If you’re a business owner that has relied primarily on referrals and word-of-mouth marketing to keep your business afloat (I have seen this primarily with contractors and mom-and-pop business that have been around for generations), making the decision to launch an SEO campaign is a big jump.
How to justify spending money to market your business online when you’ve never really spent any money on offline marketing? Turning “marketing” or “SEO” into line items on your budget is no small feat when you aren’t used to spending that kind of money. If you’re a business owner that relies heavily on referral and word-of-mouth marketing but is looking to take their business to the next level with SEO, here are few tips to help you stay the course:
1. Do it right or don’t do it at all.
If you are going to spend the money to launch an SEO campaign from the ground up, then make sure you take the time to do it right. You’re spending the money anyway, so make it worth it! Listen to the advice of your SEO provider and take their recommendations to heart.
A white hat SEO company is going to do everything in their power to help you succeed, so don’t fight them every step of the way through the SEO process. Chances are you’re going to have to spend more money and put more time and effort into your SEO than you might have anticipated, but it’s never an easy process to go from zero to something, not matter how big or small the jump. If you don’t think you can commit to the campaign wholeheartedly, you’re better off forgetting about SEO for now.
2. Start other marketing efforts, even if they are minimal.
Take your referral marketing to the next level and try to get a few more customers walking through the doors on your own. If you don’t have a social presence start by creating a basic Facebook, Google+ and Twitter profile and connect with current and former customers.
Create a monthly (or even quarterly) e-newsletter that goes out to your customer base and offer them an incentive for referring friends and family. Sponsor a few local events to get you name out in the community. Even little marketing efforts can make a big difference if you’ve never really done any real marketing before. A small uptick in new customers means you’ll have that much more extra money to put towards added marketing and SEO efforts.
3. Have realistic expectations.
It’s okay to be nervous when launching your SEO campaign—this is something you’ve never done before and is costing money you’re not used to spending. But try not to panic! Remember that SEO is a long term process and you won’t see instant results overnight. Have a little faith in your white hat SEO partner and trust that they want your business to succeed as much as you want it. If your business has survived this long on referral marketing, it can probably hold on until the results of your SEO start to kick in!
The world is moving more and more online every day. Even a small web presence can make a huge difference in the success of a small company. You don’t have to spend money like a Fortune 500 company to see good results with your SEO. If your company has been able to survive on referrals alone than you are one of the lucky few and I know dozens of business owners would happily trade places with you. But relying on one source of customers, whether referrals or SEO, is dangerous. If that source were to dry up, where would that leave your company? Protect the future success of your business and start you SEO campaign today.
About the Author – Nick Stamoulis
Nick Stamoulis is the President of Brick Marketing a white hat SEO firm and content marketing company. With over 13 years of Internet marketing experience, Nick Stamoulis shares his B2B SEO knowledge by contributing to the Brick Marketing Blog and publishing the Brick Marketing SEO Newsletter, read by over 160,000 opt-in subscribers.
Contact Nick Stamoulis at 781-999-1222 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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