Guest blog post by Kathy DalPra of Bride Appeal Web Design & SEO
It’s the biggest challenge of being an entrepreneur: limited time, limited budget, limited resources. Yet, somehow, we need to find a way to get noticed by our prospects despite the endless ads, commercials and million dollar marketing campaigns being pushed in front of them by corporations 100 times our size.
At times, it can feel overwhelming…even, impossible. Which is why I’m such a big fan of SEO.
SEO, or search engine optimization, levels the playing field for the little guy. It’s the perfect marketing weapon small businesses like you and me can use to gradually and strategically sneak up on corporate behemoths and steal away our share of the market.
What Is SEO?
SEO is the art of getting your website or content listed at the top of search engine results pages, or SERPs. When an Internet user types in a keyword term in Google, such as “mother’s day gifts”, Google returns a list of websites that it believes to be a good match for that term.
Although some of these listings are paid advertisements, roughly 10 of them are unpaid, organic results that Google regards as the most relevant and authoritative on that particular subject of “mother’s day gifts.” These websites didn’t pay for the privilege, yet they are still reeling in hot buyer-ready traffic!
Outsmart the Big Dogs
What you need to know is that many companies with big marketing budgets are totally ignoring some of the most lucrative keywords in your niche. Sure, they may be doing some SEO and probably have an entire team managing their pay-per-click campaigns, but they’re leaving a trail of golden opportunities behind them that you can snatch up.
See, most of these corporations are focused on the biggest prize. They want the massive chunks of traffic and won’t waste their time on the smaller bit-sized segments that are equally valuable. As a result, they are looking right past some of the juiciest SEO opportunities out there and leaving the door wide open for you!
What does that mean for you?
Lots of targeted, micro-niche traffic that you can swoop up if you know where to find it and how to steal it right from under your competitor’s nose.
We’re talking hundreds to thousands of new visitors to your website every single month. That’s a lot of new leads.
How It Works
Any small business owner can leverage SEO as a part of their overall marketing program. Unlike pay-per-click ads, it’s free to get listed organically in Google and you have the flexibility to learn to do it yourself or hire a specialist to do it for you.
The first step is researching hundreds to thousands of keyword possibilities for the niche that you’re looking to rank for. From there, you’ll narrow the list down to only those keywords that are a perfect match for what you’re trying to sell, are being neglected by your competitors and are associated with buyer-ready traffic (not window shoppers).
This is a critical part in the process because pinpointing the right keywords is the trick to outsmarting the big boys.
Once your keyword strategy is in place, the work can begin. In our business, we like to empower our clients to take on some of their own search engine optimization, if they so choose, so that they can rank their site more quickly and not be at the mercy of an SEO firm indefinitely. We coach them through the initial optimization activities step-by-step, and if they then decide they want to delegate some of the ongoing SEO work, they have the know-how to hire a competent firm or train a staff member to handle it. It’s a smart and affordable way to start climbing up the ranks and knocking the big dogs off their post on the way up.
About Kathy: Kathy is a former bridal-preneur turned wedding SEO and web design expert. She founded Bride Appeal to help other wedding professionals use their website to get found, followed and booked by more brides online through workshops, private coaching and web design services.