- Can SEO help them take their Newfoundland and Labrador (NL) company into global markets?
- Can their company that has until now only played on the local stage suddenly start showing up on search engine result pages in the United States or England, or wherever their new market is?
- Is SEO really a strategic marketing direction to pursue, or should they focus in other areas?
- If they do decide to trust SEO, exactly what should they do to make it as work as well as possible?
Good questions. Yes, SEO can help open up new markets for companies in St. John’s or elsewhere in Newfoundland and Labrador — or anywhere in the entire world for that matter. Properly implemented, it can give businesses a chance to be visible in a region where they had previously been completely unknown. However, like any marketing venture, to be done well SEO needs to indeed be done well.
An SEO strategy makes all the difference
If your company plans to improve your search engine rankings, you are no doubt eager to get started and start generating some positive returns. A quick analysis of your own and a few competitors’ Websites may be all you need to start doing exactly that. However, as important as getting started can be, no one wants to stay at that level for long. To truly improve your Website marketing effectiveness, you really need an SEO strategy. Such a document would identify in detail the strengths and weaknesses in your Website and your competitors’ sites, and some of the search habits used by your key prospects. From there it would provide specific recommendations for your Website and SEO activity, all placed within a specific timeline and budget, helping you to maximize the return you get on each dollar you spend.
How important is blogging to SEO?
Virtually any company wanting to improve its search engine performance will benefit significantly from having an active blog, and ideally one that sees new content at least 1–2 times per week. That blog should ideally be hosted within the company’s own site, rather than being hosted on Blogger.com, WordPress.com, or some other external site. The ongoing fresh content and extra traffic that you generate for your blog will significantly boost your visibility in the eyes of search engines and readers alike. The big challenge for most companies is the generation of that new content. If you or a member of your team are comfortable writing and have sufficient industry knowledge, and if you can dedicate at least a couple of hours two or three times per week, you have everything you need and are already well on your way to establishing a blog. However, if you feel you need help, a blogging consultant can provide initial direction to get you set up, or can even provide ongoing support to ensure your content is as effective for you as possible in generating new leads.
How does social media affect your SEO?
Even if you develop a truly great blog and Website, anyone in business knows that having the best product or service is no guarantee of success. People need to know about you and the benefits of dealing with your company. Social media offers unprecedented opportunities to get your word out to more people in more areas than ever before.
For social media to effectively complement your SEO activity though, you need to be strategic in which social media channels you use and what you do with them. It’s best to explore before jumping in, to identify the channels your high-potential customers are using, and the approaches that are likely to appeal to them. There are many benefits to handling your social media work in-house, and I always recommend to companies that they do so if possible. As with blogging though, many companies find they simply do not have the time or expertise available. In those cases, a social media consultant can help get you started or, if necessary, even handle your social media work for you on an ongoing basis, until you are in a position to take control of them on your own.
If your company has not yet made the leap into social media, it may seem easiest to simply decide that you don’t need or can’t afford to be there. However, your absence may cost you more than you’ll save. Google and Bing now incorporate social media mentions into their search algorithms, so that companies that are active in social media will score higher in relevant search results. As well, your decision not to engage in social media does not diminish your customers’ level of activity. They may already be mentioning you or your competitors on Facebook, Twitter, or some other social media circle. By being there you can hear what’s being said, and generate positive interactions that might otherwise be ripe picking for your competitors.
Getting started in SEO
Placing highly on search engines result pages can open up new market opportunities for virtually any company, especially for those entering new markets. Whether you’re based in Newfoundland and Labrador or Nunavit or Lichtenstein, a properly developed SEO strategy will give you the insights you need to get started and get seen. This is not a time for generalities and broad goal setting. The more specific the strategy, the more identifiable the path will be.
And the more identifiable the return on your investment will be as well.