Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a process of making a website and its content highly relevant for both search engines and searchers. With recession looming, many small businesses are experiencing a dramatic decrease in sales and may be thinking about SEO to get them through the tough times.
While SEO is a great way to drive a targeted customer base to a small business website, it is a long term strategy that should only be a part of your overall marketing activities. It isnâ€™t a quick fix as some would like it to be so if you are looking save a failing business, you may want to rethink how SEO can help.
First, it takes time to even plan an SEO strategy, much less implement and see tangible results from it. It can take several weeks just to do the necessary research to even know where to begin.
After careful research identifies target keywords and link strategies, site architecture, metatags, page copy, and text and anchor links need to be overhauled, a time consuming process indeed. Once a site is fully optimized for SEO it will still need time to age. Incrementally, you will begin to see more targeted search engine traffic as on page SEO begins to mature.
Link popularity is the other half of this puzzle as the search engines place a premium on keyword targeted links. The success of SEO is largely dependent on overall link popularity of the site. This process moves faster if your site already has links but most need work in this area as many of these links may not be targeting anchor text.
Another very important thing to remember is that while relatively inexpensive, SEO has to be done in conjunction with other online and offline marketing initiatives to be successful. Do not count on visitors from organic searches to always be there as search engines can change their formulas and drop your site on a dime.
When done correctly, SEO is a worthwhile long term investment for any business with a website. If your small business is doing fairly well without SEO, you should consider getting into it now and start collecting the extra traffic.