SEO is a term that can seem opaque, and its full name — “search engine optimization” — doesn’t do much more to explain things. You probably have at least some idea of what we’re talking about when we say SEO; but, as a busy small-business owner, you really don’t have time to master search engine technology. Sure, you know that SEO is about making your online presence more friendly to the top-secret algorithms that generate results for queries put to major search engines like Google and Bing, but what does that involve, and why is it important?
These are key questions, and we’ll answer them below. But we’ll also address something that’s a bit more practical: How can you, as a small-business owner, put SEO to work for your company without having to drop everything and focus on SEO?
Why SEO matters
When search engines like Google first got started, they were interesting ways to find content on the web. But for most small businesses, they weren’t the biggest deal: The Yellow Pages and other phone books were still going strong in those days, and few people were looking for local goods and services on Google.
But major corporations were already trying to figure out how Google’s search algorithm worked. Companies learned that search engine programs called “spiders” would “crawl” the web to find sites, following links to do so — and that lots of links could mean a higher result on the search engines results page, or SERP. Keywords, too, seemed to be important; the more a keyword appeared on a page, the more it seemed to help that page’s ranking for queries with that keyword.
Things got more complex very quickly. Google’s top-secret algorithm is now an ever-changing and confusing things. Links and keyword density still matter, but now there are all sorts of other things to worry about: the quality of the links, for instance, and being too dense with keywords, among other things.
And now, most importantly, local and small businesses need to care more about SEO. The rise of smartphones and ever-increasing amounts of mobile browsing and mobile search have ushered in an era in which smartphones serve as a powerful path from customers to businesses, including small local shops, restaurants, and other businesses. No longer can small businesses afford to skip out on SEO services.
But small businesses can’t afford to hire entire departments to handle SEO, either. So what’s the solution?
Outsourcing: the best way to tackle SEO
If you’re a small-business owner, then you already know that running a business involves being pretty good at a number of different things. From payroll issues to building maintenance, the number of different things that business owners need to worry about is staggering.
At the same time, the savviest small-business owners understand that they don’t really need to handle these tasks personally. Nor do they need to hire entire departments for things that don’t merit that kind of scaling up. The most successful small-business owners know that doing things like payroll in-house can be less efficient than making key decisions to outsource certain tasks.
And SEO is absolutely among the tasks that you will want to consider outsourcing. A smart digital marketing strategy, which will include (but not be limited to) SEO, is a complex thing. It’s not the sort of thing that you’ll want to rig up while eating lunch or working late. Mastering marketing is a full-time job, so turn to SEO experts for digital marketing and managed SEO services.
With trained experts on the job (but not on your full-time payroll), you’ll gain a lean and efficient digital marketing strategy that brings your business greater exposure and greater potential for growths. So get going.