With an estimated 12 billion internet searches conducted in the U.S. each month, over 61% of consumers turning to a search engine results list to research a product or service before making a purchase, and with only 10 seconds on average for a business’s website to make a good impression on visitors — it’s pretty clear the stakes are high when it comes to search engine marketing. It’s also pretty clear that it’s easy to get lost in the scuffle of everything if your business doesn’t have a good understanding of what search engine optimization (SEO) can do.
So how can businesses be sure that they’re getting the most out of a search engine marketing campaign, even if they can’t afford to spend a lot of time or money? Here are just a few tips on how small businesses today can maximize their page rankings through SEO:
Start with a solid website. As stated above, you only have about 10 seconds from the time a visitor clicks on your page to convince them to stay. Not only is it important to make sure the page loads quickly, looks good, and is easy to navigate, but you also want to make sure that you have a mobile version that works just as well.
Keyword research — it’s free! Sign up for an Google Adwords account and you’ll have access to information about keywords, including how many average searches Google gets for each keyword per month and the amount of money businesses typically pay for a PPC ad on that keyword. Using a keyword research tool will help you get an idea of what people are searching for and whether or not your business has a chance at getting a good rank.
Don’t underestimate quality. Building a good blog section on your website — filled with good links and keywords, of course — is going to pay off in the long run. Google eventually catches those websites that buy sketchy backlinks for SEO purposes, and you can bet that those websites are penalized and even taken off the search network temporarily. The more you focus on quality, the less you have to lose.
Of course, if you still aren’t sure you can handle a web design project, do keyword research, build out a bunch of content-filled pages, and manage your actual business — don’t hesitate to ask for help from a professional search engine marketing firm. Search engine optimization can be a tricky thing to understand, but it’s only going to become more and more important in the future.