Unless you’ve been actively marketing your website online, and focusing on search engine optimization the past several years, you may not realize the vast number of enhancements the major search engines such as Google have made in the ways they index and rank your site and its content. As the major search engines battle it out to deliver the best search results to their users they work diligently to remain unique and rich with fresh, relevant results. Because of this ongoing maturation of the Search landscape, many small businesses (especially startups with limited budgets) have quite a challenge ahead of them to rank favorably for quality keywords.
Depending on your business, your industry, your competitive landscape, budgets and commitment to the process, a small business in today’s search environment cannot place any faith in the old (and dead) adage of “if we build it they will come”.
One business development tip that we share with many of our start up clients is that though you need to whiteboard all of the challenges you face in the short term to attain your goals, it is imperative to then triage that list carefully and pick your battles wisely. That said it would be crazy for any blog post to make an assumption as to every step a small business or start up needs to (or can) take immediately.
Regardless, fundamentals are key.
As most startups have a DIY mentality, and are normally short on time, the following video is a great asset to help get you on track in under 10 minutes as far as understanding the basics. The beauty is when you eventually work with an agency, hire internally or decide to be the lead marketing officer for your business-the key points shared by Maile Ohye (Google Developer Programs Tech Lead) will serve as a foundation for your future success.
Pay particular attention to what she has to say about “personas“. More often than not, small businesses focus on how they describe their own product or service when marketing but tend to miss many opportunities because they are not focusing on how their buyers would describe (or search) for them.
Every company, if they take the time to look at their client base and speak to their employees on the front-lines, would quickly realize that they can uncover distinct client personas that interact with their business on an ongoing basis. With a little time and brainstorming one can role-model the information gathering, thought process and buying behavior for each type.
From that you can develop a set of questions and keyword phrases that each persona may leverage in various portions of their buying cycle. Think of how powerful that discovery session can be coupled with the right keyword research and content development for your website.
Remember: SEO is a Process, NOT a project.
If you are a do-it-yourselfer, invest 10 min. and watching Maile’s presentation.