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Every new business needs customers – and for strangers to become customers, they have to know who you are and what you’re doing. They have to find you when they’re looking. Whether you’re an oil company in Siberia or a hairdresser in Portsmouth, SEO is how you get found.
With the rise of smartphones, potential customers are searching online for a business like yours as they walk through your town. Whether your company comes up ahead of your rivals is down to search engine optimisation (SEO). If your webpage design, data structure and content makes it easy for a search engine to match your business to the right keywords, it’ll post you higher up the search results. As a third of all clicks go to the first result, and less than 10% of searchers make it to the second page, difference between being first and 21st can be the difference between profit and bankruptcy.
SEO is something between word of mouth and advertising. Unlike pay per click (PPC) ads online, you can’t buy a top slot in the search listings. Like word of mouth, you need to take positive steps over an extended period to make sure you welcome customers (or clicks) rather than pushing them away. Many of these things can be done quickly and easily by an expert – or you can spend hours learning to do them yourself.
Search engines are powered by ‘robots’, pieces of software that study every page on the web looking for certain pointers. A web developer can make their job easier or harder without altering the appearance of the website to human eyes. There are dozens of small, technical details that can make a website robot-friendly. It’s like punctuation – you could read this article without punctuation, but you probably wouldn’t bother.
There are many ways to improve SEO and develop your client base. Choosing the options that are right for your business can be difficult so if you want to see a strong return on your investment, it’s worth talking to an expert. As an example, social media can be a poisoned chalice for many new business owners. The free publicity seems like a great idea but when you realise how long it is taking you to keep up with all your tweets, you may find it has cost you money. By making a clear plan – for example to focus just one platform, such as Facebook or a local Portsmouth business forum – you can increase your effectiveness.
Even if you’re launching with a bang in a small town, it will take a long time for everyone to hear about you. The web is global, making it the biggest town there is. As a small fish, you need to have a long term strategy and understand what your goals and expectations are. For example, if you opened a new ice cream bar in Portsmouth you might aim to come top on a search for ‘ice cream bar Portsmouth’ or ‘ice cream Hampshire’. Aiming for the number one slot on ‘ice cream’ is a fool’s errand as you’ll be competing with global businesses with million dollar budgets. However, as you build your SEO your sphere of influence will expand, bumping you up the rankings on related searches.
By working with our experienced marketing team, you can offload tasks that are outside your core business focus, giving you the capacity to nurse your new company through the critical early days. SEO and marketing are critical to the success of your business, and they are our core focus. At boxChilli, our experts are up-to-date with recent research and new technological developments, letting us create and implement your marketing strategy efficiently. We give you a great return on investment and the time to focus on your brilliant idea.