Whenever you have a problem and you need a professional to help where is the first place you go to find some help or answers? I would bet that although this is not true 100% of the time, the majority of you open up your favorite Internet browser and then do a search for the answer you are looking for using your favorite search engine.
If you think about it the concept of search has always been with us it just has never been easier to find the information that you’re after as it is today. Before the Internet, people relied heavily on yellow pages and specialty publications in order to get the information that they needed or wanted. Now you just don’t have to. If you own your own local small business company and you are not using the power of search to reach and gain new customers and prospects then you simply have not gotten with the times.
Here are five things that you might not have considered on why its so important for you to get your company and your company website found using SEO tactics, especially in this economic climate.
- Yellow Pages is no longer viable – As things go, it is no longer viable to advertise using an old school medium that is no longer sought after. The yellow pages used to be the most concise way to get the information that you wanted at a moments notice. Basically, if you wanted a service, you used to look in the yellow pages for that service and choose one of the companies that were listed. If you weren’t listed there was a very slim chance that you would get called.
Besides that, the yellow pages indexed everything alphabetically so if you were Alfred’s plumbing you were more likely to get more phone calls then Zed’s plumbing services. Although, its easier from a user standpoint, to catalog everything alphabetically, this is not that useful when you are looking for RELEVANT information QUICKLY.
To clarify, yes it is easier to find the information that you want when you are doing a search manually from a “static” source such as a book when the information is listed alphabetically but if Zed’s service is actually better than Alfred’s then you wouldn’t know that just by looking at the way the listing is displayed. In fact, you might not even get to Zed’s listing if you’re impatient. You’d probably most likely go with listings that came prior to Zed’s.
Another thing that the Yellow Pages did was give priority and more prominent or preferable ad space displays to the company’s that spent the most money. Those with bigger budget’s could dominate the media space. While this was OK in the past, today, people want to use business that other people felt were good business to do business with.
Today we “crowd source.” This means that we want to see reviews from other people that have done business with the people that we are considering doing business with. The yellow pages doesn’t allow for reviews.
So, the way that we do business and assess the business that we do business with as a society has changed. No longer do we just go after the big “splashed” ad. We want to do business with Ethical, fair and reliable businesses.
- Your Competition Uses It – If you have a website and you’ve been around for any length of time then chances are people can find your company if they do a search for your company name. although that’s well and good, if you’re just getting started out and don’t have a name to speak of as of yet, then you probably aren’t going to have a whole lot of people doing searches for you or your company name, right?
People do searches using generic terms. What is meant by this is that if you have your own plumbing company and you’re located in Brooklyn, NY then you can probably expect more people searching for “brooklyn plumber” than they are for “Harvey’s Plumbing and Gutter Drainage.”
Here’s the other thing to consider, if a person did this type of search using the generic terminology, who does appear on the page one results that are served up? If you’re not up there and your competition is don’t you think they stand a pretty good chance of getting some more business as a result of being so highly visible?
Why did these companies appear in these results and why didn’t yours come up on the first page? What did they do differently? The results, by the way, are not displayed in alphabetical order.
If you want to compete with your competition then you have to play the game. If they are doing something that you’re not then you probably want to figure out why they’re doing it. You can bet that they wouldn’t be doing it for long if it weren’t working.
- Free Traffic to Your Site – You see when the search engines display their results for a search in their “organic” or “natural” listings section this means that the results that pop up are not paid for (at least not to the search engines that display these results….getting into these results might have required a company spend money with someone to help get them in there).
Whenever someone does a search for something, the idea is to get quick results, get the information or solution they want and need and get on with their life. No one wants to sort or sift through information.
The likelihood is that if your company were one of the first results to be displayed you can count on more people visiting your site and its all free traffic…..you don’t have to pay each time someone clicks on your link. The other cool thing is that the more people click on your link and visit your page, the more likely it is that your site is relevant to the search that was performed and the more likely you are to stay in those top results.
The only major obstacle is figuring out how to get your company to show up on the first page. This is where the SEO voodoo kicks in, but fortunately there are a lot of SEO experts out there that can help you with this. The other trick is figuring out which company to go with. That is not the focus of this article so we’ll leave that for another time (stay posted).
- Company Credibility – If your company can be found on-line for generic searches and if more and more people visit your site, chances are good that you are growing your business. The more your business grows the more money you make and the more established you become in your community. You become the go to “company” for a service.
Search Engine Optimization helps your company build its brand awareness and generic term association. You literally become the expert expert in your field the more social media space you dominate.
Now, this might sound like a tough task and it can be if blogging and marketing is not your forte, but it doesn’t have to be if you know how to leverage help. You ca have someone else manage your social media space, and do all of the things that help you get more on-line exposure.
Leverage is key. When you built your website you were leveraging the power of the web to have virtual store front. When you hand out your business card you’re leveraging the power of that meeting in the hopes that the person you gave your card to will either call you later, give your card to someone else that could use your service or to go visit your website.
The search engine is another tool to be leveraged. You probably didn’t design that business card yourself. You probably didn’t build your website yourself. You leveraged someone else’s expertise. You can do the same with SEO, but the person that gets the notoriety and credibility is the focus of the leveraged medium.
The expert is not the writer of the story, but the person the story talks about. The expert status association is linked to the focus of the medium. Don’t forget that. People don’t care who wrote the advertisement, but rather how compelling it is in conveying the message and relevant it is in bringing them closer to what they need.
The thinking is something like this: “If Google shows Vigilante Plumbing service in the first slot when I do a search for Brooklyn Plumber then they must be good because there are over 24,400 resulting web pages for that term. These guys must really know what they are doing because they are on page one, first result and they have a nice website. Let me give them a call.”
- Unquestionable Data – The other thing that makes the Internet so wonderful is that you can find out with deadly accuracy how your customers are finding you. You can install free tracking software that analyzes what search terms people typed in to bring the to your website. You can also figure out exactly how many people visited your site based on search terms, direct URL typing or referring links.
With a yellow page ad do you have any idea how many people ever even saw your ad? No, right? With the Internet you can track what’s working, change whats not and grow your business. The data is real, its measurable and its completely unquestionable.
Except for getting things setup and started the only questionable stage is the beginning. You have to work based on some sort of “hunch” when you first set out to get your website found on-line, but after that the data just reveals itself to you.
You will begin to see patterns, trends and information that you might not have ever considered before keeping track. This is all thanks to the power of technology and virtual presence. The other strange thing about search engines is that they generally favor older websites so websites that have been around longer tend to be looked upon more favorably than newer sites.
This is especially true for older sites that are actively cultivated. By this I mean websites that have blogs that are updated regularly, have back links constantly growing, have web pages constantly being added, etc. The search engines see these sites as prodigious and beneficial to the web. These sites must be doing something good in the virtual world which must mean that they are doing good things for the real world as well.
I hope you can see now how important it is for you to get your company advanced in the on-line world so that you can help your company grow in the offline world. Consider new options. Consider new opportunities. Get the help you need to help your business grow. Good luck.
I am a full-time writer and editor. I have written on practically every niche on the web. Currently I am working with Dricki IT Solution as content writer.
I write and edit eBooks, articles, blogs, web pages, reports, press releases, product descriptions, sales letters and newsletters. I take extra care that my work is well researched, original has perfect grammar and syntax and reads well.