10 Myths About Local SEO Online Marketing
1. I don’t need a Local SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategy. Believe it or not I hear this all the time. “I already have a website” or “my web designer did some SEO for me.” Even worse, some businesses just don’t see the importance of SEO yet at all. Having a local SEO strategy for your business is crucial, so read on to learn more about why and what to do about it.
2. Conventional ads will cover my bases. I’m a huge advocate of exploring different methods, utilizing what is already working, mixing media to work in tandem, and even bold experimentation. However, by relying solely on the mainstream media, i.e. print, radio, and TV; you are ignoring a vast potential customer base.
3. It’s a passing fad or craze that will die down. No one can foretell the future but the internet is here to stay. It is as big as the invention of the printing press and is now the go-to source for information, regardless of how effective some conventional marketing methods may be. Businesses who adhere to the wait-and-see approach are simply forfeiting potential customers and money to their competition.
4. It’s expensive. Hell yeah it is! Just kidding. Got your attention, didn’t I? The truth is at this time your dollar will go further and reach more people online than it will using offline methods. Your budget and what you spend is entirely up to you. The fact that results can be measured more accurately allows you to adjust your spending accordingly.
5. It’s ineffective. An overall marketing plan using state of the art SEO techniques is very effective. Some people try one thing and don’t see a huge surge in business right away, then ditch the whole idea. Local SEO is an ongoing effort and when done properly can produce amazing or even exponential results.
6. I can do it myself or my teenager is good at that kind of stuff. You could possibly do many of the necessary tasks and steps toward increasing your web presence, but it is much too time consuming not to take away from running your actual business. As for getting help from your computer-whiz teen, they may be able to do a lot, but they might not understand the complete picture regarding advanced online marketing concepts.
7. I’m just not technically savvy. This isn’t really a myth, but it’s one of the biggest hurdles business owners face. Some people think if they’re not up to speed on computers maybe their competition is in the same boat. Businesses often ignore the problem and trudge along, hoping the economy will improve and things will just get better.
8. Anyone who promises the #1 spot on a search engine like Google must know what they’re doing. The truth is nobody can or should make this guarantee. It’s just a ploy to win your business. A reputable and experienced SEO practitioner will explain the realities of how competitive your field is and what is involved. They will then proceed to increase your overall web footprint and, more than likely, achieve high page ranking for important keyword phrases.
9. Social Media is a waste of time. Social networks have become an integral part of our lives and the fact that these sites carry so much weight in terms of search engine ranking is a vital element to your overall strategy. Regardless of how many direct sales you see from social networking there are some key advantages; like improving your relationships with customers, getting feedback from them, and at times ranking higher due to social activity.
10. The more steps I take the better my site will perform for my business. This is false, and most SEO professionals won’t tell you this. The search engines are very sophisticated and recognize most technical tricks used to gain ranking. There is such thing as having an “over-optimized” or “over-SEOed” site that appears unnatural. This can cause alarm which will actually hurt or penalize you rank-wise. Make sure you work with a trusted professional who understands the right balance.
10 Truths About Local SEO and Local Online Marketing
1. You need a Local SEO strategy. Yep, simply stated and so true. Ya gotta have it! There is too much competition out there to ignore this fact. Simply having a website is not enough, you need to be found by the customers searching for the goods and services you offer.
2. Dollars go further online. This is pure economics. When you compare the cash outlay of traditional advertising to an online campaign, the internet is the clear winner; especially when the ads are targeted to reach a specific segment of the population. Your marketing done online is both more measurable and reaches more people per dollar spent.
3. Results can be tracked and measured. The tools available today that are meant to be integrated along with your marketing efforts are fantastic. They are more than just added features that give you loads of information; they are the key to letting you know where your traffic is coming from and what is working and what is not.
4. Higher ranking = More traffic = More customers. There are absolutely no guarantees and this is largely dependant upon the nature of your business, however, in the realm of marketing for local businesses this formula does tend to ring true. Furthermore, you do not necessarily have to be number one at all times in all the search engines to get great results; but being on the first page in your area for the terms most often searched for a given service should be your main objective. When this is accomplished you should start to see an increase in business and sales.
5. Nobody can guarantee a #1 PageRanking on Google. The algorithm of Google search is as guarded a secret as the formula for Coke. SEO practitioners can produce good results by optimizing your content online based on their skills and what is known to work. There are too many dynamics and variables to make false promises and empty guarantees. Steer clear of anyone who makes such claims or ask them what it is they know that nobody else does.
6. Website developers are not marketers. People assume they are for some odd reason, I guess because they don’t know who else to turn to. Yes, there are technical aspects to internet marketing, but it is like having a TV repairman write your ad copy. Also, most web designers offer an SEO package that would be expected along with a website anyway. Do they offer exclusivity when building sites for two people in the same profession?
7. 70% of US households have an internet connection. 84% of these perform local searches. Wherever you live, small town or metropolis, this amounts to a lot of people. When people do local searches they are on a mission to find something they need or want soon. As a business owner, I’m sure you want to be where they’re looking.
8. Most businesses think they already have an adequate internet presence. Businesses may submit to some online directories or have a website up and running but they are missing key elements. Those elements are vast and varied and usually require an SEO specialist to outline what you need to do to improve your online footprint.
9. Social Media only generates 2% as much traffic as a search engine can. Even though very few sales actually occur from Social Media activity directly, it is a huge part of how you are perceived as a business and it definitely contributes to how you rank on the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). This is why an overall SEO strategy is so important for local businesses.
10. Every business should have a Local SEO strategy in place. I think the aforementioned myths and truths support this fact, along with plenty of other reasons. The businesses that do not take the steps today will surely suffer tomorrow.