Getting new customers can be a tricky thing. Some companies think mass market advertising is where it’s at, saying:“If I can just get my product or service in the face of as many people as possible then sales will skyrocket.” However, the key to successful marketing and advertising practices is about placing your product or service right in front of your target market at the right time – when they are looking for it.
For example, if you sell hipster apparel to men, 25 to 30 years old, even though they are hipsters they aren’t looking for hipster clothing all of the time. So, what if you could position your product or service to only show up to your target at the exact moment that they are looking for it?
This is achievable with a little thing called SEO, or Search Engine Optimization. Essentially, it is an online marketing practice that aims to optimize your company website so it ranks well in search engines (i.e., Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc.) for specific keywords.
Back to our hipster apparel example.
If you have determined your target shops online, when they are ready to buy hipster clothes, they are likely to visit a search engine like Google and type in a keyword or phrase (e.g. best place to buy hipster clothes). Research that suggests, “93% of online experiences begin with a search engine.” (Source: imFORZA) After the search is completed they will likely click on the first website that shows up, considering that 75% of users never scroll past the first page of search results.
So, if you sell hipster apparel wouldn’t you want to be that website they click on in the organic search results? If you are, you reap the benefits of converting highly qualified visitors to your company website.
So, how do you accomplish this? First, consider working with an SEO expert that has exhibited results and knowledge. Two of the major reasons you will likely need to fire an SEO professional are contributed to:
Not ranking a website for the right keywords.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of companies that don’t do proper keyword research, which means you are missing out on keywords with higher traffic. Going back to the hipster clothing example: Let’s say 1,300 people search the keyword phrase “best place to buy hipster clothes” each month, while 50 people look up the phrase “most hipster place to buy hipster clothes” in the same period. Obviously, you want to rank for the keyword phrase that attracts 1,300 people per month and not the latter.
Getting a website penalized.
SEO is about optimizing your company website, but there is such a thing as over optimization. When the optimization ratios are not balanced, your website can get penalized by search engines. If this happens your website will likely never rank again, or it will be very hard to obtain the same rank.
When a client asks me the best way to drive qualified traffic to their website I tell them to go with SEO, above and before everything else. When done correctly you can capture qualified leads who are looking for specifically what your company offers. Just be careful to ensure your SEO efforts are done correctly. Then sit back and enjoy the sales.
This article has been edited and condensed.
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