It’s been over five years since Panoptic first started working with small business clients – when we first started out, SEO was still like the wild West. At the time, we wanted to bring greater clarity around what online marketing means for small businesses, and we began by writing a short series of articles to help.
The content of those early articles still applies, but it’s time to revisit and update some of the details to reflect the state of SEO and online marketing for 2016.
What’s the point of having a business website if no one sees it? That’s what online marketing is all about: increasing your visibility. Nothing in Part One: Why Bother? has changed, except for the fact that having a robust online presence is even more important now than it was in 2010. New data shows that when customers want to make a purchase, choose a restaurant, find a service provider, etc., the first thing they do is reach for their phones. This behavior is occurring even right up to the point of sale.
Perhaps the most surprising thing we’ve learned ourselves over the past five years is that business owners are still not looking at their website stats and generally have no idea how their website is performing for them! In Part Two: Tracking, we introduced readers to Google Analytics and provided the briefest of introductions into how to read some of the high level reports. Google changes up the Analytics interface from time to time, but the basic information is the same. Here’s a more recent post on how to access and interpret some of the reports in the Acquisitions area of Analytics, so you can start to understand how visitors to your website are finding you.
Part Three of our series focused on the company website and the importance of delivering quality content to your readers. Nothing new here, except that over the past few years the number of people accessing the web via mobile devices has outpaced desktop users, even when they’re sitting at home. This means providing a solid mobile browsing experience is more urgent than ever.
Part Four of our series asked the question, “Should you be blogging?” and the answer is still a resounding “Yes, you should absolutely be blogging.” Google’s ranking algorithms have evolved to the point where content is more important than ever before. Keyword stuffing is no longer — nor should it ever have been — an option.
Blogging provides you with an opportunity to expand your website’s content to different topical areas beyond your core “service pages.” For example, if you’re an apparel manufacturer, you can write about fashion trends rather than just about manufacturing logistics and thereby provide content that may entice new readers to your site. Blogging allows you to offer relevant and useful information that helps build your authority as an expert in your field.