If you’re business has just started up or if you’re a small business owner and are curious about what the internet can bring to your business; here are some answers to common questions and comments I’ve come across working with local businesses and start up companies.
Budgeting for SEO & Marketing
Setting a budget on a completely new venture that is somewhat alien to you can be a difficult task; think about what you want to achieve and where your target audience is. Depending on your business, different channels will work better for you than others. For a store that wants to engage with its customers Facebook and other social media platforms are a great resource (click here for a guide on social media). However; if you provide a service like locksmith or plumber, you’ll want to appear in the rich snippets of Google – especially when searched for on mobile. There are other options such as Google marketing and email marketing and over time it would be best to experiment with several different channels to see what really works for you.
If you decide that you need to hire someone or work with an agency to get the results from the SEO and marketing campaign then you need to seriously consider who you’re working with. This is going to be a longterm partnership and you’ll need to be able to trust this person or team that they will steer your in the right direction. There are a few questions you need to ask them and yourself before signing up, such as; how easily reachable are they if you have a question? What timeframe are they suggesting? And what exactly are they offering?
Timeframe For SEO & Online Marketing
“When can I expect to see results?” Is a common question and an important one; the answer to this question can give you an idea of how realistic and confident the SEO or marketeer is. Typically most will say somewhere between six and twelve months; if they tell you tomorrow you’ll be at the top of Google I would be cautious. That is an immediate flag, there will be two reason why tomorrow you’ll be at the top of Google; you either already were and weren’t aware of it or they’re lying.
A real and arguably the most important metric to measure is the Return On Investment (ROI); if you’re making money because of the website, then you’re doing something right. So for this time happen and for the website to generate the “big wins” it’ll need some time to gain traction. The key here is to be patient and to test and measure; try something for a few weeks/months and see what results that generated.
Focus On The Customer
This sounds obvious but it’s an idea that can get lost along the way; if you make a change to the website or the business in general based on what you want and not what the customers want it may come back and cost you. There is a lot of analytical data you can read and even talk directly to your customers about what they want from your business. Resources such as Google Analytics, heat map tracking and even social media insights will give you an idea of what your customers are expecting from your business.
By all means, listen to your instinct and let what you want be a contributing factor but if your gut is saying one thing and a entire wealth of information is saying another – difficult as it may be you’ll need to remove emotion from the equation, take a step back and do what’s best for the customer and the business. Usually you’ll find that your customers are happy to give feedback, especially with a little incentive. Facebook polls, small discounts and focus groups can generate a good amount of data and feedback.
If you’re a small business owner or just starting up and want to discuss SEO and your marketing plan, get in touch with our team for some free advice and help with the future.