October 17, 2015
Everyone’s seen the scene in movies where the protagonist takes on another bar patron who’s out of line. Instead of causing a mess inside the bar and having the police called, the two flexing men agree to take the fight outside.
For small business owners, looking to gain traction in a hyper-competitive market, instead of taking the fight against the competition outside, they have to start fighting online. And the sooner the fight starts, the better chance a company has at gaining a foothold and start winning online customers away from the competition.
But where do you start? Check out this simple, yet insightful SEO guide below for small business owners!
Understanding Google Search Engine Rankings…Oh Yeah, Google and Bing Too!
The internet has become the number one method for consumers to get answers to their everyday questions. Every business owner knows that they have to excel at meeting their customers needs in the places where their target audiences spends their time. In the 21st century, the place where the majority of all consumers spend at least some time every week is the internet.
Where do most consumers begin their journey? Yep, you guessed it: Google, Bing and Yahoo. When a user types in a question, they are rewarded with an endless selection of websites specifically designed to answer their query. There are three major components that affect what information a user sees in their customized search results.
When searching for information, search engines track the location of the user performing the search. This can be a GPS connection on a cell phone, or the IP address of a personal computer. This information provides context to the seach engine that is processing the search through its index of websites with information relevant to the terms entered into the search box.
This is especially impactful if the user inserts a location into their search term. For example, “haircut in San Diego” is going to provide hyper-local results that provide the user with information on the best places to get a haircut in and around San Diego.
Personal Search History
This is one of the things you as a business owner can’t really impact. However, Google has done an incredible job of tracking how internet users find and interact with the information available to them on the world wide web. You’ve likely noticed that as you search for things on the web, personalized advertisements pop up on the websites you vist.
Yesterday you may have been searching for a “coleman grill”. Today, while scrolling through cat photos on Facebook, your newsfeed will probably be interrupted by an ad alerting you to a once in a lifetime deal on the top of the line Coleman grill at Sears. Coincidence? I think not. The internet has gained a memory thanks to cookies and adware.
This history is used to lay out search results that are hyper-relevant to your personality and style. In addition, CPC ad-campaigns pop up in your search results with irresistible taglines designed to bring you to their website before you even see the rest of the search results.
SEO Performed by Companies
After you make your way to the results page of Google, Bing or Yahoo, the information that’s laid out in front of you is the result of an incredibly competitive sport known as SEO. Basically, companies are competing for your attention in every way known to man. Whether that’s obnoxious TV ads, hideous billboards, or doctored search results, you’re the target of a massive program to get your attention.
Congratulations! This also makes you the judge of an international competition. After you click a link to view further information about your subject of interest, your web browser is transformed into a canvas; displaying the artwork of a (hopefully) talented web designer and professional (hopefully) content developer. The purpose of a website is to answer your question.
Big Brother is Watching Your Every Click and Scroll
If a website has done a good job at this, then it’s likely you’ll spend a considerable amount of time looking at all the information that a site has to offer. Whether you realize it or not, Big Brother is watching. How you interact with the website that a search engine takes you to will impact how that website performs in future searches.
If instead of finding what you’re looking for, you’re greeted with low-quality content, you’ll probably hit the back button on your browser. This can be a kiss of death for the website you visited. Just like your local department store, search engines hate taking returns.
Competition Means Consumers Win
Google, Yahoo and Bing are fiercely competitive. They want to earn your search loyalty. If a website is failing to deliver relevant, easy to read answers to the questions you’re typing into their search box, they won’t do business with that site in the future. They need you to get the information you need quickly, so that you’ll keep searching with their site.
Increased market share can give a search engine considerable increases in ad-revenue, as well as the ego-boost of controlling a large percentage of the search traffic passing through cyberspace.
Creating High Quality Sites to Improve Search Traffic
For companies looking to capitalize on the traffic passing through search engines, website design must be a priority. This means bringing on a designer and content creator that can knock it out of the park. This process can be expensive. However the return on investment can be unbelievable.
Understanding SEO is a lifelong process. The industry is constantly evolving; search engine algorithm updates, companies coming and going, and new methods of searching for information mean that bringing on an SEO professional can be an extremely intelligent use of company resources.
No matter whether you perform your SEO yourself, or bring on a firm, never lose focus of servicing your virtual customers quickly and efficiently.
Did you like this article?
Get more delivered to your inbox just like it!