The Change In Seo For Small Businesses For 2013

We are all aware of the various algorithm updates from Google throughout 2011 & 2012. There were Pandas and Penguins, destroying content and links that cost businesses thousands to create. That was the main problem, created links. Small businesses would pay a Search Engine Optimisation agency a certain amount each month, to pump their site full of “search engine steroids”.

Big companies could afford to create brands and instigate huge marketing campaigns to drive traffic to their websites. Small companies, well, improvised. What options does the small business have online, from 2013 onwards? Each of the following options are designed with the small business budget in mind, ie under £1000 per month.

Local Seo

Google +, which was known as Google maps, show those searching for particular keywords, the seven best suited results, from their local area. Citation building, basically listing with respectable and authoritative directories, enables you to gain a decent presence in the “magic 7 box”. Not all search terms receive the “7 box” treatment, so research needs to be done to make sure that your keywords have a local search preference. Reviews and adequate social media signals will all help, alongside citations and local press releases, to gain you a decent position for your business, within your local area. Spending £200 per keyword per month should be enough to draw in local traffic, and enhance your websites authority with the search engines. A Google + account is a necessity, as is encouraging customers and clients to leave reviews on your account as regularly as possible.

Pay Per Click

For years businesses were advised to spend their money on optimising their websites for the organic listings, instead of utilising Google’s advertising opportunities. Pay Per Click, or PPC, offers businesses the chance to bid on keywords to list their sites in the advertising listings on the search pages. You can find out, through Google’s own analytics, the level of competition you are facing for each keyword. Because you will only pay when someone clicks through to your site, this can be a very affordable way to create traffic. Stick to keywords that are affordable and be imaginative when looking for keywords. Internet marketing agencies can be very helpful here, finding search terms that are affordable and carrying enough searches to gain decent traffic from. I would advise many small businesses to divert at least 50 or 60% of their online marketing budget to advertising. P.P.C being a great avenue to choose because you can bid for the keywords you are chasing.

Alternative Advertising

As well as PPC, you can also investigate banner adverts on niche related blogs and forums. Make sure any links are no follow, Google does not like paid for links. Any site should have a high Domain Authority, and importantly, TRAFFIC! Make sure that any site owner shows you evidence of what traffic their sites receive. Requesting a guest post or two from the site you are advertising on is a great way to achieve quality back links, and also increase your site and brands authority, within your particular niche. Most of the times the prices quoted can be negotiated, so make sure they work to your advantage.  It is important to avoid sites that are filled with adverts. You are going to want people to see your banner, so no more than 3 adverts a page is what you should be looking for.

Blogging

This is really a great way to gain links, establish brand and site authority, and also attract targeted traffic to your website. Anyone running a blog requires content. This is expensive to purchase and time consuming to create. It is worth approaching blog owners that have sites relevant to your niche, and are visited by people who will either be potential clients and customers, or peers that can endorse your post. Anything written should show off what you know, and be informative and interesting to the people you are targeting to read it. Make sure any site you choose to post on has a Domain Authority above 30, and has at least 5000 visitors a month. You must also be prepared to get knocked back a few times, and many blog owners will take an age to get back to you either way. The rewards, however, far out weight the trouble. A blog post, on a site with 5000 visitors could get you 50 visitors to your site. If you convert 2% of visitors, (this is an average conversion), that is a clients or customer you have gained. If you manage to get 4 or 5 posts a month, that is 4 or 5 customers. You can see how this will benefit your business. Any back links will help with your own sites authority, increasing your rankings for your chosen search terms.

The Future Isn’t So Bad

The truth is that if you want to gain success online in 2013 and beyond, then you will have to work for your rankings and traffic. Google wants to see brands built, and useful information supplied. Although this can be time consuming and expensive to create and maintain, the above advice will steer you in the right direction creating marketing strategies, whether you do it yourself, or hire an agency to do it for you. The fact is that you can still create success as a small business; you just can’t take the cheaper short cuts anymore and expect to get long term results.

Daniel Vassiliou is CEO of Endurance Seo.