From a Digital Marketing Update podcast listener email–John D. Verlin answers his question about how effective search engine optimization can be for a local small business owner.
You can also listen to all of his podcasts in strictly audio form, here!
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DOES SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION REALLY HELP MY LOCAL BUSINESS?
HOST: John D. Verlin
Well, good afternoon. John Verlin here with On Demand Advertising Solutions with Digital Marketing Update.
This is our second podcast. Podcast #2. I want to welcome everyone. Hope you’ve had a great day.
We have gotten a number of emails from our initial, inaugural podcast. Today I thought we’d pull an email from a gentleman named, Darrel in Excelsior Springs, Missouri.
Darrel says, John…I enjoyed hearing your initial show last week. I’m a small business owner. I own a jewelry store. I’m located in Excelsior Springs and my trade area is fifty miles of Excelsior Springs.
I imagine that’s Kansas City, Liberty and surrounding areas. Ok? My question is—how effective is search engine optimization for a solution for my website? And do I need to invest heavily as I’m told I do?
Well, first of all—Darrel, thank you for your letter and email. Let’s talk just a minute about search engine optimization. It’s basically a card catelogue that Google owns. You’re playing on their terms –and you’re trying to get elevated in that search engine.
When people type in “jewelry store”–you want to hopefully know your customer well enough…at least that’s the idea—so you’ll know how they’re searching.
Custom jewelry…fancy jewelry…whatever they’re searching. Keywords or keyword phrases—long-tail keywords they’re known as. Beautiful jewelry store…cost-effective jewelry…things like that.
Once you’ve learned that—hopefully you’re able to include that kind of verbiage in your blog or on your website as content. The Google search engine have what’s called crawlers—basically an algorithm or mathematical equation that try to find those top keywords that are ranking high in their card catalog so to speak worldwide.
You’re playing on their turf—and at times they can change that formula without you knowing it. And you go what in the world…my numbers are down—what happened? Well, they made a change in their algorithm and that’s affecting everybody that’s trying to get highly placed on the search engine.
So, this is all their platform or game so to speak. They try to provide top quality content for their customers who search. That’s their business. Your goal is to try to figure out how to get customers in to your jewelry store in Excelsior Springs.
So, my point about search engine optimization is that it’s not bad—but if you put it in perspective to your overall marketing plan, particularly for your type of business and market—how many customers if you work backwards, do you need to get in every month to be profitable?
Here are some good tips for best SEO practices.
If you look at your average cost per customer, your return on investment or your profit margin—etc and you ran those numbers—you may discover that, based on my average buy and referrals from customers, if I get 20-30 customers per month i’m happy. You know if they average $250 on a ring. So if we work backwords from all that—see what result you need to do that?
Do you need the entire world searching for you to do that? Or, would your time and money be better spent doing the search engine optimization and keywords through content with a really good website perception?
I call it a marketing platform. And the perception to all of that to your local customer. Because they can search for you—but it doesn’t matter if you come up number one in the world, if they go to your website and they’re not impressed …it’s not finished…there’s broken links. That’s a perception.
Think about that. That’s critical. That right there could cost you a sale. Even though you’ve put all of this time into search engine optimization.
Let’s imagine you’re in a big warehouse…you’ve got a forklift and a great big wooden platform. We bring in jewelry store cases…things in your store and put them on that big platform. We raise that up about twenty feet in the air. We go out with a bullhorn and car inviting people to come see this great jewelry store. The great sale you’re having…whatever it takes to get them out there.
They all come in looking at your jewelry store on the platform—and they go wow…that’s pretty neat! Whatever. Ok, well that’s like your storefront—that’s you marketing platform. The search engine optimization is behind the scenes. These are people who haven’t even come in the store. They’re on the backend. That’s kind of a bonus if you get those people in or to find out about you.
And I think that’s how this needs to be played out. Is to understand that search engine optimization, yes can be very effective. It takes time…you may not have time. You may not have the investment or the time.
You’re better served realizing that in the big picture of things, it may take a number of years or months or whatever…to build a first place or first page ranking. Because of your competition…worldwide trying to get jewelry store listings. They’re using the same type of keywords you are.
So just understand that yes…it’s important and effective…but, do have the time and the investment? Do you want to take the time and investment to focus on that or rather building a good marketing platform and a perception locally with your website to get those people locally?
Because—once you do develop that marketing platform…and that perception of it—how people perceive of it when they get to it…then you can do things with local Facebook and Twitter posts or ads—things like that—direct mail, radio…a whole lot of different ways to drive people to that marketing platform.
Great question…I know its a short answer—but that in a nutshell puts it in perspective with your overall marketing.
Darrel, thank you for that! Folks—again, next podcast I’m going to talk about podcasts. How and why these are effective. How you can use them for your small business, much like i’m doing right now.
Cause I too am a small business. I will share things to you that have worked for me as well as what has worked for other clients I’ve had over the years based on my marketing and digital marketing background too.
At any rate…www.OnDemandAdvertisingSolutions.com. This is Digital Marketing Update, podcast #2—we’ll see you next time!
Email with comments/questions: firstname.lastname@example.org. Have a great day!