Twitter is exploding at the moment and everyone is climbing on the bandwagon, blogging about its benefits etc, and you could be forgiven for thinking that this was the new easy way to online success.
In the real world, clients want to talk about search engines, search engine optimization or search engine marketing (Google Adwords / Pay-Per-Click).
Why? The current economic downturn is having an impact on businesses and with the majority of people now using Google (mainly) to find information on an all subjects across the board, many organizations are re-evaluating their online marketing and website strategy. It’s an area that clients in every market are asking for advice on.
Many are now concerned by their visibility to prospective customers. Businesses that previously saw a website as an online brochure are waking up to the fact that online they’re completely invisible to those searching online for the products and services that they offer. Not a good place to be at the best of times, but a business killer in a recession.
These same clients also recognize another huge challenge. Failing to act now to improve visibility will leave them even farther behind their competition when the economy starts to grow again. This fact is compounded by the changes in the search engine world over the last 18 months of many people are completely unaware. These include Universal Search in Google over the longer term and more recent changes to local search in Google.
Search engine marketing isn’t a one off activity. It requires constant attention, tweaking and monitoring, which is true of both Search Engine Optimization (the free organic listings) and Search Engine Marketing (Google Pay-Per-Click etc).
The best place to start is with an audit of where you are, what are they key words and phrases that are being used by prospects and how well are you currently ranking. Here are some questions to consider;
- Has your website been built with optimization in mind?
- What can you do in the short, medium and long term?
- How are you going to grow links?
It’s also vital to ensure that your paid and natural search is properly co-ordinated. Increasingly, you also need to think about online PR and drive coverage on social media sites, which can both benefit SEO.
Now is the time to act, before your competitors either beat you to it or get so far ahead of you that you’ll never catch up. From what I’ve seen in the local search markets in some industries, there is already a war going on.
Face the challenges of search engine marketing and search engine optimization head on. With the demise of printed media it is increasingly important to stake your claim in the search engine soil. It can be time consuming (especially at the start) but once you begin you can very quickly see improvements in your rankings. Very soon you can also see the benefit on the bottom line with more visitors, more subscribers and more sales!
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