Why Is SEO Important To A Business Owner?

SEO, or as is known by its full name search engine optimization, is the professional practice of making your website easy to understand for search engines. One of the primary methods of doing this is keyword and headline optimization. The key benefit of a good SEO program is that somebody looking for your business is more likely to find your business if you have made it easy for the search engine to understand what your website is about. When someone types in a keyword, the search engine looks at that keyword and analyzes your website trying to find the best match. The search engine selects the best optimized websites and put them at the top of the list.

Top Listing On Search Engines

Unfortunately there are people who abuse the system and overload websites with keywords in order to attract customers to a website that really has nothing to do with what they were looking for. This is why Google, Yahoo and Bing also check what are called back links. They look at other websites which might point to your website therefore giving you credibility in your field. The domaineers have figured out how to beat this system also.  “White Hat” companies like Rustic Creek keep take an approach endorsed by the Search Engines such as Google, Yahoo, Bing and DMOZ.

Internet Presence – The Complete Approach
Taking a different approach, and looking at your entire Internet presence as a single organism, you have a much better chance of reaching potential new customers. Isn’t that what marketing is all about? Recently Facebook, YouTube and iTunes have been growing in popularity as places to find information. People are searching social media sites as much as they’re using search engines these days. More importantly the social media sites have permission to gather information about the person and can better target advertising and information to them.
SEO, just one piece of the puzzle
As a piece of an Internet presence campaign, search engine optimization or SEO is still a key component. The reason is simple the exercises and effort required for proper search engine optimization help focus the business and the advertising. Google has a score called a quality value that attempts to align the keyword to the website. The higher your quality value, the lower your cost for a pay per click advertisement. You get a benefit when compared to somebody else paying the same price for the same keyword because you have done your SEO groundwork.

One of the activities required when it comes to good search engine optimization efforts is keyword selection. Keyword selection is finding somewhere between three and 20 phrases of three or four words that uniquely describe your business. Now if you don’t have a unique selling proposition to begin with, it can be rather difficult to come up with unique keyword phrases. This is why I enjoy being strategy coach and a marketing coach at the same time. The Internet has put them together hand-in-hand.

Step one, clear the fuzz

The very first activity that I now ask new clients to engage in is to read a short book called Scientific Advertising by Claude Hopkins. Scientific Advertising was written in 1930 and is out of copyright, so you can get it online as a pdf free if you look around. Additionally I have personally updated every chapter and added a few comments since the Internet did not exist in the 1930s. If you would like an updated copy, there is a link on my blog.

The truth is, since the 1930s effective advertising has not changed one bit. We make the mistake of approaching advertising differently because of the new medium. By reading Scientific Advertising, potential new clients get an understanding of the activities and the depth that we will be involved in trying to clarify their own unique selling proposition or USP.

Scientific Advertising highlights the importance of focus, specifically focus on the client. It really doesn’t matter how much you love your business, in fact that is one of the greatest mistakes in business. You have to love your customers because they make your business. Scientific Advertising helps move the mindset of our potential new clients into the mode of looking out for and loving their customers.

The next step is an exercise with the owner has to fill out our four-page questionnaire about their business. It includes questions like “What is your business doing for your customer?” The entire purpose of the questionnaire is to help the owner begin to clarify his vision. 9 out of 10 business owners have difficulty with this exercise. We require them to start this before we accept them as a new client because clarity is required in order to achieve focus. We want to see our customers succeed, and if they aren’t going to do the legwork up front, they probably won’t do it on the back end either. There is no way to focus on a client if they’re not clear what benefits those customers or clients receive. Business is a lot more fun when you know where you’re going and how you’re going to help your customer and make their life better.

Now The Work Starts

Once we have the owner in a position to understand the vision can always become a little more clear, we are ready to start work. With a solid understanding of our approach after reading Scientific Advertising, and a starting point for the vision, there is a foundation to build on. The next step when it comes to SEO and on line marketing, is to build keyword phrases and start analyzing the content of any existing website.
As a simple example, a friend of mine and I were talking about his grandfather’s house. He is attempting to sell it on his own and built it truly beautiful website. The house itself was fantastic, it sits on 10 level acres, has a full theater, a mini studio and is just minutes from the town. In fact the village grew up around the house making it centrally located. When I first looked at the website I noticed that none of the keywords were there. All of the text on the website were very generic statements such as “for sale by owner”.

In the example of trying to sell a very unique house, you are trying to use keywords to drill for one of maybe 20 people in the entire United States would be interested in this very unique property. This is where most real estate agents make mistakes in their advertising. In fact it is not just real estate agents. I would guess that 80 to 90% of all advertising is nothing more than putting your ad out there and the only reason is “to reach customers”. Sadly that type of advertising rarely if ever does.
Without a way to connect to the potential client, the ad will never be read. Keywords on the Internet are much like headlines were in the 1930s to Claude Hopkins when he wrote Scientific Advertising. Any decent SEO company or any person doing their own internal Internet marketing should be doing headline testing. Google makes this extremely easy with AdWords and Analytics. You can put up 10 or 20 ads online at the same time and Google will rotate them for you. After a few days or a week and give you the statistics on how the ads are doing you can very quickly see which ads are clicked and which ones are not.

The same is true for keywords, you can see which keywords are bringing new business and which ones are not. This is very important because you will learn what the market perceives of your business. Remember this isn’t about you will you or your business this is about your customer what they want and what their benefits are. If you think you’re offering a benefit, and the perception is they are getting a different benefit you need to know that and adjust your business according.

As you can see search engine optimization when done properly, is a result of significant efforts on both the business owner and the marketing company. Use caution if you’re working with a company that only charges you for the ad, they make money the more you advertise not the more you reach customers.
Reach for Automatic Success
When you get your business focused, you can build a strategy that will automatically lead to a successful Internet presence campaign. If you are not clear in your attempting to marketing everyone on the Internet it won’t happen. I’ll be broke before you can hire somebody to fix it. So as you can see, SEO important because it brings together several other key aspects that are required to achieve business success.

Scott Bourquin is a Business Coach and Marketing Analyst with Rustic Creek LLC, an SEO company

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