I met a guy recently who lost over 50 lbs. I hardly recognized him, because I hadn't seen in a few years and obviously with that much weight loss he looked much different. So I asked him "what was your secret to losing all that weight?"
He said, "Eating better and regular exercise for about 2 years straight." I was expecting some dramatic crash diet at the latest quick fix exercise. So this was not exactly the exciting answer I was looking for, but it got me thinking..... We get contacted several times a week from Charlotte small business owners looking for a "quick fix" in their marketing. They want to know "what's your most basic plan to optimize my website?" or "I need leads now! What can you do quick?" I more often respond with something like. "We can't help you if you are looking for a shortcut."
The truth is we are all looking for shortcuts without putting in the hard work over a long period of time. When it comes to their online marketing, small business owners often in tight cash flow situations don't allocate enough resources to advertising or marketing until they are in dire straights. It doesn't help that businesses are bombarded with emails or cold calls with things like "Guarantee SEO #1 Ranking on Google" or "Do this 1 Weird Trick on Facebook to increase your following 4000%"
So lets change our thinking a bit here. If you want to build a web presence like the man who lost 50 lbs. instead of signing a 90 day trial with another web marketing company, why not invest in 2 year strategy of "healthy eating and exercise" for your website.
1. Wean Yourself Off Shortcuts in Your Online Marketing
It’s so easy to adopt SEO or even social media tricks, and when they actually WORK it can be incredibly hard to turn them down. Or maybe you found a certain keyword within your PPC strategy thats driving tons of traffic, so you crank up the budget on it. Another example, if all of your competitors are outranking you thanks to their huge volume of paid/spammy links, the moral high ground’s not gonna put food on the table, or leads in your CRM? So I feel your pain. But keep in mind. Shortcuts are often just for short term results. Regardless of my personal feelings on whether or not they’re good for the Internet, I’m not going to say tricks don’t ever work, but what I am saying is focus on your longterm goals, not a short term ranking or other web traffic strategies.
2. SEO is Hard and Requires a Long Term Investment
It is way harder to build great content and fix bad code and build linking relationships and get people to share and link to your content and then do all that again, over and over, than it is to submit to a bunch of directories, and hire a freelancer or Fiverr.com to spin some content to syndicate on article sites and to comment spam neglected blogs and then buy a bunch of links. But you really get what you pay for here. Small investment often means small return.
However, it’s a lot easier to build great content and fix crummy code and build linking relationships and get people to share and link to your content and then do all that again, over and over, and have it NEVER STOP WORKING, than it is to completely change everything you do every year or so because your websites keep getting algorithmic hits. And it’s a lot less stressful, in the long run, not to have to explain to business owners why their site is never going to rank because of low level tactics.
Just like with weight loss, doing things the right way (the hard way) may not work as fast, but it will work for the long term. Check out one of small business clients results below. They committed to blogging 6-8 times a month, in addition to publishing keyword rich buyers guides for commonly asked questions. While their competitors poured more money into paid advertising, they focused on good, quality professionally written content. They focused on their strengths, not on their weaknesses.
Are you small business in need of a long term SEO strategy? Give us a call. We are in it for the long haul and have a handful of happy clients who have reaped the benefits over the years. Now take the road last traveled. Trade in that ice cream for an apple. You get it?
About the Author: Sam Casey is the Managing Partner at Banyan Creative based in Matthews, NC. We enjoy working with small businesses who are focused on long term goals for their web marketing.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.
Sam Casey is the Chief Creative Officer and Managing Partner at Banyan Creative.