arketing has changed for those looking to find customers beyond their brick-and-mortar storefronts. There are still many print options such as newspapers, billboards, magazines, signage, brochures and sponsored events, but they seem to be dwarfed by Search Engine Optimization. Brandon Carver, our owner will always joke that SEO went from an unknown subject matter to core curriculum materials that was required in the final years of his marketing degree. To have marketing experts disregard SEO to finally fully embracing it over the span of 4 years in the 2010's decade is unheard of for other fields.
Search Engine Optimization went through a marketing hero's journey from a laughing stock everyone shrugged off to the sacred cow among the experts; all this in the time it takes to get a marketing degree.
Brandon Carver, Owner of ESO-EXO
So why has this new form of online marketing eclipsed the competition? Well that mostly has to do with our Google overlords. As of 2020, Google has nearly 93% of all search engine traffic as noted HERE. That equates to 9/10 people using Google to find what they need on the internet. That isn't simply ranked website results either, this includes Google Maps and Google Business. Staying relevant on the Google platform naturally yields more business due to the sheer volume of customers flowing through the Google algorithm. That goes double for local searches due to the nature of how competitive national SEO campaigns can be. Therefor if a small business is just starting out or an established business is looking for more revenue, if they lack an online presence, that is the first place to start.
Search Engine Optimization campaigns involve a lot of writing content, researching the competition and strategizing with the latest Google guidelines to ensure the keywords being searched for (products or service) link back to the business through searches. The more relevant/connected the keywords, the more traffic that business receives through its website, social media and Google Business page. Ongoing SEO campaigns can take months to become established, but once in motion, organic searches will guide potential customers to the business. The stronger the SEO, the more likely these visitors are to convert into customer. Even when an SEO campaign is stopped, the website will be able to stay relevant in the eyes of customers due to the nature of having a strong online presence. Just as a popular storefront on a busy street still needs print marketing, online marketing techniques like SEO help organizations with websites find their potentially larger audience.
We always recommend if you lack the budget for a full Search Engine Optimization campaign with us that you do the following steps:
- Blog on your website if applicable or possible. These articles can help Google to understand just what your business does with fresh content related to relevant topics.
- Organize and maintain your social media outlets. From Instagram to Facebook, an employee should be vigilant and stay on-top of keeping these sites fresh with new content and up-to-date with offers and specials.
- Google Business Page set-up and optimization is key. The Google searches will yield website information as well as Google Business page listings. If these are missing hours, services, amenities, company information or pictures, people are not likely to visit.
- Testimonials and reviews are a large part of Google's favoritism. From Yelp to Google Business pages, reviews are easy to manage while creating huge boons for a business trying to grow. Don't just have a lot of 5-star ratings either, a variety is key. The goal would be a 4.5 or better rating with 50+ reviews to start.
- Ignore Adwords and digital advertisements for now. If the previous 4 steps are not followed properly, don't skip ahead to investing large amounts of the marketing budget into ads. These will only benefit businesses with an established online presence. SEO will always have a higher conversion rate and yield more return on investment.