Can Small Businesses Really Do Their Own SEO?
Many small businesses have dared to venture into the online world and the question each has always pondered has been: can we build a sustainable, successful online presence? The answer to this question is yes, but is dependent on many factors. At the end of the day, a small business will require a dedicated individual whose sole task it is to optimize the site for search engines, provide unique and up-to-date content while following all the protocols that come with every new update of Google’s or Bing’s algorithms. The reality is that many small businesses cannot afford these resources on a full-time basis, so contractors and firms are necessary.
Establishing the Framework
Most small businesses will be able to maintain a site once completed, but highly optimized websites will require periodical tweaks in order to keep it in line with the most recent standards set by major search engines. In the beginning, however, you may not know where to start. By drafting a mission statement for the site, deciding its specific functions and coming up with some aesthetic guidelines, you can then approach a web design firm with your needs in mind. This is also helpful in preventing companies from selling you more than you really need.
Selecting Your Firm
In order to avoid profiled messes or potential complications, steer clear of individuals who offer their services and seek to do business with a firm of individuals dedicated to web design. This will offer you a greater bang for your buck in many cases when it comes to the number of individuals who may be working on your project, and makes it more likely for mistakes and errors to be caught by another set of eyes. It may cost more, but the result typically is better. You will also want to keep the firm around for future updates when needed. Also, never be afraid to ask for examples of their work or a portfolio prior to committing.
Once the site is deployed and running, a small business can in fact maintain the most crucial part of the site: its content. Most sites are designed with content management systems that make creating a new page with content as easy as sending an email. You will typically want to use keywords with created articles and pages as a way of being found by people searching for a specific topic. Pingler offers a great tool, the Keyword Rich Domain Finder, that will allow you to scope out your keyword competition or even find partners with whom you can link and build your web presence together.
Learning As You Go
Over time, a small business may be able to phase out the web design firm and maintain their site completely. It is unlikely, however, that a small business will want to spend the resources, money and time to hire an individual to perform these tasks full time and can be wasteful in many cases. If the owner or an existing employee is dedicated to learning how to keep up with the times and maintain a modern site, however, it is very possible in the long-term for a small business to do their own search engine optimization.