True or False: Online presence for your business is optional.
Realistically, you don’t have to have a website… you can always just hope that directories will list your business online and that your potential customers will call you for information on your products and services. But don’t forget, those same potential customers can do the same for your competition and if they have a website then they have an advantage.93% of people conduct a search online prior to purchasing something. As a business owner and now knowing this statistic it almost seems silly to not be online – don’t you think?
Now that we’re all on the same page about the importance of being online and you’ve invested in a website to showcase all your great products and services and provided information about those products and services to potential customers – how are your customers finding you? What if your website domain doesn’t explain EXACTLY what it is you do (i.e. Lil’s Little Treasures – is this a gift shop, a children’s clothing store, a jewellery store?) – How will your customers find you?
Think about how you search for information – what would you do? For most people, you GOOGLE it! Thanks to the internet and search engines, we can simply type in what we are looking for and a wealth of information is provided for us within seconds. It’s within these search results that you want your products and services to be available as each person may search for your products and services in a different way. The best way to get onto the search results of Google (and other search engines like Yahoo and Bing) is to optimize your website.
Search Engine Optimization (or SEO) is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s “natural” or un-paid (“organic”) search results. Proper optimization of your web pages can help you to get listed in search engine result pages as well as to drive targeted traffic to your website. The process of search engine optimization definitely is not a “set it and forget it” type strategy. It is important to keep your website content fresh, easy to navigate and filled with good, relevant information.
What about those ads on Google?
Google currently offers Adwords campaigns (or Pay Per Click) campaigns where you can choose a dollar value per keyword and it will display your ad based off the dollar bid you’ve placed anytime the keyword you’ve chosen is searched. This is much less work on a management level, however, 94% of buyers click on organic “natural” links vs. 6% of buyers who click on paid links.
Don’t have the time start optimizing your website?
There are many SEO companies that can assist you with your online marketing strategy. Be wary of any company that promises you guaranteed #1 positioning on Google as Google is constantly changing its algorithm to penalize websites who use black hat techniques to gain non-credible rankings. Usually SEO companies with this guarantee are using black hat techniques and it is in your best interest to steer clear of these types of promises.
Is SEO Important for your Business – ABSOLUTELY!
Your website is an extension of your business (and in some e-commerce business cases, your website is your only mode of communication to your potential customers ) so make sure that you provide every opportunity for your products and services to be seen across all types of media and get a head start over your competition by optimizing your website.