Tis the season—time to find gifts for those we love. And where are we shopping? Brick-and-mortar stores are still the number one choice, but every year, more of us are shopping online. Even my sister, who resists computers at every turn, is shopping online since having had her knee replaced a couple weeks ago. And given the impressive increase in sales for Cyber Monday, which, according to the Search Engine Journal, exceeded $16.4 billion, she’s not alone. Small business owners are aware of this, and they’re making changes to ensure it’s easy for their consumer base to shop online. It’s crucial for small business websites to be easy to find. That’s why I’m wishing every small business gets good SEO advice as their Christmas gift this year.
In a recent survey by VerticalResponse, nearly 66% of small businesses are spending more time blogging, updating Facebook and tweeting. The social media bandwagon has moved from the fringes to the main stream. Most CEOs get it, and most companies are using at least one social media platform to increase brand awareness.
And that brings me back to the holidays. The shiny, new toy quickly becomes the favorite while the familiar former favorite languishes in the toy box. There’s been plenty of press about the changing landscape of SEO, and fear of the unknown tends to focus attention on the next new thing as the ultimate solution.
But small business owners who intend to thrive in this shifting marketplace need to pay attention to the fundamentals: SEO in all its many forms. Small business websites competing with the big brands need to harness the power of SEO in conjunction with an integrated strategy that works across all of their marketing outreach, both on- and off-line. After all, we can’t buy if we can’t find you.
Keyword strategies are no longer about choosing the “right one.” It’s all about providing user-valued content, tailored to each platform. To paraphrase a famous adage, think globally and SEO locally. As Christian Gulliksen pointed out, it’s no longer a question of search vs social in content marketing today. Each has unique strengths the other can’t match.
So I’m wishing that small business owners give the gift of SEO to themselves this holiday. We’ll even gift wrap it. Just ask us!
Kathleen Gossman – Project Manager