September 18, 2015
In today’s business environment, companies and business owners are facing a unique situation — connecting with your target market and reaching your customers is both easier and harder than ever before, depending on how you look at it.
On one hand, you can now do things for cheap and on your own which would have been nearly impossible to do even merely a decade ago. Facebook, Youtube, Twitter and countless other social networks and similar online platforms are always a few clicks away and you can start opening your profiles, communicating with your marketplace and building your brand quicker than ever. On the other hand, it’s also easier than ever to get overwhelmed by all the available options, waste resources on inadequate online marketing strategies and promotional channels and spend a tremendous amount of time unsuccessfully trying to play catch up with a constant, neverending stream of new sites, apps and technologies promising you more efficiency, better business results and bigger success.
Still, for most businesses, one thing has remained a constant in the fast-changing world of online marketing — if you want to achieve a decent level of success with your Internet marketing activities, you need to learn to play well with Google. While other big players in the Internet marketing world come and go, enjoying varying degrees of success before they are overshadowed by the ‘next big thing,’ Google remains the single most important platform you need to understand and utilize if you want to get the best results for your business. With that in mind, here’s a simple yet detailed explanation of the most important way in which Google can help you boost your business.
Search Engine Optimization: Positioning your site where your audience will find it
Whether you’re a small brick and mortar business servicing your local market or an online entity targeting various online niches, your position on Google, the most important of the search engines, is one of your most valuable online assets. Although Google is not the only search engine, it is by far the most popular one, with a market share of around 75 percent as of August 2015.
In practice, that means that whichever products or services you’re offering, numerous people are going to be searching for those exact things on Google every day. In an ideal scenario, your business is going to pop up among the first Google results, bringing you the attention of new visitors and potential customers. And that is where SEO comes in — short for search engine optimization, SEO is an organized effort aimed at positioning your website among the top search results for the phrases which matter most to your business.
In case all of that sounds too vague and complicated, here’s a simple example which should help you wrap your mind around the most important concepts: imagine you own a store selling musical instruments. Obviously, you would be thrilled if anyone searching for ‘musical instruments’ on Google would see your site on the top of free search results, but due to the ever-increasing competition, that has been nearly impossible for over a decade. Instead, you should adjust your goals and optimize the phrases for which you want to compete. Are you selling your merchandise in a specific location ? Are you offering only specific type of musical instruments?
While you might not be able to get to the top position of Google results for the phrase ‘musical instruments,’ you’ll have a much better chance if you target a more specific phrase which fits your business better. If you’re selling the instruments in Boston and most of your instruments are guitars, you might want to target something like ‘Boston guitars,’ ‘Boston guitar shop’ or ‘guitars in Boston.’ Immediately, you’ve picked a battle you’re more likely to win, because you’re now competing against a drastically smaller number of competitors. Additionally, you won’t get visitors interested in drums, violins or trumpets, which would leave your site as soon as they entered (after realizing that you’re not offering what they’re looking for) therefore, notifying Google that your site might be of lower quality, since it’s not worthy of spending more time on (yes, Google tracks such things as well).
Once you’ve decided which specific phrases are the most suitable and important for your business while having as little competition as possible, you are ready to enter the complex but rewarding world of search engine optimization and let Google bring you new visitors, clients and customers. Whether you’ll start learning about on-page and off-page optimization, link building and conversion rates on your own or let experts manage all of that and much more for you, SEO is something you can’t afford to miss if you want your business to stay competitive on the internet and reap the appropriate lucrative rewards.