It’s the age old question which hardworking small business owners up and down the country have been wondering about. How can I grow my business? There are obviously a thousand answers to this question, a question which calls for action and investment. One of the best answers I have seen for multiple businesses in all different industries is SEO. The success stories are always diluted by the horror stories of black hat SEO agencies, but done properly, with the right expectations SEO can bring real success.
With the downfall of JJB and many other major brands which have a web presence but not a strong one, the lesson is clear, neglect all things web based at your peril. PPC and SEO should be vital ingredients for the modern business. Even the well-recognised high street brands need to work hard through social media, and email marketing to retain and improve their brand strength.
These days in SEO there are no simple steps to success. There are many reasons for this including the latest Google algorithm changes such as penguin and panda. It is much harder to manipulate the SERPs instead you have to provide them and thus users with real value and reasons for ranking you.
I will not go into the methods of SEO which deliver success but rather focus on something which is just as important. How do you retain the success which you are trying to build through SEO? For some email marketing is becoming the neglected uncle in the family of web marketing. If we are really honest however an integrated marketing strategy is becoming ever more important. Do you really want to put all your eggs in one basket? And worse still do you really want to neglect the lifetime value of customers?
Far from being the neglected uncle in the family email marketing is one of the vital ingredients to success. SEO Companies are starting to realise it is not just about initial ROI but rather about how users will ‘stick’ to the company though the use of social media and email marketing.
So why it is that so little attention is paid to what happens when those hard-won visitors find your website? The aim is to have each visitor connected to your site for life. The modern world of internet marketing is a vast and interconnected eco system; everything is vital and feeds the life of the other. SEO and PPC can be used to increase traffic; CRO must be a vital part of converting that traffic and even improving SEO due to an improvement of user signals such as bounce rates. Social media is used to keep individuals connected with the companies brand and message while email marketing is the tool that can try and increase lifetime sales.
There is always a danger that running any campaign such as SEO in isolation from all other forms of marketing will not see the great returns that may be awaiting you. Currently there's a rush to pile social media into our marketing plans, and for good reason. We're told that it'll bring customers flocking to our website; that it'll make us rich beyond the dreams of avarice; that it'll perform the same magic on our personal measurements that the contents of our spam folders promise. The truth is that, unless we have something to say that our customers want to hear, we'll just end up on their ignore list. This is the same harsh truth for email marketing, SEO, and social media. The website is the most important thing. Investment in the quality of your website is never wasted because of this.
The message for all small businesses is clear, yes correct investment in SEO is important however it does not end there. Make the commitment to have social media feeding your SEO, your website feeding your email marketing, and your email marketing feeding your social media. That’s a food chain that has real lifetime value!