Lots of businesses want a website primarily to get found on Google. And it’s true, people are searching Google for what you do and if you don’t have a website, nobody is ever going to find you. That’s where SEO guys like me can help. And in the early days of the Internet (you know, 6 or 7 years ago!) SEO was a “Magic Bullet Solution to Marketing”.
But the sad truth about SEO as a “Magic Bullet Solution To Marketing”?
It’s probably too late for you.
Seriously, I don’t mean to be a bummer but the SEO horse has pretty much bolted for most industry verticals in most areas.
Having said that, there is still hope – so read on…
Think about it, Google generates one page that matters (the first page) for each search term that gets entered. And while there are a million things people COULD type in to find your business, usually there are only a few meaty search terms that people tend to use to describe what you do. So if you’re just getting jiggy with this whole SEO thang now, in 2014, well, sorry to say but unless you’re in the most techo-ass-backwards vertical known to man, your competitors already got there – ages ago. And good luck knocking them off their perch, you probably never will.
Google Used To Love Me (But It’s All Over Now)
Back in 2003 I made my first proper website about a topic of interest to me, meditation. I like to write so there was plenty of text on the site but I had ZERO idea about SEO (search engine optimization) so it was a real surprise to me when I saw that it quickly made the top few results in Google for the term meditation.
I later pulled this website down and now I would have to work REALLY hard to get that kind of ranking again because in the meantime the competition has increased exponentially. There were probably only a handful of meditation websites in 2003 and now there are MILLIONS.
3 Exceptions To The Rule
Note: Edited later this day because I thought of more to say!
1 – Local SEO
The 1st exception to the rule is local SEO. Tied closely to the existence of a bricks and mortar location, registered with Google+ (think Google maps, etc) this is a very awesome way to quickly get great Google rankings if your customer target base in locally based.
How it works: Someone in your area types something general like “Hairdressers” into Google, and the search engine, knowing where the searcher’s computer is, serves up a bunch of local results on the first page. You will know what I mean when you look at the image below.
It doesn’t work very well if you work from home and want to keep your address private nor if Google sees your industry as being irrelevant to local results. For example, “website design” is a service you can get via the Internet from people based anywhere in the world, so Google often doesn’t show a map for this term.
But if you’re in an industry perceived as local then it is a great opportunity to attract leads via Google and you absolutely should not ignore it (I can help if you need).
2 – Big End Of Town Can Still Win (And Occasionally, The Small End Can Too)
The Big End of Town can still muscle its way to the top from a standing start IF it has a big budget, the patience and can attract the right staff to make the right content and attract the right links. I have seen it done recently in the wedding flowers space. Care must be taken not to invoke the ire of the Great Goog with black hat SEO shortcuts and the like, however!
Also it must be said that there is no reason why a small player who focuses and works his or her butt off for a long period of time cannot get the kind of popularity online that will attract the links and SEO results we are talking about. But how many small business people can do that?
3 – Long Tail SEO Opportunities Still Exist
Long Tail SEO opportunities are those odd little phrases that very rarely get typed into Google and therefore are not very competitive. I proved this a couple of days ago in my blog post about getting instant Google results for my Belgrave website designer post.
Apparently, “Every single day 15 per cent of the questions people ask of Google are questions we’ve never seen before,” or so said John Wiley, lead designer for Google Search. So obviously there’s a lot of bits and pieces you can attract if you pump the content out – but if it is not relevant, it won’t help much, and again, time is a factor.
Why You Still Need A Website Even If You Can’t Get Much Google Love
It is still possible of course to build a new website that gets SO insanely popular that it leapfrogs the competition in its niche and gets great search engine rankings, however most businesses cannot put this much time or resources into doing this so they will probably never get found on Google for the big keywords in their industry.
So why have a website at all then?
Because this: whether it is via word-of-mouth, paid advertising, networking, or some other means, you must have some way of getting the attention of new leads and when you do, the first thing they are going to do is go looking for your website.
Your website is a non-threatening place where a prospect can suss you out and see if they want to business with you. If they go to your site and it is old, ugly or even non-existent – this sets off alarm bells in their minds and will probably lose you business.
3 OTHER Reasons Why You Need A Sweet Website
So THAT’s just one reason why you need an awesome website even if you no longer stand a chance of winning the search engine ranking wars in your vertical. Other reasons include:
- Driving leads to your site to an offer to capture their contact details, usually an email so you can nurture the relationship and turn prospects into customers
- So that you can re-connect with old customers by driving them back to your website via offline contact, email newsletters or social media engagement
- So that people who are looking for you by your brand or business name or staff names can find you online!
The digital marketing goal posts may be ever shifting, but there are still lots of ways and means to drive business online. Let me know if we can help in any way.