Working closely with small businesses has given us great insight into the day-to-day challenges small business owners face. One of them is staying competitive in an increasingly online-dominated world where unless you are one of the top Google search results, you are doomed.
So why is it that even today so many small companies feel daunted by the thought of SEO? Why are small businesses still struggling to find their feet when it comes to online marketing?
On the one hand you have SEO specialists who struggle to explain complex terminology such as no-follow links, editorial appropriateness, and link building strategies in an understandable manner.
On the other hand you have small business owners worrying about making payroll and potentially losing focus and time from the more immediate issues in their businesses.
Many SMB owners and solopreneurs feel like they can’t compete with the ‘big guys’ out there simply because they don’t have the money or the manpower to achieve real SEO success. These technologies seem somehow reserved for the big multinational corporations with deep pockets and whole departments dedicated to online marketing.
But the truth is, you are scared. And I’m scared, too.
I am paranoid when it comes to SEO. When you read news sites like Search Engine Land and Mashable, and log into SEM Rush, it’s scary to see the penalties handed out left, right and center to what you thought were reputable websites, for things that seemed generally white hat just a few years ago.
You become overly-suspicious of the negative impacts the lack of SEO can have on your business as well keep thinking ‘what if I try and get it wrong?’
But these feelings are something we all have to face.
So before we tackle how small business owners can approach the issue of online marketing with confidence, here are the top 3 reasons we have found businesses struggle. And you just might see a little of your own concerns in these struggles.
Mobile browsing is growing into new ecosystem that has its own set of laws, structures, and appearance. As mobile technology continues to grow globally, a site that does not have a separate strategy for mobile may be comparable to a marketing agency that provides the same service to each client.
The best part is many companies have still not created a unique strategy for this ecosystem. Therefore, your company may harness the shifting market in order to have a powerful mobile experience for customers that your competitors fail to deliver.
The following tips are ways that you and your company can quickly get up to speed and improve its performance by adopting a strategy for mobile technology.
Apart from the Home page, which do you think is the most visited page on your website?
Don’t know? Here’s a hint: It’s also the page that most businesses make the biggest mistakes on.
Still not sure?
The answer: It’s your About page. And mistake # 1 most businesses make is assuming their about page is about them.
Newsflash! It’s not all about you! Well, that isn’t that much of a newsflash, is it?
If you’ve read Firepole for any length of time, you already know that your marketing messages are more about your customers than you.
However most business owners start writing an About page and immediately go into storytelling mode about their life to date?
It’s time to make that wrong, right, among others.
First of all, you should know something about me.
I cannot tell a joke to save my life.
If you were to ask me why the well-read serial killing, yet thin-skinned chicken crossed the road I’d probably say something like “to kill a mockingbird.”
That’s my level of natural humor which is to say I need to work at it.
Yes, humor is a blade that cuts both ways.
You can draw an audience to you, or you can repel an audience from you by the way you use humor.Click to tweet
But if you draw them to you, you’ll be completely unforgettable. And you will be loved.
Think of the great actors who have passed away in your own lifetime. The ones who made you think were the ones you admired and because of this you felt a little sad in their passing. But the ones who made you laugh were the ones you loved and whose presence you miss the most.
Take for instance two giants of the cultural scene who recently left us for the great beyond. The first, Leonard Nimoy, Mr. Spock from Star Trek. Mr. Spock was serious, admirable and brilliant. And we attributed those qualities to Mr. Nimoy, didn’t we?
And when he passed away, there was a day or two of the media taking notice, but given the world-wide fame he experienced throughout his career, nothing out of the ordinary.
Ah, but when Robin Williams died, the feeding frenzy went on for weeks. I even wrote a blog post about it to process my own grief. Yes, there was a suicide involved, but a similar thing happens when there isn’t such a tragic end, at least for a comedian.
Think of George Carlin, Milton Berle, Rodney Dangerfield, Jackie Gleason, Art Carney, or Bob Hope. When these beacons of funny died, the world stopped to wipe away a collective tear.