SEO FAQ For Small Business 7 of 10 – How Long For SEO Results? (SEO Results Time Frame)

As we’ve discussed in previous articles, search engine optimization takes time and effort. In this article we’ll discuss the basic time frame in which you could expect results.

The hours and effort needed to increase the visibility of your small business website depend greatly on your marketing plan and which keyword you’re going after. Let’s take the term mortgage calculator. If you were to advertise your mortgage calculator with Google, the Google Traffic Estimator shows an estimated 600 to 752 clicks per day with a projected AdWords cost of $2,070 – $3,680 PER DAY for this keyword. There are 24,900,000 Google results for this term, and 510 associated keywords. Google Keyword Tools also reveals approx 890,000 searches for this term in a month.

This is some serious competition and your chances of getting on the first page of Google in less than a year is possible, but not probable. The top Google site for this term is Alexa ranked at about 7700 in the US with over 60% of the traffic coming from search engines. There are still ways to compete with this particular website on this particular keyword, but it would take a while. This top site gets a majority of the traffic for the term.

As a minimum time investment, you should be committed to performing (or contracting for) at least two hours a day, three days a week, for at least three to six months, with a review of progress and re-evaluation at the three and six month mark. You may very well experience a noticeable traffic increase in only four or six weeks, but to get onto the front page of a search engine will require two or three crawls of the site by the search engines after optimization, and you have no control over when, and if, that happens. A year-long optimization campaign is not unheard of for a large site. If your site is less than three or four months old, or the domain is expiring in less than a year, you may have issues with high rank despite your best efforts as these are ‘red flags’ to the search engines.

Don’t forget your off-page efforts as well. This will be the subject of the next article. Take into consideration your other sources of product or service promotion and notification. I’m speaking of your existent customer base, your business related social network (or lack thereof) and your business blog. These are invaluable resources for the formation of ‘inbound links’, article or video reviews, and “join the conversation”. Remember that “joining the conversation” is customer service and a means to an end. Talking about your site or services is a fine thing, and handling issues is a must, but if you’re not converting your conversation or generating calls to action and practicing the ‘principle of reciprocity’, then you are not using your off-site network to its fullest potential. Conversations are mostly listening, but more importantly hearing.

No matter your business battle plan, it will take time to formulate and execute. Tell the principals involved (CEO, CFO and CIO) that they need to budget at least six months for the project, with reviews occurring every ninety days to check on progress toward the pre-defined goal. And please don’t end the project when you’ve exceeded your goals. You’ve gotten more than you expected and should continue to reap the benefits. If it works for you, continue to work it until your growth curve begins to flatten, and then do it again with another ‘angle of attack’. You can have “too much exposure” in the same respect you can have “too many customers”.

Next time: Social Media and SEO.

Internet Marketing for Small Home-Based Businesses

Small home-based businesses battle to stay on search engine listings and gain the advertising and marketing exposure they deserve. Small home-based business owners typically don’t have the money for expensive advertising and marketing. It is for this reason that popular big name companies seem to have taken over the online market by advertising on television, in magazines, and at the top of almost every search engine listing. Small home-based businesses should not be discouraged. It is possible for small home-based internet businesses to move up the ladder of success through effective and creative internet marketing. Small home-based internet businesses are able to gain the exposure they deserve, but they must use strategies other than standard marketing and advertising methods used by big name companies.

Small home-based businesses striving for marketing and advertising success need to grab the attention of potential customers. After grabbing the attention of potential customers, it’s critical to keep their attention. Home-based business owners should consider offering potential customers and those looking for information on the internet the high-quality information they are looking for through opt-in newsletters.

Small home-based business owners can bring in new customers and keep customers coming back by giving them the information or news they’re seeking online. For example, if a small home-based internet business sells craft items, the home-based business owner can offer valuable free information on craft projects. Those seeking craft project ideas and instructions through a craft project newsletter will find links to materials and supplies. Marketing small home-based businesses through newsletters can greatly increase earnings.

The owner of a small home-based internet business doesn’t have to be a great writer to develop an internet newsletter full of valuable information. There are a number of helpful internet programs to assist owners of small home-based businesses with developing and marketing products and newsletters. Offer people the information they are seeking, and they will sign up to receive the information. Before long, newsletter marketing efforts will pay off through ever increasing sales.

Home-based small business owners who don’t have time for newsletters should consider joining one of the many popular link exchange programs. Marketing small home-based businesses becomes effortless, and home-based businesses literally begin marketing themselves. Link exchange members assist each other with marketing, and they help increase website traffic. Potential customers gain access to small business websites they otherwise wouldn’t have found.

Marketing efforts can be increased by directly exchanging links with otherbusiness websites. Small home-based businesses can offer their banners and links in exchange for banner and links from other small business websites.There is no cost for this type of marketing, and small home-based business websites can increase traffic and sales considerably. Choose link exchange partners wisely to gain the most marketing benefits and exposure for your small home-based internet business.

8 Business Pitfalls to Avoid

How can you increase your chances of achieving business success? By winning the lottery or inheriting oodles of money? Whether you are an established entrepreneur or you are just starting out in business you need to realise and accept that there is no quick fire road to success.

However when you take steps to avoid the cracks (pitfalls) in the footpath you stand a better chance of paving your way to business success.

Here are the 8 Pitfalls to Avoid:

  1. Success Breeds Success. Do you think you know everything about business? Have you realised yet that you don’t have all the answers? Become an effective and profitable business by seeking advice from people who have already achieved great success. Let’s face it they have done the legwork. Connect with highly successful achievers and absorb all the experience and knowledge you can.
  2. How Big is your Vision?Did your business start out as a small idea? Has your small idea grown, changed or evolved? How much impact is your small idea making toward to future? Think big from the start. See your business at varied intervals – five, ten, twenty years. Ask yourself – What do I want to achieve and How will I be remembered? Believe in your vision and make it happen.
  3. Who is your Market?Before you rush headlong into your business you must research your market. Never assume that you know who your target audience is or what they want. Assume and you may miss the biggest opportunity of your life. Understand what your market needs and adapt as your business grows.
  4. Don’t Ignore Social Media. Not entered into business battle with social media yet? Admittedly social media is the talk of the town – it’s in the moment, right now. But is it necessary for my business you ask? Quite simply yes. Social media used in a targeted way can be a very effective marketing tool. Learn how to use it and choose what suits you best.
  5. How Do People Get to Know You?Your brand is your reputation. Your brand is your personality. Your brand is what others think of you. What does your brand say? Make sure your brand meets with your standard, your expectation and delivers the identical message and service to each and every client you do business with.
  6. Look after Loyalty.Heard of the 80:20 rule? That 80% of your work comes from 20% of your customers. And who are these customers? Existing, loyal people who have established a long-term, ongoing relationship with your business. Don’t overlook these people and only focus on attracting new customers. Stay in touch with them and show your care and appreciation for their loyalty.
  7. Improve your Business.Ask for feedback. How else can you manage any issues that arise? How can you change if you don’t even know there is a problem? Or do you think that you are doing everything right?Request honest feedback at random intervals or as standard with all new customers. Learn, improve and achieve better results.
  8. Plan your Finances.What is the main reason why most businesses fail? Poor financial planning and negative cash flow. Start your business with a plan, follow your plan, adapt your plan, and watch your business thrive. Manage your money well; over-estimate your expenses and under-estimate your income. Surely you’d rather have more money than not enough?