As a business owner you need to be able to attract and filter the right customer for your business from the hundreds and thousands searching the internet for products and services just like yours.

For small business owners moving from the more traditional forms of advertising can be a daunting experience.  It is much more complex than renewing a Yellow Pages advert.  Add to the mix the barrage of phone calls and emails offering SEO (search engine optimisation) and Google Page #1 rankings, it’s very easy to be misled.

So what is a small business to do?  Let’s take a look at the overarching options available and understand them well enough to demand results.

The small business needs to attract customers to survive.  But a small business can’t afford to target every consumer, and they shouldn’t want to, they only want those customers who are interested in what they have to offer.

To be guaranteed to reach customers straight away start with Adwords.  Whilst you may not always attract the perfect match, and whilst each match will cost you (a paid click), some will be the perfect match.  You can quickly learn how to target adwords more appropriately to attract closer matches to your ideal.

In addition to this you need to identify a good variety of keywords to attract your ideal customers.  Again, within a short time you will know which keywords are working for you and your customers.

Over the longer term, and not to rely heavily on paid advertising (adwords), you need well crafted, appropriately located and maintained SEO (search engine optimisation).

To be successful the small business owner needs to master both adwords and SEO.  Whilst SEO is cheaper than adwords it can take many weeks and even months before any tangible results are seen.  Conversely, relying solely on adwords means that as soon as you stop you will instantly stop attracting customers.

Google loves the SME (subject matter expert – that’s you!) and has put in place complex algorithms like Penguin and Panda to keep the playing fields between all players on an even keel.  Devious techniques, generally known as Black Hat techniques, such as spam, duplicate content and link farms etc are all monitored and removed by Google.

Remember Google is in the business of providing its users with relevant information that they are searching for.  If users are being given irrelevant or unhelpful information from your site, they will stop using Google and they will migrate to Yahoo or Bing or DuckDuckGo.  If people are visiting your site and turning around straight away (bouncing) Google will start to relegate you to the backwaters in order to keep their customers.

To keep people on your website you must have a compelling and relevant landing page.  Future posts will look at landing pages and conversion optimisation.  Don’t want to miss any more posts?  Sign up to our newsletter at the top of the screen.

We would love to hear your comments about your experiences.  What has worked for you and what hasn’t.

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