big budgets.
To compete, small businesses have to be SMARTER about Web Presence.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) ads are just about everywhere. However, many SEO companies make their money by preying on small businesses, with BIG promises, of better search results and increased revenue. However, when all is said and done, most SEO companies will not actually guaranty anything.
Anyone who wants to make money through their website should be conscious of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) methods and techniques. However paying for SEO services, without fully Understanding Web Presence, is just throwing money away!
Sadly, this mistake is made over and over, and over again.
The owner of an insurance agency recently approached me about this Web Presence vs SEO issue a while back. He was paying for SEO services, thinking that alone, would bring in more revenue. He spent thousands of dollars with a SEO services company, but the only thing he has to show for it, is a tax deduction for SEO/Marketing.
It is my opinion small businesses should employ marketing people, who understanding SEO, Online Marketing and Web Presence, before they spend money on SEO services.
Being SMARTER is setting Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely goals for your business’ Web Presence. These goals need to be something someone can Evaluate and Re-evaluate, month after month.
However, if you don’t know how to be specific enough about your goals, don’t know how to measure them, don’t know if they are attainable or realistic; how are you going to know if they are timely or if they an be evaluated/re-evaluated?
You won’t. You need help!
If you want to Be SMARTER about Web Presence, below are two good goals to start with.
- Obtain W3C Compliance Certification on your website by committing to coding standards and eliminating coding errors.
This goal is Specific. The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) provides tools making this goal Measurable. This goal is Attainable. This goal is Realistic and one which can be completed in a Timely manner. If you set this goal on January 1st, you should Evaluate progress after one month and then Re-evaluate progress at six months and the end of the year.
FYI: Achieving this goal will also help optimize your website for search engines and improve your website’s search rank.
- Integrate your website with popular Social Communities.
Facebook is biggest social community in existence right now and a fantastic way to market your business. Facebook’s website beat out Google, as the number 1 visited website in 2010.
According to Hitwise data released today, Facebook.com was the top visited website in the US in 2010, taking up 8.93% of site visits between January and November 2010. Google.com came in second at 7.19%, Yahoo Mail is third with 3.52% and Yahoo.com is fourth at 3.30%. YouTube came in fifth at 2.65 %. – TechCrunch
Yet many companies will go as far as terminating employees who use these communities.
Why not capitolize on the marketing potential of these social communities? Try encouraging your employees to use these communities regularly, but within specific guidelines. Employees should help promote your business and website when they are on the social community websites, during work hours.
I’m not saying employees shouldn’t still do their job, but it should be pretty easy to multi-task between Facebook and an employee’s current duties. Your employees should understand, the use of Facebook at work is monitored and time spent on Facebook should be used to positively promote your business.
This goal is Specific. The number of posts/links make this goal Measurable. This goal is Attainable. This is a Realistic goal and can be implemented almost immediately, making it a Timely goal. If you set this goal on January 1st, you should Evaluate progress after one month and then Re-evaluate progress every month, throughout the year.
This goal will help with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Rank Improvement (SRI), by cross-promoting products and/or services offered on your company’s website, on Facebook, with links back to them on the company website. Trust me when I say, search engines will pick up on this.
If you want to Be SMARTER about Web Presence, but still unsure about which goals to set, hire a professional to help.