It is easy for small business owners to get lost in all the buzz-words of today’s marketing mix. I find small-business owners are often inundated with acronyms and most of the time they know what the acronym stands for but very few times do they know what it actually means, case in point…SEO.
The most popular acronym right now for small-business owners as it pertains to their web-strategy is SEO, Search Engine Optimization. WHAT? This differs from SEM, Search Engine Marketing; I’ll talk about this in a future post.
The term SEO surfaced in 1997, but as I explain below, it’s actually been around even longer. Put simply, SEO is the process of improving the visibility of a website or a web page in search engines (like Google) via a “natural” (“organic”) or un-paid way.
It has become a focus of every web strategist because of the growing trend of Internet usage. In 2009, 80% of Canadians aged 16 and older, or 21.7 million people, used the Internet for personal reasons, up from 73% in 2007 when the survey was last conducted.
In addition to this trend, in 2009, 52 per cent of Canadians went online to “window shop,” to browse or research items, up from 43 per cent in 2007. So, it is quite evident that Canadians are going online to inform themselves about product and services.
Let me back-track for a second. Close your eyes, whistle the “Leave it to Beaver” theme song in your head (I just dated myself). Now, before the Internet, if you were looking for a plumber, you would open a book called the
The first thing you would do is search in the “P” section for “p”lumber, then run your finger down the list and call someone. Usually, you would probably call the first few on the page. Plumbers figured this out (and so did many other companies), so, what they did was they would add the letter “A” in front of their name. For example, “Perfect Plumbing” became “A Perfect Plumbing” and so, “A Perfect Plumbing” was placed at the top of the list ahead of “Bob’s Plumbing” because the Yellow Pages would sort (or “rank”) their listings alphabetically, that was part of their system of ranking. So, instead of paying for a full-page add, “A Perfect Plumbing” used the system that Yellow Pages used to rank in their favour; an “organic” or “natural” way of being placed at the top of the list of plumbers.
This is SEO in its budding stages. The concept is that simple, though the execution might be a bit more challenging. So, let’s fast-forward to today (whistle whatever TV song you want!), SEO is about understanding how search engines rank websites and adhering to those systems, or in today’s jargon, “algorithms”. The only problem is search engines like Google won’t share all their algorithms but there are some basics algorithms they use; I will share in future posts.
Take steps to ensure your website is SEO-friendly. Be Real.
Reality Business Consulting (RBC) (www.realityconsulting.ca) is a Toronto-based Marketing and Website Design and Development company dedicated to helping small business grow. We do this by providing insightful marketing and sales knowledge, planning, execution and website design and development, on a small business budget. The foundation of our success lies in our strong business acumen and our ability to listen to and understand the needs of our clients, translating their ideas into a concrete plan of action; ultimately, delivering profitable results for them.
If you are searching for a professional and customer-focused marketing company with extensive work in website design and development located in Toronto, contact us for a “Reality Check; a no-obligation, no-charge consultation.