A lot of people wonder whether SEO (search engine optimization) is worth the significant investment of both time and money it requires. Small business owners in particular have limited budgets, and paying a search engine optimization company may feel like an investment too far. The reality is that the effectiveness of SEO depends on a number of factors, including the type of business you have. If you are a street vendor, for instance, it could be argued that you don’t need SEO at all, since you rely on people who walk past you. That said, if you start to become a famous street vendor, and you want to attract people specifically to your patch, SEO can be beneficial again. Confused yet? Very simply put, SEO will, if done properly, attract new customers to you. For some businesses, however, it may take a while before the extra profits they get through SEO validate the cost of SEO. But, eventually, they will get there.
How to Make SEO Work for You
There are a few things you can do yourself to help you bring the cost of SEO consultancy down:
- Know your target market. Find out how they try to find services and products like yours. For instance, if you sell whoopee cushions, do people look for ‘blow up cushions’, because they don’t know the name ‘whoopee’? Or are they looking for specific features that you may over? There is a really cool search marketing portal made available by Yahoo, where you can type in a keyword that you think people will use to find you, and it will then tell you which other keywords people use to find the same thing. Besides looking into your customers’ behaviors, you also have to research their needs. This is important for your product development.
- Submit your website. There are lots of directories that you can get listed on. This is something that most SEO consultants will do for you, but it usually adds around $100 to their overall charge, when it is something you can do yourself for free. Plus, that means that your consultant will be able to actually put their full attention on optimizing your site, and not on doing the simple admin work.
- Tweak your keywords so that they are in your content, including in your product descriptions. While content marketing is an art in its own right, you are probably the best suited to write product descriptions, as you know what you’re selling. Make sure those descriptions include the right keyword.
- Market yourself by blogging, writing articles that provide information that people actually want to know about it.
There is nothing you can do that will equal the services of a professional SEO company, not in the least because they will put all their attention on optimizing your site, whereas you also have a lot of other things to do. However, the above tips will help to get you started, and they may even bring the cost of your SEO professionals down to a degree.