SEO as a Business Strategy
The World Wide Web has grown with participants ranging from grandpas to gamers to major CEOs logging in on a daily basis to find information of their own particular interest. Using the internet as a promotional platform has become increasingly difficult. In the beginning there were few sites that offered content, the bulk of which were maintained by a very small community. With the advent of the internet becoming increasingly understood by the masses, the ability to post and promote information has become easy while successful implementation of marketing initiatives is, in a word, difficult. The current paradigms of online-oriented business strategies are changing back to the original idea behind the internet: INFORMATION.
Historical Truth is the New Perspective
Every business seeking success in the current global market must maintain some kind of active online business strategy. The types of businesses that use these strategies are not limited to hi-tech, but extend into other areas of interest like genealogy or vintage clothing. A simple search of any particular niche will turn up well over 10,000 hits. Every industry can benefit from internet-based strategies.
Certain business truths have guided our way of working in the past and continue to do so now. To get customers, the customer has to know where to find your front door. This front door in global business is your home page, getting customers in that door requires specialized targeting of your target customer segments.
The daily crowd passing through your door is so diverse that trying to segment your website to one specific group forfeits or at least imperils any business from other potentially interested clients. Once your customers find the door, experience shows that sales reps with the ability to sell to the customers according to the customer type and their interest guarantees success. These sales reps know how to better meet the needs and wants of the customer. Applying these truths to your “shop”, your business’ website has to be able to adapt to the needs and wants of your many customer segments.
Some SEO Experts and consultants may disagree, but in truth, website optimization is not all about programming and code cleaning. Yes, these are important elements, but by no means are they the complete solution.
“Multi” as a Strategy
Marketing strategies must be multi-segmented in their targeting. Writing content for just one group discriminates against other target groups that would be interested in your product/service. The world is full of people from different backgrounds, understandings, and perspectives among a myriad of industries. Providing a single set of content that speaks to each group is capital to the success of your SEO projects and thus your marketing strategy. Any website that deals with multiple cultures and disparate views must use “Multi” Strategies.
“Multi” Strategies translate into specifically targeting many customer segments with the same content and website design for all users. Effective use of this kind of strategy minimizes the time it takes visitors to reach and understand the information they want. In SEO, if your site does not rank in the top twenty, the likelihood of you being noticed is minimal. This information age has created consumers accustomed to getting what they want faster. Their expectation is to find information quickly without having to wait. The same can be implied to the first few moments that your visitor spends on your site. They need to be able to take the content they find on the first page and extrapolate the info they need to know if they are going to want to learn more and begin an exchange. Using a “Multi” Strategy can facilitate the growth of your business but only if it’s educational and pertinent.
Deep insightful content that easily educates the reader will always be appreciated by your customers and potential clients. Effective content drives people to your site because the major search engines by some algorithmic system, determine that your site is worthy of their interest and time. While many have tried to find ways around these algorithms, rankings are becoming more merit based then by beating the Google Algorithm. This Google Algorithm rewards high rankings according to content and website structure. This is a good thing, more effective content and information exchange between client and business makes for better dealings and a better business environment.
Keeping this in mind, your content should or even must be relevant to your industry/business/product or services. Think and embrace the fact that not all users know your industry acronyms, catch phrases, and lingo. Not everyone truly understands and knows what they are looking for, and in many cases through education and understanding, your business will have a competitive advantage over others that fail to educate. The proverbial customer is smarter than they were yesterday, and want to be guided, not tricked, into making the right choice in products and services.
Quality Content, Where is It?
This strategy demands hours of attention. As an experienced SEO, I have learned that creating and producing content can be very time consuming, and not every website or business can provide great quantities of relevant content in a very short period of time.
An excellent way of creating content for your target audience is to obtain it straight from the source. Through the creation of web logs, forums, etc. and fostering customer participation in these forums, you find out the exact kind of topics your target audience is interested in. This provides an continual source of updated, rich content that touches the very nerves of your industry from every possible direction.
In writing this article, I’ve attempted to suggest some best practices and stir up some thought about the way we approach SEO and other business strategies. One suggestion that I put forth is effective, strategic partnerships with businesses that hold similar interests and can serve as tools for growth.
Combine and Conquer
Linked international associates connected via link exchange programs or other forms of association are crucial in any SEO strategy and in any type of industry. Facilitating strong relationships with your associates and networking partners will allow you to venture into new markets with the credibility and representational services your partner can provide.
Getting your partner’s experts to write articles regarding their business niche and expertise for publishing on your site can be an amazing source of quality content. A motivating factor for your partners and associates to participate in such a program is that it provides them with another form of exposure and a touch point for potential clients by circulating their name within your audience.
Making Your Choice
As a final suggestion and warning, I recommend that companies seeking to effectively grow their business online with quality information and multi-segmenting strategies be selective in the process of hiring an SEO consultant/services provider. Each company needs to assure that their SEO company will provide content creation and copyright services to insure ownership of the content. This is not a simple process and demands many hours of investment on your end, since every line of content needs to be approved, expertly maintained, and scoped for understanding for those within your business, your industry, and your niche.
Big Ideas from Small Businesses for Big Business
As a conclusion, the old truths that guided business during the last few centuries can still guide us today. We still need to get people to come through our doors to see what we have to offer. Once inside, we have to be effective in the way we sell to them by giving them information that they’re interested in learning about. Our sites can do this, but even with all the html tags, flash, and goodies we must undertake strategies that provide content and information incorporating the methods we’ve discussed.
Choosing your SEO service provider with these services already incorporated will prove to be a tremendous advantage in your strategy creation. Remember that SEO is not just a technical concept but is quickly becoming a new marketing/promotional method, which I like to call educational marketing. Teach and share your expertise and knowledge with others for a sure way to increase the attention and awareness of your ideas/message/business. Doing so makes business better for you, for your customer, and for your bottom line.