SEO for New Start-Ups
How on Earth did we ever live without Google? Oh, how we love thee...
It's true that Google became powerful by collecting massive data through the internet over the years. Yet, Google has received freely, and it has also given back freely. Consider how we, at Artfully Communications, have benefited:
- Google Chrome - A must have for web developers thanks to extensions that simplify our work
- Google Webmasters - A basic web course and tools for every website developer
- Google Analytics and APIs
Since Google pretty much invented SEO, we would expect them to be the experts on SEO rankings. Ideally, there should be nothing tricky about SEO. In fact, those who perform what Google calls 'Black Hat' SEO often find that those tactics backfire. Google is always changing their algorithms and requirements to filter out those who cheat in the SEO world. Ultimately, they have the massive task of organizing the internet, and like everyone else, they wish to keep the scammers and uglies out.
SEO is pretty much common sense and can be summed up as a good business practice that should be implemented during the website design phase. The underlying secret to success behind SEO is building trust with your online viewers, whether it is through being an expert, having the best prices, or quality service, etc,.
It relies on two basic but important factors:
- Good quality, searchable and trustworthy content/images
- Backlinks from credible websites
The basic goal of SEO is to get your website listed on the first page of a desired search keyword and to have as many hits as possible. However, there are many problems with paying Google to advertise:
- Your Ad will pop up with everyone else's and must conform to Google's restricted format
- Competitors will unnecessarily click on your ad to drive up your SEO costs and to compare services
- The cost can be up to $1.00 plus per click
- Your ad will show up on a search keyword that is closely related but not necessarily in your target market
With all these factors going against you, we suggest other methods for getting credible backlinks and organic visitors:
- Use Social Media to advertise contests and specials - this will create backlinks to your website and help people spread the word easily.
- Give clients an incentive to review your services on Social Media sites - offer a discount for every favourable review, or an extra on your service/product as a reward.
- Email Marketing - Collect those email addresses using contests and while invoicing and voila! You have a cheap and inexpensive way to keep in touch. Be sure to add a link to your website.
- Use paper mail outs - Yes, this method still works and is surprisingly more cost effective than using Google. You can save money by pooling with other companies on advertising.
- Hand out business cards - When a client meets a real face behind the company, the trust factor is established. (This is something advertising on Google will never accomplish.)
- Attend and showcase your business at events in your local area that are related to your business - Your market is already there in person.
- Be an expert - answer questions on the internet and make sure to add your website link.
- Give Freely - Just like Google, you will have to give people an incentive to visit your website and drive up your Google rankings. Freebies and give aways are always welcome in the internet world.
- Get listed on credible online directories - If there is an association/club in your field, contact them about being listed as a member or service of interest.
If you must use Google for advertising, then be sure to follow their guidelines for SEO. Simply Google all the tools that they provide for SEO marketing.