Small business seo & internet marketing strategy guide, 2012
Without doubt, 2012 is going to be a year of radical change and opportunity for small businesses with the right SEO and Internet marketing strategies in place.
This SEO and Internet marketing strategy guide for 2012, will highlight the current state of the SEO and Internet marketing landscape, and provide motivation and guidance for making the right strategic choices going forward.
Both SEO and Internet marketing are time consuming, resource, labor and skills intensive efforts that are crucial to the success of small business online. With so much riding on these quintessential business activities, it pays to have an idea of what is around the corner.
The effects of Google product Search on SEO & Internet marketing
Small business SEO and Internet marketing strategies are going to have to revised and adapted following the announcement of paid product placements in Google search results. Read these two articles for more background on the potential ramifications of the new, paid Google Product Search:
How Google Product Search will affect small business SEO SEM strategies and how to copeHow paid Google product search results affect the future of SEO and Internet marketing
With the majority of all Internet traffic originating from search (and the majority of that from Google), combined with the fact that retailers can now dispense with content marketing and SEO in favor of bidding for product placement directly, it is likely that content intended to convert visitors by convincing them to purchase products will suffer.
As pointed out by an astute reader in a comment on “How Google Product Search will affect small business SEO SEM strategies and how to cope“, what this means is that content producers will need to diversify their efforts.
Google’s algorithmic menagerie (Panda & Penguin) & Knowledge graph
The entire search industry is in flux at the moment. Google is continually updating and improving its algorithms leading to some interesting results. They are also phasing in the Knowledge graph which has further ramifications for SEO.
What about algorithm changes?
Hoo boy, did Panda and Penguin cause some gnashing of teeth and wailing over the last year or so. While there were some innocent casualties, I come down firmly on the side of Google in this matter. I am sick to death of coming across useless webpages packed full of ads. Penguin has, on the whole, done a great job of weeding these out.
Many small business found their organic search traffic dieing out. In some sense I do sympathize with them, but on the other hand you get what you pay for. SEO takes a lot of skill and experience, and if businesses think they can get highly targeted, top page search results for $19.99 then… you get what you pay for.
SEO is a medium term business investment. If you are only going to invest $19 in the future success of an online business, then the returns will likely be commensurate with that investment.
If you got hit by Panda and Penguin, or simply can’t get your blog, site or content to generate the traffic you want, read these articles:
Panda & Penguin friendly SEO: A business guide to recovering from Google’s algorithm updatesWhat is SEO? Here’s the ultimate small business SEO guideList of must-read SEO and Internet marketing articles for business10 step assessment: How to hire an SEO consultant or Internet marketing company for your business
The rise of social marketing in 2012
Heard of Pinterest, right? Pinterest, an image sharing social network site, is an excellent indicator of the willingness for small business Internet marketers to adopt new technologies and web platforms.
Along with the social media mainstays like Twitter, LinkedIn and FaceBook, social media marketing continues to thrive. So much so, that there is speculation that, with time, social influence will overtake traffic as the “currency of the web“.
You can learn more about how to leverage social media marketing for your business by reading the following articles:
The top five tips that teach you how to rock social mediaSocial influence trumps SEO on leading blogging and marketing sitesHow to properly calculate social media ROI 5 reasons why social is better than SEO
Many business in 2011 and the first part of 2012, especially large brands, have found to their dismay that being able to generate 100 000 FaceBook likes is effectively worthless without “engagement” – just because I click a “Like” button doesn’t mean I’m going to spend my disposable income on your products and services.
Unfortunately, there are no shortcuts to building a highly qualified and engaged social following. Building an engaged social community is specific to your business, industry and circumstances. It requires an understanding of your value offering, and market context.
But social media marketing is going to become more important! Don’t ignore it just because it is hard to get off the ground.
So here it is, based on the current state of search, SEO and social, we can make some pretty powerful deductions about how to move forward with the best SEO and Internet marketing strategy possible.
The keyword for small business SEO and marketing is diversity.
Content needs to be diversified to cater for different needs now that direct product sale conversions are likely going to diminish with Google’s product search taking the majority share of the pie.
Community discussions, reviews, human interest articles are good ways to get around Google product search and still offer value to readers, with the potential to convert.
Don’t put all your faith in SEO. It’s not clear what effects knowledge graph and product search will have. Combine that with the current algorithmic fluxes and, while SEO is hugely important, you should agree that it is time to branch out.
Not only should small business diversify into social media, but the nature of small business content marketing is going to have to change. Look to put more emphasis on engagement and authority. The more a business can interact with people, the more likely you are to drive success.
Interaction shouldn’t be limited to social networks either. Get people signed up to newsletter, get people commenting on blog posts and articles. If someone writes a great comment, take the opportunity to reply and engage with them.
Phew! Now it’s your turn. Tell me what you think the next year is going to hold for small business SEO and Internet marketing. Is your brand or company diversifying its SEO and marketing strategies? Do you think this is all a storm in a teacup and that things will continue along with little to no change?
This article originally appeared on Site prebuilder – Social. SEO. Marketing. Development. Business. and has been republished with permission.
Find out how to syndicate your content with Business 2 Community.
Sources: http://www.business2community.com/Tags: Facebook, Internet, Internet marketing strategies, SEO, Seo sem, Social Media Marketing, TRAFFIC, WEB