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TIME MATTERS A LOT
If you want to know how to dominate the SEO game as a small or medium sized business you must use your time wisely. Time matters for everyone. There's only so many hours in a working day. For small and medium sized businesses, time is at a premium.
Unlike large corporation who have departments for every task, small and medium-sized businesses rely on the "jack of all trades" division of labor.
If you are a small or medium sized business, don't waste your time trying to do something that does not naturally cater to your strengths. Don't expect an employee to learn a new craft and perfect their skills in it. This strategy will take a lot of time, and since we are talking about SEO, there's millions of other websites that will do it better.
Neil Patel demonstrates this strategy well in his articles entitled, How to Know When to Kill a Digital Marketing Campaign. Neil mentions the overwhelming competition on the internet for digital marketing and SEO. There is so much to know and master, and unless you have a lot of time and specialization, your time may be more well spent in other areas.
The best way to get ahead today is to find a new approach to SEO and marketing, one where you are not competing in the same way as everyone else.
We'll make our recommendation below on how to do this.
MONEY IS FINITE
If you have been in business for more than a year, you don't have to be told that money is a finite resource. You already know that. Unfortunately, when it comes to SEO, many small and medium sized businesses spend an inordinate amount of money on it.
Promoting your website and digital marketing is so important to the success of a business. In the past, businesses could advertise in newspapers, the yellow pages, on the radio, or TV. Then there was the all important word of mouth. But those strategies aren't as useful as they were 10 years ago.
Many businesses are trying to change with the times and SEO is like the wild-west right now. There's snake oil salesmen on every corner trying to sell you their magical elixir.
Don't give your money away if you aren't sure or guaranteed an outcome. You wouldn't buy a car if the salesman told you it wouldn't be able to drive on the road for 6 months. You wouldn't buy a can of soup if the label said, May or may not contain soup! Then why would you spend money on SEO and digital marketing that may or may not provide a return on your investment?
When you choose to spend money on SEO, make sure that money will pay off. And you shouldn't have to wait 6 months until it does!
INTERNET ADVICE IS NOT GOSPEL
There are a lot of how-to guides out there to help you navigate the dangerous world of SEO and digital marketing. I have already mentioned Neil Patel who is quite knowledgeable. I recommend you check out his blog.
I have also taken several courses at Udemy. For example, SEO Training Course: Get Free Traffic to Your Site with SEO by Daragh Walsh. A great resource for learning SEO.
What you have to realise is SEO takes the saying, many roads lead to Rome, to an entirely new level. Within the digital world, roads are obsolete. We are talking about a world where there is multi-dimensional space and the concept of a road is entirely backwards.
What does this mean?
I'm glad you asked. SEO can't be done by following a blueprint of instructions. Well, it can, but you probably won't be successful or attain the goals you want.
This is why so many people fail to dominate SEO.
You want to read up on SEO. You want to take a look at what Neil Patel says, and Brian Dean from Backlinko recommends. You want to take online courses. But as you do all that, realise it's about learning the playing field. Understanding the game.
If you try to do everything you read, which would be impossible considering the volume of advice, you are going to burn out and likely break strategies 1 and 2 above.
Instead, take what you learn to inform your decisions as they relate to SEO and digital marketing. Don't take what you read as gospel. In the end, your business is unique and you need to understand your strengths, weaknesses, and customers in order to formulate a successful SEO plan. Only then will you be able to dominate the SEO game.
KNOW YOUR CUSTOMER AND WHAT MOTIVATES THEM
Which leads us to knowing your customer and what motivates them. To dominate the SEO game, you need to know who your customer is and what they want.
No one is going to read your blog or click on your link if they don't see a payoff.
As a business you are selling a product or service. Too often we operate with blinders on. We get so caught up in endorsing our product or service we fail to consider our customer.
Sure, you have something that can help the customer. But many time they aren't looking for what you are selling. From their point of view, they have a problem that needs to be solved. You need to understand that problem, peek their interest in acknowledging the problem, then provide a solution.
Don't jump to the solution.
When you neglect acknowledgment, you fail to identify and build rapport with the customer. In that case, you just look like someone who is trying to sell something.
Furthermore, you may be neglecting a lot of creative ways to get your customers attention. A business blog should provide solutions and information to a myriad of topics your customers are interest in. The products and services you offer can be indirectly promoted.
For example, if you are a financial advisor, you may want to provide articles on budgeting. Many of your potential customers will find information on budgeting useful. You don't have to mention your services, the mere fact your are writing about the subject makes you an expert in the field.
Let the reader conclude you could be a valuable asset to contact.
PROMOTE YOUR WEBSITE AS EFFICIENTLY AS POSSIBLE
Promoting your website as efficiently as possible is easier said than done! I know.
You could write dozens of high quality content that takes up 90% of your time and money and still not get a return on your investment that warrants its use.
You probably have several amazing pieces of content on your website right now that isn't being read.
The data is out! Google has stated its intentions. Content is king. But why isn't your great content ranking?
Consider the following hypothetical conversation between yourself and a Google representative:
[You] How do I get ranked?
[Google] Write great content.
[You] I've done that but my content isn't showing up on the search results. At least not in the top 10 results.
[Google] That's because you don't have authority.
[You] So to be ranked on Google I need to be an authority?
[Google] Yes. Or at least have more authority for the keywords than your competitors.
[You] And I get authority by having great content?
[Google] No. You get authority by having authority websites link to your content.
*** screeching tires ***
[You] If I need authority from other websites (backlinks) to get my content ranked, then content isn't actually king, is it?
[Google] You could have amazing backlinks to your site, but if you don't have anything your customers want, it won't matter. That's why content is king.
[You] But when you say content is king, you're neglecting the fact that content alone will not get me ranking and thereby increase my traffic. A healthy backlink structure is king to be ranked on Google. If I don't provide useful information once people click on my link, then I lose them and that is on me. Right?
[Google] True. But you also have to remember, your ranking does improve over time if we see users clicking on your link, staying on your site for a long time, and clicking on multiple pages of your site. If this happens, it tells us you have a lot of information users are interested in and therefore we serve your links more and more to them.
[You] Finally. I think I am getting somewhere. In the end, content is king, but to get to that point, I need to be recognised. I need my site to show up on search results to give Google search users a chance to see I exist. Regardless of the quality of my content, this isn't going to happen unless I have a good backlink structure.
[Google] *** grumble, grumble, grumble *** I suppose so, but we don't like admitting to that. We'd rather you get so frustrated you pay us AdWords revenue to get noticed.
[You] Fair enough. You're a business too. You need to make money. I just wish you were upfront about it so I didn't have to waste so much time and money figuring all of this out.
[Google] Glad to be of service. Have a wonderful day.
And Google's strategy is working!
Take a look at this image from Neil Patel's article, "Why Ranking #1 on Google Is Bad for your ROI":
Once organic click-through-rate (CTR) accounted for 75% of the total clicks from search results. This meant you wanted to be listed in the top 10 search results organically. Now, CTR is 24%.
It appears all the ads at the top and bottom of the search results are attracting search users attention. Therefore, many businesses are taking Google up on its AdWords offer.
So if you are looking to dominate the SEO game via backlinks, you're in for a massive fight on your hands. Not only will you have to contend with thousands of competitors with a massive number of backlinks, but you are competing for a smaller portion of the CTR pie.
If AdWords is in your budget, it's a good place to start as long as there isn't too much competition for keywords. If there is, you're in trouble.
This doesn't spell the end of backlinks though.
Backlinks aren't just a metric for Google search results. What you need to do is forget about Google Search. Instead, you need to think about backlinks as a phone number in the yellow pages (hopefully you know what the yellow pages are).
The more backlinks you have from reputable authority sites in the same industry, the greater your chances of having their users click on your link and check you out.
You don't want to compete for Google search users anymore (unless you are playing with AdWords). You want to intercept those users before they go to Google search.
That's the state of affairs today.
You either spend money on search results, or you capture potential customers before they turn to Google.
How do you do this?
Connect with influencers. Have authority influencers endorse you through backlinks. When the users come to your site, have amazing content that satisfies their needs and keeps them coming back. That's how you dominate the SEO game as a small or medium-sized business.
[You] Okay. Great information. Thanks. But how do I connect with influencers? I've spent hours and hours and hours reaching out to people and I rarely even get a reply. It's hopeless!
WHAT YOU CAN DO RIGHT NOW!
This is the point where I break one of my strategies above. Oops!
Don't always use your articles to directly sell your products and services.
I mentioned this above, I know. At this point, if you're happy with the information, please click on one of our other news articles or consider joining our newsletter or leave a comment below.
If your interest is peeked and you're looking for ways to connect with influencers that doesn't waste your precious time, continue reading.
Bizstim released an online software tool in November 2017 called the Backlink Coalition. This software helps content creators and authority influencers connect with each other.
It's intended purpose is to vastly reduce the time it takes to communicate and form partnerships with others in your industry.
In a matter of minutes, not days, you can connect with another business owner who would like to trade their authority for your content, or their content for your authority. It's a win-win for both of you.
Moreover, the Backlink Coalition is completely "white-hat," meaning it doesn't break any arbitrary rules set out by Google or other search engines.
The Backlink Coalition does rely on a healthy community to function. Please consider signing up for an account. It's free to use. It's a perfect solution for small and medium-sized businesses. Be a trend setter and start dominating the SEO game.
Help us share this article with others. We can't do it without you.
All-in-1 CRM. Not your average business management software.
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How many hours have you spent reading up on SEO and website promotion, only to become more confused? Did all the advice on the internet really help your standing? Did you get a lot more traffic? Can you even say the time and money spent on SEO was worth it? Did you give up on it all together?
We hope this is the last article you need to read on the SEO and internet marketing subject. Hopefully, after you have consumed this advice, you try our solution, and achieve the results you have worked so hard for.