For any business to survive, it needs to maintain a consistent stream of customers... new customers... repeat customers... delighted customers!
But since every other business in your industry is also striving to attract the same attention as you, what will it take to set your business apart? What weapon is in your arsenal that will help you win the battle for these potential customers?
In the online battle for new clients, inbound marketing is a strategy that approaches customers differently from the traditional interruptions of television commercials or magazine ads. It provides answers to the questions that your potential customers are asking. It seeks to be found in the sea of options by offering something of value to the customer and providing solutions to their search queries.
If no one is able to find the solutions that your business offers, it will be extremely difficult for you to gain new customers online, So, in order to best be found by potential new clients, it is smart to strategically use your website, blog posts and social media content to call out the answers that your customers will be searching for - otherwise known as Search Engine Optimization.
The SEO Battle Ground
Modern day search engine optimization, commonly referred to as “SEO”, is no longer the same as it once was… Years ago, in order to compete for potential customers' attention, businesses would load down their website content with repetitive industry keywords in order to attract hits from search engines targeting sites with those specific words or phrases. As the world of Internet usage grew, customers became more web-savvy and more site selective, while the number of sites on the World Wide Web exponentially multiplied, and it soon became necessary for search engines’ to be able to better deliver more quality results to searchers. The expectations of online searchers became increasingly higher, so the use of SEO had to evolve as well.
It's About User Experience
While traditional SEO was largely structured around rewarding companies’ efforts to attract the attention of SEO “spiders” creeping through online content to find keyword-rich search results, contemporary SEO is now all about identifying the most relevant, high-quality content that also provides a positive user experience in the process.
Although Google, for example, uses an extremely complicated algorithm to identify the quality of each site’s user experience – and thus its rank in search results – some of the components included are relatively simple to incorporate into your website, so that small businesses’ SEO strategies can effectively compete with larger entities’. Some of these strategies include:
- Growth driven websites
- Relevant and trustworthy links
- Continual content additions (i,e, consistent blog updates)
- Optimized content (i,e, alt-text)
- And more!
Another component that comes into play, is for websites to provide what the user expects to find on the website. When a searcher finds your site in the search engine, but quickly bounces back off of it and back into the search engine for a different result, this is often a signal to search engines about the quality of the site for that search. This, along with hundreds of other factors, influences how likely your site is to come up in future searches.
Your Mission, Should You Choose To Accept
Ultimately, SEO is no longer a battle of who can use the most keywords the most often throughout the site. Instead, the mission is to focus on providing quality relevant content that ranks well in search results, so that they have an opportunity to provide those contacts coming to their sites with a positive user experience. It is this experience that wins over strangers and turns them into customers.