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Small Business SEO - Core Concepts

Updated on May 3, 2011

Whether you decide to tackle the optimization of your own site or employ someone who specializes in Small Business SEO, there are a couple of key concepts that you might find useful to understand first. These are simply two pieces of common sense information aimed at giving you a better understanding of the SEO process. Relax, there is no need to roll up your sleeves and start coding, what follows is advice only. However, it is important you understand these concepts if only to better project manage the services of your in-house development team or a third party SEO specialist.

Keyword Research And Analysis

To achieve long term success online your website has to be found by the right kind of customers. The key to this lies in finding and targeting the right keywords. Keywords are short phrases that your customers type into search engines when seeking information about the products or services you provide. Your web pages must be optimized for the words your customers use while searching if you want search engines to refer those customers to your website.

Effective Keyword Research

Understanding how customers search for your products and the language they use drives the creation of pages designed to rank for those searches. Selecting and targeting the right keywords is one of the most critical areas of small business SEO where budgets can be tight and mistakes are not an option.

I will be discussing Keyword research in more depth in upcoming articles, however, it is important to realize at this stage that the success of your website, or lack of it, is heavily dependent on the keywords you chose to target and rank for.

Push Pull Marketing

Traditionally, companies use media channels that included press, trade journals, magazines, radio, and TV to broadcast marketing messages. This is done in the hope that those messages influence enough people into taking the desired action i.e. rent a new video release, try a new soap powder or holiday at Disney Land. In push marketing the communication is initiated by the company and distributed through channels they choose. This is called Push Marketing because the company pushes out their marketing messages.

However, on the internet the reverse happens. Now it’s your customers who start the communication by querying search engines using keywords that describe the information they are trying to find or the problem they are trying to solve. In effect the customer uses search engines to pull relevant information from the internet based on the keywords he/she uses to search. This process is often referred to as reverse broadcasting or inbound marketing.

The image below depicts how pull marketing works online and clearly explains the implications of effective keyword research. By targeting the right keywords and securing top search engine rankings for them you create a well signposted path direct to your website. Target the wrong keyword and you make it difficult for customers to find your website and consequently sales and profitability will suffer. Your customers can’t buy from you if they can’t find you.

Understanding Keyword research and the concept of Pull Marketing is an essential part of every successful Small Business SEO initiative. By researching and testing keywords, traffic will grow and sales will increase.

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